Wasilla is located midway between the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys, on the George Parks Highway. It lies between Wasilla and Lucille Lakes, 43 miles north of Anchorage, about one hour's drive. The community lies at approximately 61.581390° North Latitude and -149.439440° West Longitude.  (Sec. 10, T017N, R001W, Seward Meridian.)   Wasilla is located in the Palmer Recording District.  The area encompasses 11.7 sq. miles of land and 0.7 sq. miles of water.  January temperatures range from -33 to 33; July temperatures range from 42 to 83. The average annual precipitation is 17 inches, with 50 inches of snowfall.

Wasilla was named after the respected local Dena'ina Indian, Chief Wasilla (also known as Chief Vasili). In the Dena'ina Athabascan Indian dialect, "Wasilla" is said to mean "breath of air." Other sources claim the Chief derived his name from the Russian language, and that "Vasili" is a variation of the Russian name "William." The townsite was established in 1917 at the intersection of the Carle Wagon Road (now Wasilla-Fishhook Road) and the newly-constructed Alaska Railroad. It was a supply base for gold and coal mining in the region through World War II. The Matanuska-Susitna valley was settled by many Colony homesteaders in the 1930s. Construction of the George Parks Highway through Wasilla in the early 1970s provided direct access to Anchorage. This enabled families to live in Wasilla and commute to Anchorage for employment. The City was incorporated in 1974.

The population of the community consists of 9.1% Alaska Native or part Native. Residents are close to the urban amenities of Anchorage, yet enjoy a rural lifestyle. During the 2000 U.S. Census, total housing units numbered 2,119, and vacant housing units numbered 140. Vacant housing units used only seasonally numbered 34. U.S. Census data for Year 2000 showed 2,451 residents as employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 11.16 percent, although 37.04 percent of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $48,226, per capita income was $21,127, and 9.59 percent of residents were living below the poverty level.

The majority of homes use individual water wells and septic systems, although the City operates a piped water and sewer system. Water is provided by a well at Spruce Avenue and two at Iditarod School, with a 2.3 million gallon storage capacity. Funds have been requested to develop an additional water source. Refuse collection is provided by a private company, for disposal in the Borough landfill. Residents also drop refuse at the Borough landfill in Palmer. Matanuska Electric Assoc. is part owner of the Alaska Electric Generation & Transmission Cooperative, Inc., which operates a gas turbine plant in Soldotna and also purchases electricity from Chugach Electric and the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project. Piped natural gas, provided by Enstar, is used to heat homes. Electricity is provided by Matanuska Electric Association. There are 15 schools located in the community,  attended by 6,700 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Valley Hospital in Palmer (746-8600); Mat-Su Public Health Center (376-2437); Anchorage hospitals; numerous private.  Valley Hospital Association, Inc. is a qualified Emergency Care Center. Specialized Care: Alaska Addiction Rehabilitation Services/Nugen's Ranch (376-4534). Wasilla is classified as a highway town/Sub-Regional Center, it is found in EMS Region 2C in the Mat-Su Region. Emergency Services have limited highway, marine, coastal, floatplane, and helicopter access, and are within 30 minutes of a higher-level satellite health care facility. Emergency service is provided by 911 Telephone Service and volunteers  Auxiliary health care is provided by Wasilla Ambulance Service (373-8800/745-4811); Valley Hospital in Palmer or Anchorage hospitals.

Approximately 30% of the Wasilla workforce commutes to Anchorage. The local economy is diverse, and residents are employed in a variety of government, retail, and professional service positions. Tourism, agriculture, wood products, steel and concrete products are part of the economy. 120 area residents hold commercial fishing permits. Wasilla is the home of the Iditarod Trail Committee and Iron Dog Race.

The George Parks Highway, Glenn Highway, and other local roads connect the city to Anchorage, the remainder of the state and Canada. The Alaska Railroad serves Wasilla on the Fairbanks to Seward route. A City airport, with a paved 3,700' long by 75' wide airstrip, provides scheduled commuter and air taxi services. Float planes land at Wasilla Lake, Jacobsen Lake and Lake Lucille. There are ten additional private airstrips in the vicinity. Commercial jet flights are operated out of Anchorage International Airport.