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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Birch Grove Sanctuary Studio In Central Mat. Valley, On Peaceful Garden Lot

Bedrooms 1
Space 300 sq. ft.
Property type studio


About the property

1 King size or 2 twin beds, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 2

Enjoy the peace of Alaska's beauty – listen to the birds and relish the tangible quiet of Alaska at its best. Our beautiful birch themed residence will provide rest and refreshment.

The sanctuary studio has a lower level private entrance, full kitchen, full bathroom, and a King sized bed, (or two twins depending on your needs), a private lawn under the eagle's favorite sitting tree.

*If you are needing more space, we have a bed and breakfast that sleeps four additional people in two rooms separate from the Birch Sanctuary space. ("Woodland Glade" has a queen in one room and a twin and fold down bed in the other room.)

Our house is located near the end of a drive where it is peaceful and quiet. Our beautiful lot overlooks Snow Goose Pond and is surrounded by birch and spruce trees, sprinkled with vibrant flowers. We have a majestic, panoramic view of the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains. Occasionally we have moose wander into our yard.

Only one hour away from Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport, you can rent a vehicle and easily find our quiet sanctuary. Free parking on site.


Hike the Butte – 30 minute drive - Relatively short hike to view the Knik Glacier and Mat Valley

Hike Lazy Mountain – 20 minute drive - 3,000 ft climb for a panoramic view of the Matanuska Valley. The only thing "lazy" about the mountain is it's name.

Hike and explore the Hatcher Pass area – About 25 minute drive - endless hiking and adventure above tree line. Explore the old Independence Mine…

Reindeer Farm – 20 minute drive where you can take a short tour and feed the reindeer. It's been a hit with guests of all ages.

Fishing: We can help you find great fishing guides. Salmon are caught in several local rivers or you can drive the Parks Highway to Homer or Seward and book a ocean sea guide to catch salmon or halibut. If you want to eat your fresh-caught fish, we have a barbecue available!

Musk Ox Farm – 10 minute drive - Take time to see the local Musk Ox herd. What a unique, archaic and beautiful animal! Babies are born the beginning of May, so you can watch the family interaction.

Golf: Four golf courses in the area.

White Water Rafting within an hours drive

Glaciers: You can drive one hour up the Glenn Highway which is truly one of the most spectacular drives in the world and see the Matanuska Glacier. You can actually walk on the glacier.

Arrange flying tours to see Knik Glacier.

Denali National Park - Less than 5 hour drive

Seward - 3.5 hour drive, Resurrection bay and ocean tours offering spectacular scenery including cliffs and glaciers., marine wildlife including whales, sea lions, otters, orcas, porpoises.


We are 15 minutes from excellent cross-country skiing at Government Peak Ski Area and 25 minutes away from top quality ski trails in Hatcher Pass.

More Details

Sondra Markwardt
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
July 20, 2017

About Sondra Markwardt

We are long time Alaskans. Philip worked with the Forest Service for many years and later became a pastor. He is an avid hiker, a back-packing enthusiast, an experienced cross-country skier and loves white-water kayaking.

Sondra’s family came to Alaska before it was a state of the U.S. She considers it a privilege to have grown up in the old, “real” Alaska in a small bush town on the Yukon River. She values the Alaskan native culture and feels that her growing up years, which included a family dog team, were very enriching.

Both of us have traveled the world extensively and value other cultures. We love meeting new people, and welcome others to the peace of our home. Our golden retriever dog is part of the enthusiastic welcome you will receive here.

We both love the untamed beauty of Alaska and the God who created it. Because of Philip’s experience in the grand Matanuska Valley area and beyond, he will be able to direct you to fabulous outdoor experiences and possibly join you as time allows.

Sondra Markwardt purchased this studio in 2003

Why Sondra Markwardt chose Alaska

Thirteen years ago, when we were looking for a lot to build our house, we kept coming back to this one because of its peaceful setting and the mountain views in several directions. Because of its proximity to the mountains as well as to the stores in the valley and the closeness to an international airport, we feel it is an ideal location.

