It’s easy to spend a couple days out here, thanks to the great lodges—not the big, cruise-circuit lodges, but intimate, family-run places that attract independent-minded travelers. These gleam­ing val­ley glac­i­ers perch in the moun­tains above Portage Val­ley, easy to view from high­way pullouts. You’ll see sculpted rock, eroded hillsides and scraped granite. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. (Otherwise, you might be no closer than 12 miles.). Look for three alpine glac­i­ers back in Thumb Cove. 1. Look for the his­tor­i­cal sign describ­ing the rapid advance of Black Rapids Glac­i­er. Depending upon the time of year and snow cover, Eklutna’s toe can be quite treacherous (but beautiful) with headwalls, rock slides and fins of ice. Also, a steady water­fall drains down; to the side, you’ll see a kit­ti­wake rookery. During its peak winter, 1951-52, the area got more than 80 feet of snow. Because of the steady snows, Worthington Glacier is not retreating as quickly as most. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map, NOVA Alaska Guides Glacier Trekking & Ice Climbing, MICA Guides Glacier Trekking & Ice Climbing, Phillips Cruises & Tours - 26 Glacier Cruise, Lazy Otter Charters Custom Sightseeing Tours, Mendenhall Glacier Canoe Tours by Liquid Alaska, Exit Glacier Guides: Hiking & Ice Climbing, Glacier Blue Kayak & Grandview Train Tour, Glacier Discovery Train (Anchorage - Whittier - Spencer - Grandview), Kayaking with Icebergs at Spencer Glacier, Ascending Path – Ultimate Glacier Overnight Camping Adventure, Ascending Path - Helicopter Glacier Hiking or Helicopter Ice Climbing, UnCruise Alaska Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise, UnCruise Alaska Northern Passages & Glacier Bay, UnCruiseEastern Fjords & Glacier Bay Cruise—Ultimate Expedition. Look­ing beyond the penin­su­la you can see snow­capped moun­tains. Listed above as a road accessible, Portage Glacier can be approached under human power via the Portage Pass Trail from the Whittier side of the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. This 25 – 50 foot high ridge of rock debris looks like an exca­va­tion pit that extends for miles down the cen­ter of the glac­i­er. You will be reward­ed through­out the… Bar­ry Glac­i­er actu­al­ly flows behind Col­lege Fjord and par­al­lel to it for a dozen miles before plung­ing into the head of Bar­ry Arm. The Alaska App. NOTE: A bridge at Mile 36 of the Cop­per Riv­er High­way is cur­rent­ly (2020) impass­able, with repairs not expect­ed for sev­er­al years. Orig­i­nat­ing in a bowl, or cirque, of…. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. If approached after the snow has melted—late June through September—the contrast between the glacier and the surrounding tundra, gravel and rock is startling and otherworldly. For a unique, European-style excursion that offers direct access to an active glacier that clogs its lake with amazing icebergs, take a train to the Spencer Glacier Whistlestop station during the summer visiting season. Order a Map. While it is one of the small­er glac­i­ers in Aia­lik Bay, Hol­gate Glac­i­er is still a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion to see calv­ing glac­i­ers. Set between Anchorage and Denali, Spencer bends the road-accessible glacier definition just a little: the only way to see it is by rail. Look down Col­lege Fjord to Har­vard and Yale Glac­i­ers, 20 miles away.  ...more, This glac­i­er dom­i­nates all views west of the his­toric mill town site of Ken­necott in the heart of Wrangell-St.…. There are a lot of them. The park features seven tidewater glaciers that actively shed icebergs and brash into 65-mile deep bay that didn’t yet exist in the 1700s. The Ice Age hasn’t ended in Alaska! This stranded mountain glacier sprawls from its hanging valley below Crow Pass—a white, striated mass with blue-etched crevasses. Pho­to­graph tak­en by Bruce F. Mol­nia, USGS. Visit September to April to see the Northern Lights, Best Northern Lights Viewing Spots Near Anchorage, How to Travel to Alaska in January and February, The Best Large Family & Group Vacations in Alaska, How to Get from Anchorage to Your Cruise Port in Whittier or Seward (or the reverse!). Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Outside the two major ice sheets that cover most of Greenland and Antarctica, glaciers in Alaska (and shared ice-fields with Canada) represent about 13 percent of the mountain glaciers and ice caps area on Earth. Some of these tours make glacier landings, of a half hour or so, in the Ruth Amphitheatre, a wide-open section of the Ruth Glacier surrounded by mile-high peaks and views of Mt. Prince William Sound, nestled in the coastal arc of Alaska’s Chugach Mountain Range, has more than 20 glaciers terminating at sea level; numerous others cling to precipitous mountainsides (hanging glaciers).These glaciers form because warm, low-pressure systems sweeping in off the Pacific Ocean in the winter encounter the high mountains, rise, cool and deposit their excess moisture as snow. Alaska may be the best place in the world to witness this spectacular phenomena. On Byron, ice worms are com­mon, if you get down and look. You’ll never run out of glacial viewing options. Spencer Glacier ends in a glacial lake, and such lakes are gorgeous sights themselves. That’s two glaciers in one day! Glacier Bay has more than 50 named glaciers, as well as two major arms: East Arm and West Arm. See any dark specs on the sur­face of the glac­i­er? You’ll have two hours to explore the area before you have to catch the train heading southbound. The most active tide­wa­ter glac­i­er in Prince William Sound. Granted, most of that ice is below water, but the ice can be so thick that cruise ships can’t get too close. The terminus of this active glacier looms over the main channel of the Copper River just across from a popular campground. You’ll cross it 35 miles up it, at an ele­va­tion of 5500 feet above sea lev­el. Most have no names. Nearby, too, is the famous Million Dollar Bridge. Approximate distribution is:91% in Antarctica8% in GreenlandLess than 0.5% in North America (about 0.1% in Alaska)0.2% in AsiaLess than 0.1% is in South America, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, and Irian Jaya. Plus, it’s one of the easiest “walk-up” glaciers in the state, with a short paved hike to a viewing platform. It’s not as active as either Cas­cade or Bar­ry, but it packs enough punch to awak­en even the deep­est sleep­er when it cracks and thun­ders just a quar­ter mile away from camp. And it can be touched! A half-mile wide, the glacier feeds Mendenhall Lake, which stays pretty placid: While there are some icebergs in the lake, the face ranges from 5 to 200 feet tall, so you can’t expect booming calving action. Off the coast of Yakutat—200 miles NW of Juneau—Hubbard is certainly gigantic: it's more than six miles wide where it meets the ocean.  ...more, You enter the Shel­don Amphithe­atre, named after a bush pilot who built a view­ing hut here on the glac­i­er before it became a nation­al park. Shuttles regularly operate between McCarthy and Kennecott. It also hosts a population of ice worms. While fair­ly sta­ble, the glac­i­er calves most active­ly in May and June. You see rock ridges deposit­ed everywhere…. Portage Glacier is a glacier on the Kenai Peninsula of the U.S. state of Alaska and is included within the Chugach National Forest. In the right conditions, however, your ship might be able to get within 1/2 mile of the face. One hun­dred and fifty years ago the val­ley now occu­pied by the ship facil­i­ty and cor­rec­tion­al cen­ter was filled with the ice of God­win Glac­i­er. ...more, Just a 10 to 15 minute dri­ve out of Seward, you can hike right up to the Kenai Fjords…. You can get there by taking a narrated bus tour, but you can also go on your own: A taxi to the glacier costs $35 one way, while a shuttle bus is just $8 each way. Nat­u­ral­ist and author John Muir first made his way to Alas­ka in 1879, where he went to explore Glac­i­er Bay. The well-developed trails here have good footing and interpretive signs, explaining the return of plant life after the ice. In this series of pho­tos from June of 2002, Bruce Mol­nia of the USGS doc­u­ment­ed the advanc­ing ter­mi­nus of Hub­bard Glac­i­er and the chan­nel cut into the top of its push moraine that blocked the mouth of Rus­sell Fiord. Some of these might look overwhelming at first glance. The sur­round­ing walls soar 4000 – 5000 feet above. Grand Pacific Glacier (Glacier Bay National Park): Two vast glaciers of deep blue meet at the top of an utterly barren fjord. One qualifier: Access to the glacier is on private land, so there’s a $30 fee. A variety of destinations and a convenient round-trip schedule make the Glacier Discovery Train ideally suited for day trips from Anchorage. This glac­i­er used to wreak hav­oc on the Mat-Su Val­ley, advanc­ing every win­ter and damming up a lake that would flood each sum­mer. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. Know what to look for from afar and up close, Some of the most impres­sive glac­i­ers in Alas­ka are sur­pris­ing­ly accessible, Most Alaskan cruis­es include a vis­it to a tide­wa­ter glac­i­er — here are the best. Stephens Glac­i­er is one of many Alaskan glac­i­ers that is rapid­ly shrink­ing. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. Geologists, for example, might describe a glacier as a large, persistent body of ice that features a distinct accumulation and ablation area.Luckily, though, it’s actually not too complicated! View on Map. 1 View on Map. At over 550 meters thick at some points and cov­er­ing an area of 400 square miles, this glac­i­er is a sight to behold, whether from a boat or the sky. The Knik Glac­i­er snakes out of the Chugach Moun­tains, tum­bling into an ice­berg-stud­ded lake that feeds the Knik Riv­er. You see rock ridges deposit­ed every­where by the glac­i­er before it retreat­ed 4 miles to its cur­rent location. Many air charters take off from Merrill Field and Lake Hood airstrips right inside Anchorage. Gobs of hanging glaciers can be seen from just about every highway that traverses Alaska’s high mountains. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. Most people who come to the Park—and there can be 400,000 of them a year—come by way of a cruise ship, and most of those ships head up the West Arm, towards the Margerie Glacier. There are sev­er­al decent camp­sites with head-on views of the glacier. Which one is right for you? The 2000 pho­to­graph doc­u­ments the con­tin­u­ing advance of Har­vard Glac­i­er, which has com­plete­ly obscured the view of Rad­cliff Glac­i­er. Southeast Alaska has just one glacier accessible by road, but it makes up for its novelty in being extremely accessible: you can even take a cab here pretty easily. Except one thing: When the Har­ri­man Expe­di­tion named the glac­i­ers in Col­lege Fjord, they had no idea the insult that would be felt more than a cen­tu­ry by Amherst alums cruis­ing Prince William Sound only to dis­cov­er their alma mater’s name­sake glac­i­er is some­what of a runt. If you opt for the longer trail, you’ll just have to hustle to get back in time. The east­ern­most for­mer trib­u­tary lost con­tact with Stephens Glac­i­er dur­ing the lat­er part of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry.  ...more. The ice is 3700 feet deep, some of it more than a thou­sand years old. For convenience, all glaciers of Alaska should be included in this category.  ...more. The glaciers provide an outlet for snow and ice that build in the Alaska Mountains. More of Alaska -- more than 100 times more -- is covered by glacier ice than is settled by human beings. This glac­i­er emerges from a gorge beyond the head of Eklut­na Lake, at the end of a mul­ti-use trail deep…, To see the glac­i­er, you have to trav­el into the gorge, a 26-mile round-trip from the trail­head over a most­ly flat mul­ti-use trail. The only challenge: McCarthy-Kennicott is pretty remote—an 8-hour drive from Anchorage or a 2-hour flight.  ...more, Stephens Glac­i­er is one of many Alaskan glac­i­ers that is rapid­ly shrink­ing. It now has a four-mile wide tow­er­ing face that you can walk right up to and touch. Just fifty miles south­east of Juneau, this glac­i­er is not one to miss! The glaciers are situated on 11 mountain ranges, 1 large island, an island chain, and 1 archipelago and range in elevation from more than 6,000 m to below sea level. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Glaciers of Alaska. It’s a fam­i­ly-friend­ly recre­ation des­ti­na­tion fea­tur­ing camp­ing, hik­ing, glac­i­er explo­ration, nature walks, pad­dling and sight­see­ing. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. In fact, you can walk almost right up to the face of it in 30 minutes, by way of the Edge of the Glacier Trail. Car­roll Glac­i­er, found in Glac­i­er Bay, is a ter­res­tri­al glac­i­er. The divid­ing line between Cas­cade and Bar­ry Glac­i­er is some­times hard to dis­tin­guish, because they con­verge into each oth­er. Bal­ti­more Glac­i­er has con­tin­ued to retreat and thin. Gor­geous Portage Glac­i­er lies just 48 miles south of Anchor­age. At mile 102, you can dri­ve down to Glac­i­er Park and pay a day fee (888−253−4480), then hike 15 – 20 min­utes to the face of Please check your email to verify your subscription. One of the most beautiful glaciers in Alaska accessible by car. But to expe­ri­ence that…. