The Southern Talkeetna Mountains
This was a short visit, a dayhike, to an area that is prime for a future backpacking trip. The Talkeetna Mountains stretch from east of the town of Talkeetna in the north to near the towns of Palmer and Wasilla in the south. That means that their southern end is quite accessible from major roads and does not require flights or a rental car, since this is one hour from Anchorage.
There are a number of trailheads for the southern Talkeetnas near the small state park at Hatcher Pass. That park focuses on mining in the area, but the road to it provides the access to the backcountry, and is less than ten miles from Palmer. It is paved most of the way, and the initial section of dirt road, leading to the state park, is usually in good condition. There are even some semi-maintained trails in the area that can be used to start and/or finish a longer backcountry trip. This trip is on the Reed Lakes Trail.