What makes this studio unique

Our two and a half acre lot includes a 1/4 acre of lawn, a rock garden, and lots of flowers, surrounded by spruce and birch trees. We are close to lots of recreation including spectacular sightseeing, fishing, world-class hiking and back packing, glacier tours, Iditarod race center, and excellent Winter cross-county skiing.


Palmer Studio Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • studio
  • floor 1
Building Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 300 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • not suitable for children ...
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Water View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • Bathroom has a full tub/shower, sink, and wardrobe. Shampoo, hairdryer available.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • The studio apartment includes a king sized bed that can be made into two twins, depending on need. There are a couple of comfortable chairs, a small dining table, a TV, and a full kitchen with all dishes you will need.
  • Books
  • Television
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • whitewater rafting


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(20 traveler reviews)

Birch Grove Sanctuary Studio In Central Mat. Valley, On Peaceful Garden Lot
average rating of 4.85 based on 20 reviews

Clean, quiet place to stay

  • 5 of 5

The room is amply sized and nicely decorated. The attached bathroom was comfortable. And the room darkening shade on the window was much appreciated in the light summer nights. Our only difficulty was that the path to the entrance was a rather steep gravel trail, which was challenging for a handicapped person. But we managed it and the non-handicapped would have no problem with it. Overall, a lovely place to stay.

  • Submitted: Jul 20, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad you and your wife could be here Wally!
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Jefferson City, Missouri USA

Nice and Peaceful

  • 4 of 5

Great host, great amenities, and good location. Will stay here again if in the area.

  • Submitted: Jul 19, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Very comfortable and relaxing.

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful setting in a quiet residential area. Comfortable accommodations for two. We came to Palmer from the Kenai to organize a wedding reception for 160 friends and family of the bride. This studio was convenient to town and wonderful to relax in once the job was done.

  • Submitted: Jun 19, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for booking with us. Glad your wedding week-end worked out! Come again!
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Truly a life-changer

  • 5 of 5

Rightly named - a place of peace and refreshing! The Lord used this place to bring amazing connection and joy. The family is the greatest and the accommodations are clean, comfortable and inviting. A must for your Alaska trip!

  • Submitted: May 1, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: If we could hand-pick guests, it would be this couple! What a joy to have them here!
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Kenai, Alaska

Very Cozy and Clean

  • 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our stay at the Birch Grove Studio. Very pleasant decor with birch tree theme. Comfortable bedding. And even though this room originally did not come with a TV, we were pleasantly surprised upon our arrival to find that a television had been provided.

Thank you, Sondra.

  • Submitted: Dec 10, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: You are welcome here any time! We love meeting wonderful people like you. And you were the first guests here since we installed the TV Just in time for you!
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Quality quiet time

  • 5 of 5

It is a convenient location and close to areas of interest for us as well as grocery stores and "regular" stores, places to eat. We had little interaction with the hosts other than Woodruff - whom we loved. It was sweet to see his beautiful face in the mornings and as we were leaving for our day. Sondra was pleasant and gracious on our couple of interactions and we were aware she was there and available if we needed anything. I would suggest the possibility of a radio in the room as it was REALLY quiet sometimes. We did have a great time making our own meals and enjoying some quality time together without the interruptions of normal daily life.

Thank you for a lovely place to stay while visiting the magnificent state of Alaska!

  • Submitted: Sep 23, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
50 Miles
Nearest Barpub
6 Miles
Nearest Ferry
60 Miles
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Nearest Train
9 Miles
Nearest Motorway
6 Miles
Glenn Highway
Nearest Restaurant
6 Miles
Nearest Ski
20 Miles
Hatcher Pass
Nearest Beach
20 Miles
Mirror Lake
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Palmer Studio Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $100
Tax Rate 5.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Contact Owner

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