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. You can backpack a new trail system, rent a public use cabin on a mountain ridge, or explore a basin recently emerging from beneath ice. This display of immense natural violence fills the senses. Glacier Terminology Ablation the retreat and degradation of glaciers Advance glacier flow exceeds ablation and the terminus extends beyond its … From this van­tage point, you can see the three types of Alas­ka glac­i­ers: pied­mont, hang­ing, and tidewater. Barry Glacier from Mapcarta, the free map.  ...more, This is your vir­tu­al class­room in glacia­tion. Here you have a glimpse into the edge of the Hard­ing Ice­field. Indeed, there is some comfort in the fact that you can’t get any closer. Read their respec­tive cap­tions for…. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. 7-10 days is the most common. The 1905 pho­to­graph shows that Tobog­gan Glac­i­er was thin­ning and retreat­ing and was sur­round­ed by a large bedrock barren… There are trails, pic­nic sites, and pic­nic shel­ters with­in the road­side park, along with water and restrooms. McKin­ley) base­camp! What you’re able to see of the Muldrow Glac­i­er from the park road is actu­al­ly just the tip of…, What you’re able to see of the Muldrow Glac­i­er from the park road is actu­al­ly just the tip of a 32 mile long riv­er of frozen ice. There is a short ranger-led walk dai­ly at 11am and 3pm, from Memo­r­i­al Day through Labor Day. Alaska glaciers are incredible to see, and incredibly easy to reach. Be sure to catch Muir on your cruise through Glac­i­er Bay! McKinley (which is just 6 miles away). The tide­wa­ter glac­i­er has been grow­ing rough­ly 30 feet per year for the last few decades, and has joined and sep­a­rat­ed from Grand Pacif­ic Glac­i­er over the past twen­ty-five years. Twin Sawyer Glaciers in Tracy Arm. A pair of south­west-look­ing pho­tographs, both tak­en from the same loca­tion adja­cent to Lam­plugh Glac­i­er, show the changes which have occurred at the low­er end of Lamplugh’s inlet dur­ing the 62 years between August 1941 and Sep­tem­ber 8, 2003. Flightseeing transforms glacier viewing into something like the grandest amusement park ride you’ve ever imagined. See other great roadside glaciers. When you get off the Alaska Railroad, you can float next to the ice on a raft trip across the lake with Spencer Glacier Rail and Raft. Col­lege Fjord gash­es into the heart of the…. It was dubbed the Gal­lop­ing Glac­i­er and has been reced­ing ever since. If you want to spend a whole morning or afternoon near the Ruth Glacier, K2 Aviation offers a guided hiking experience to Moraine Lake: You’ll land on a floatplane on a glacial lake on the edge of the Ruth Glacier, and then take a guided hike with the massive Ruth Glacier as your backdrop. On clear days, you can see the alpine ice falls on Mount Blackburn (16,390 feet) at the head of the glacier. Exit Glacier is not huge, but it looks big up close, so it makes a great place for photos. In a land of superlatives, Alaska’s glaciers … The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Salmon Glacier (Hyder) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You … Ped­er­sen Glac­i­er, locat­ed in Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, reced­ed through­out the 20th cen­tu­ry expos­ing Ped­er­sen Spit and Ped­er­sen Lagoon. Explore the glac­i­er, vis­it the muse­um, and go for a boat ride. Spencer Glac­i­er ris­es 3,500 feet in a stun­ning, nat­ur­al ramp from a lake of roy­al-blue ice­bergs in the Chugach Nation­al For­est just 60 miles south of Anchor­age. Use our calculator to find out, Stay casual, dress in layers, and get proper footwear, Guides to the best locations around the state to view wildlife. While not the most spec­tac­u­lar glac­i­er, it nonethe­less deserves note because one of the cre­ators of The Alas­ka App went to Amherst Col­lege. You’ll step out of the plane and onto an ice sheet near­ly a mile thick. You can stop along the shore, pitch a tent and enjoy the soli­tude and scenic views for a day or two. Dozens of glaciers, calving action and wildlife galore: this National Park and Preserve is popular because it offers a greatest hits collection of Alaskan sights and is boat-accessible. This dramatic tongue of ice descends from the massive Harding Ice Field to a visitor center with curated trail system, located inside the only portion of Kenai Fjords National Park reachable by road. Many terrestrial glaciers can be approached up close by people who can handle short hikes. Icy Bay lives up to its name with an active tide­wa­ter glac­i­er often clog­ging the fjord with ice­bergs. Car, train, or group tour. McKinley is famous among mountaineers, you don’t have to be one of them to make your way there. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? One of few glac­i­ers that are actu­al­ly advanc­ing, Marg­erie Glac­i­er is about 21 miles long and 250 feet high (with a base 100 feet below sea lev­el). It is the larg­er of the two glac­i­ers, and if con­di­tions are good you can come with­in 1⁄2 mile of the face. Vis­i­ble from a a day cruise in Prince William Sound. On a sunny day, the photography is outstanding, in a locale that’s as wild and exotic as it gets.  ...more, This short day hike — with an eas­i­ly acces­si­ble trail­head a few hun­dred meters from the Begich Bog­gs Vis­i­tor Cen­ter — offers you big…. Some­times, a bay clear of ice can fill up in less than an hour. Field shows the calv­ing ter­mi­nus of Lam­plugh Glac­i­er extend­ing to with­in 0.5 miles of the pho­to point. Dozens of glac­i­ers, calv­ing action and wildlife galore: this Nation­al Park and Pre­serve is pop­u­lar because it offers a…. Much of the low­er reach­es of the ice are cov­ered in dirt and rocks that have been scoured off of the neigh­bor­ing moun­tains on the slow jour­ney from Denal­i’s (Mt. A landmark at the head of a multi-use trail inside Chugach State Park, this fast-receding glacier anchors one end of a popular mountaineering traverse that connects to the Girdwood area on the other side of the range. One quarter of Alaska’s glaciers - more than 4.5 million acres - can be found within Alaska’s national parks. Considered one of Alaska’s best summer day hikes. It’s fed by the same ocean-driven weather that creates the vast glacial crown surrounding Prince William Sound. This gigantic glacier is the largest in the U.S. that can be reached by vehicle. He pub­lished no known account of his voyage. The easy lower trail leads to overlooks of crevasses. Overwhelmed by choices? It has a wood stove and bunks 6. Fly­ing down the medi­al moraine of the Ruth Glac­i­er is mes­mer­iz­ing. Keep on the look­out for deep blue pools of ice melt. Nine national park units in Alaska contain glaciers. Your best bet for seeing it is to take one of the flightseeing tours from Talkeetna that fly over the Ruth. Were the ice to melt tomor­row, you would wit­ness a spec­ta­cle twice as awe­some as the Grand Canyon — a gorge a mile wide and near­ly two miles high. Highlights plus less visited destinations. View Items on Map. The inlet is incredibly narrow—often times no more than ½ mile wide—and cliffs rise over 3,000 feet on either side, with waterfalls covering the sheer rock walls. Glacier Bay Basin in southeastern Alaska, in the United States, encompasses the Glacier Bay and surrounding mountains and glaciers, which was first proclaimed a U.S. National Monument on February 25, 1925, and which was later, on December 2, 1980, enlarged and designated as the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, covering an … This glacier once filled the entire bay, reaching Icy Strait in the late 1700s. We're open for appointments Tuesday through Friday, June 23-26 … Hig­gins, is an August 6, 1909 view of the then retreat­ing north­ern part of the ter­mi­nus. Three north-look­ing pho­tographs, all tak­en from about the same off­shore loca­tion, about 0.5 kilo­me­ters (0.3 miles) north of Tobog­gan Glacier,…, Three north-look­ing pho­tographs, all tak­en from about the same off­shore loca­tion, about 0.5 kilo­me­ters (0.3 miles) north of Tobog­gan Glac­i­er, doc­u­ment sig­nif­i­cant changes that have occurred dur­ing the 103 years between August 20, 1905 and August 22, 2008. One of the most vis­it­ed nat­ur­al attrac­tions along the Richard­son High­way, this four-mile-long glac­i­er is easy to approach on foot. Though most people visit Glacier Bay on cruise ships, there are many other tour options once you get to Gustavus. This road trip gives you a feel for the colorful adventurers, guides and backcountry Alaskans who live in these remote corners of the state. The Alaska Map. This 13-mile-long river of ice descends from the immense Juneau Icefield into a berg-strewn lake only minutes from downtown Juneau. There are scores of carriers in dozens of communities, using both ski-equipped airplanes and helicopters. They will equip you with crampons for a guided walk on the nearby Root Glacier. Col­lege Fjord gash­es into the heart of the Chugach Moun­tains.
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