The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. It’s 12 miles long, located in Glacier Bay National Park and has been confirmed to be one of few glaciers that is still advancing rather than shrinking. Gobs of hanging glaciers can be seen from just about every highway that traverses Alaska’s high mountains. Overwhelmed by choices? ...more, The Kahiltna Glacier is the longest in the Alaska Range — a 45-mile long river of ice! 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. Holgate Arm is often filled with ice, but on a good day you can get to a close and safe distance from the glacier. Please try again. 13-mile glacier in the Kenai Mountains. ...more. The September 9, 1961 photograph shows the lower reaches of Plateau Glacier, then a tidewater calving valley glacier with parts of its terminus being land based on either side of the fiord. The absence of any icebergs indicates that by 1909, the glacier was no longer tidewater. This very popular glacier lies just beyond the end of a flat, well-maintained trail up a narrow, glacier-scoured valley south of the Portage Lake. Now a days Godwin glacier is a valley glacier and behind the low hills you see in the foreground Godwin glacier… 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. ...more, Carroll Glacier, found in Glacier Bay, is a terrestrial glacier. In a land of superlatives, Alaska’s glaciers … The tour then, is nicely dramatic. There’s the groan of tortured ice, the artillery-shot crack as it shatters, the rumble of its collapse—all ending in a colossal splash followed by tsunami-like waves that jostle floating ice and bergs and maybe rock your boat. Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. Glaciers exist on every continent except Australia. Originating in a bowl, or cirque, of the mountain, this undulating tongue of rock fragments moves much like a glacier. It's the most impressive glacier, which is advancing 12 to 14 feet a day and calves frequently. A push moraine is sediment that, in this case, has been bulldozed from the floor of Russell Fiord by the advancing ice. Go to sea on a day cruise or fishing charter, and you’ll discover the coastal mountains of Southcentral and Southeast Alaska are among the best places in the world to experience glacier calving. However, the number of glaciers is a misleading statistic. Byron descends from the same ice field that feeds both Portage Glacier on the lake and Blackstone Glacier in Prince William Sound. Read their respective captions for…. Glaciers are located throughout the Inside Passage, Southcentral Alaska’s coastal waters, and the high mountains of Interior Alaska. This glacier in the eastern part of Prince William Sound has been in a “catastrophic”…. 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. Other well-known glaciers in the Park include Johns Hopkins, Reid, Carroll and Lamplugh glaciers. It now has a four-mile wide towering face that you can walk right up to and touch. The easternmost former tributary lost contact with Stephens Glacier during the later part of the twentieth century. In the right conditions, however, your ship might be able to get within 1/2 mile of the face. 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. Please check your email to verify your subscription. A winter wagon road from Talkeetna… Alaska Glaciers. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. ...more, A popular place for cruises and kayaking. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? 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). The Muldrow Glacier is the park’s longest and it is a great example of the power these behemoth ice masses have on the landscape. On clear days, you can see the alpine ice falls on Mount Blackburn (16,390 feet) at the head of the glacier. 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. One of the most visited natural attractions along the Richardson Highway, this four-mile-long glacier is easy to approach on foot. Talk about a room with a glacier view: This is the only glacier in the state with a hotel…. There are scores of carriers in dozens of communities, using both ski-equipped airplanes and helicopters. The ice is 3700 feet deep, some of it more than a thousand years old. The first photograph by D.F. (It opens to ATV use on certain days.) Record heat in Alaska melts glaciers, hints at bigger problems that … Order a Map. The only access to the face of the glacier is by cruising up the Johns Hopkins Inlet. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. But to experience that humbling sight in person, your best bet is to go to Prince William Sound. Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. 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. Look down College Fjord to Harvard and Yale Glaciers, 20 miles away. Holgate Glacier, found in Holgate Arm in Aialik Bay, within Kenai Fjords National Park, is a tidewater and mountain glacier. 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. It snakes its way 32 miles through the Chugach Mountains before dumping into the Columbia Bay, about 40 miles by boat from Valdez. You’ll have two hours to explore the area before you have to catch the train heading southbound. During the busy climbing season, there can be… Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. Tidewater glacier in Glacier Bay National Park. 1 View on Map. We shall say no more. The Alaska App. Icy Bay lives up to its name with an active tidewater glacier often clogging the fjord with icebergs. One of the most popular natural attractions on the Valdez-to-Fairbanks highway corridor, this active glacier descends almost to the Richardson Highway, and can be easily approached via a short trail system. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. Highlights plus less visited destinations. ...more, These three photographs show the significant changes that Tazlina Glacier has undergone in recent years. Filter Choices. ...more, While not the most spectacular glacier, it nonetheless deserves note because one of the creators of The Alaska App went…. Luckily, we have compiled a list of some of the best glacier tours and have categorized each experience by sea, air, or land. These gleaming valley glaciers perch in the mountains above Portage Valley, easy to view from highway pullouts. GLACIERS OF ALASKA. A state recreation site offers 12 campsites and trails to glacier viewing. It’s also a good spot to learn about glacial movement, since it’s receding quickly; there's even a guide marking its recession over the past 120 years. Read their respective captions for more information. The 1941 photograph by William O. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. If you can’t get enough snow, this spot is for you: Just 28 miles from Valdez, the Worthington Glacier is fed by the snows of the Chugach Mountains around Thompson Pass—and in fact, it's the snowiest place in the state. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. Another mile past the pass, and you can approach the edges or toe of the glacier itself, for a more intimate experience of its texture, colors and gnarled shape. Grand Pacific Glacier (Glacier Bay National Park): Two vast glaciers of deep blue meet at the top of an utterly barren fjord. On many days, it spawns enough ice into the Arm to prevent boats from getting close. There’s also a self-guided audio tour on The Alaska App, narrated by the Park Service’s chief interpretive ranger. The North and South Sawyer Glaciers are tidewater glaciers at the head of Tracy Arm, a … Located at the end of a private road through a resort at Mile 102 of the Glenn Highway—about 50 miles east of Palmer—this craggy, heavily crevassed river of ice is the real thing. Plus, it’s one of the easiest “walk-up” glaciers in the state, with a short paved hike to a viewing platform. The East Glacier Trail, meanwhile, is a 3.5 mile loop with 500 feet of elevation gain, which gives you a good bird’s eye view of the ice. In 1937, Yale Glacier’s terminus was located at about the same position that it occupied when it was visited by… Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. Glaciers cover about 75,000 km. It is the larger of the two glaciers, and if conditions are good you can come within 1⁄2 mile of the face. It was named after the Wisconsin college, as were most of the other glaciers in Blackstone Bay (Lawrence, Marquette, Concordia,… Columbia glacier is located in Prince William Sound. 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. You’ll cross it 35 miles up it, at an elevation of 5500 feet above sea level. Numerous glaciers and ice fields occupy the mountain ranges of Alaska, and the processes of glaciation and deglaciation have influenced much of the state's landscape. ...more, To the east is another Ice Age creature known as a rock glacier. The sheer ice walls, deep blue holes (called moulins) and creaking ice make it an unforgettable experience. Perhaps you’ve heard a glacier referred to as a “river of ice.” It turns out that this definition isn’t too far from reality!Glaciers can be defined in a few ways. While not the most spectacular glacier, it nonetheless deserves note because one of the creators of The Alaska App went to Amherst College. The 2000 photograph documents the continuing advance of Harvard Glacier, which has completely obscured the view of Radcliff Glacier. Worthington Glacier State Recreation Site is made up of 113 acres, and includes one of the most visited spots in the Copper River Basin, Worthington Glacier. This 25 – 50 foot high ridge of rock debris looks like an excavation pit that extends for miles down the center of the glacier. GPX: Glaciers in Alaska. Here are the most popular glaciers and the best ways to see them. Most people book a day-trip on a marine tour. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. This gigantic glacier is the largest in the U.S. that can be reached by vehicle. Part of the tidewater glacier is located in Reid Inlet within Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, while the other side can be found in the Grand Pacific Pass in British Columbia, Canada. View Items on Map. Here you have a glimpse into the edge of the Harding Icefield. Glaciers near Anchorage include a total of 60 within 50 miles of the city. Get The Alaska App (iOS only) Get More Alaska. 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. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. Scientists are more interested in total glacial land coverage as a measure. There is one obvious reason why all the glaciers in Alaska’s parks had not been remapped since the mid-20th century. Take a cruise from Seward to see Pedersen Glacier, and the beautiful habitat surrounding it just under 20 miles away. There are stories of people finding salmon stranded in the forest, washed 20 to 30 feet from the river by these glacier tsunamis. Around a hundred years ago, Blackstone Glacier extended all the way out to here. Dozens of glaciers, calving action and wildlife galore: this National Park and Preserve is popular because it offers a…. Above is an interactive story map with videos, images, maps and narrative that describe changes in Alaska's glaciers. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Alaska Marine Highway Inter Island Ferry BC Ferry Petersburg Mitkof Island Klawock Hollis Hydaburg Hoonah Metlakatla Gustavus Cross Gulf F erry t o: Y ak ut at, Cordova, Whit tier V alde z, Se ward, Homer K odiak & Aleutian Islands Cube Cove Elfin Cove Myers Chuck Port Alexander ©Bell’s Travel Guides . The terminus has a large… It’s also one of the most studied glaciers in the state: a National Science Foundation project is three-dimensionally mapping its flow. Just under 90 miles from Juneau, Muir Glacier was a popular stop for many tourists in the late 19th century, and still is today. This tidewater glacier may be a bit of sleeping giant. Decades after it exposed its own deep lake, the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center was built specifically to showcase a stunning head-on view of its rugged, collapsing face. Being able to walk up to any glacier is a stunning experience, and this big boy is the biggest, and perhaps most impressive roadside glacier, in part because you can easily touch it. This is also a good vantage point to look back up Barry and Coxe Glacier. If the boat can get close to the glacier, you’ll be within one mile of its face, and you’ll get a 270-degree view of glacier ice that’s 200 to 400 feet tall. Just as impressive as the glaciers, however, is the land exposed by the ice’s recession. Visit a dramatic, fast-moving glacier. The easy lower trail leads to overlooks of crevasses. To the east is another Ice Age creature known as a rock glacier. Watch for climbing camps…These may be the world’s most impressive granite monoliths. Around a hundred years ago, Blackstone Glacier extended all the way out to here. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. Carroll Glacier, found in Glacier Bay, is a terrestrial glacier. 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. Make sure to stop at milepost 28.7 on the Richardson Highway to view this favorite glacier, or take a short walk to the glacier and see it up close! With a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon, and glacial ice 3,800 feet deep, it’s hard to find a…. Most day cruises take between four and five hours, but there are two distinct types of cruises, and they offer different experiences: You’ll see more glaciers on the high-speed catamarans—such as the Surprise Glacier in Harriman Fjord, which some people think is the best calving glacier in the sound. During its peak winter, 1951-52, the area got more than 80 feet of snow. Receding rapidly, its face is now covered with rocky moraine. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. 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. This glacier dominates all views west of the historic mill town site of Kennecott (basically located “across the street” from the Kennicott Glacier Lodge) in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. There are also guided hikes on the glacier, if you want to strap on crampons and walk on the ice. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? (USGS Photograph by Bruce F. Molnia). There is a short ranger-led walk daily at 11am and 3pm, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. If you’re looking for more of an adventure, take the Harding Icefield Trail, which climbs 3,500 feet in 4 miles, and gives great views of the glacier. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. Southcentral Alaska Glaciers The Matanuska (Mat-Su) Glacier. 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. On a sunny day, the photography is outstanding, in a locale that’s as wild and exotic as it gets. If you opt for a glacier landing, this is where you’ll likely land. You can stay here for $100 a night. 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. Many people camp on the outer beach near Bear Glacier, and enjoy the glacier views in the background. The very doable 8-mile Gold Mint Trail in the Hatcher Pass area north of Palmer parallels the Little Susitna River up a gorgeous valley to its headwaters and a ridge overlooking Mint Glacier. 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. If you travel for the photo ops, the twin Sawyer Glaciers will keep you very busy: touring them gives…. What might appear as a static (but enormous) landform from the ground or the deck of a boat suddenly seems to come alive in real time, like you’re rocketing down an undulating river as it twists through canyons and plunges over falls. Naturalist and author John Muir first made his way to Alaska in 1879, where he went to explore Glacier Bay. Traveling south from Anchorage, the train makes a brief stop in Girdwood, … 1. Seeing icy glaciers is a quintessential Alaskan experience. Flightseeing transforms glacier viewing into something like the grandest amusement park ride you’ve ever imagined. Guides offer activities such as sea kayaking and rafting, hiking and climbing. ...more, This is your virtual classroom in glaciation. You’ve likely seen those iconic glacier images, with hunks of ice crashing into the ocean. That’s two glaciers in one day! Mendenhall Glacier. Flying down the medial moraine of the Ruth Glacier is mesmerizing. This includes all the glaciers … Tangle Pond and Tangle Creek are favorite fishing spots for locals, and there are lots of places to camp in Portage Valley itself. There’s no other place where a glacier is such a constant presence—that tongue of ice creating a backdrop for your whole stay. One qualifier: Access to the glacier is on private land, so there’s a $30 fee. Which one is right for you? See other great roadside glaciers. Although it receded throughout much of the twentieth century,…. This glacier in the eastern part of Prince William Sound has been in a “catastrophic” retreat since 1982, a phenomenon predicted to stop by 2020. It has a wood stove and bunks 6. Back in the 1700s, Grand Pacific Glacier filled the entire bay, and reached all they way to the Icy Strait. Matanuska Glacier, one of Alaska's most accessible glaciers, is a stable 27-mile long river of ice flowing from the Chugach Mountains north almost to the Glenn Highway. The Juneau Icefield is a massive accumulation of ice and snow stretching from upper Taku Inlet north to Skagway. The spectacular Kennicott Glacier dominates the vista from the historic copper mill town of Kennecott and the decks of the Kennicott Glacier Lodge, 4.5 miles from the end of the McCarthy Road inside Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Cascade is in rapid retreat. The two included photographs were taken on the northeast side of Wachusett Inlet, Saint Elias Mountains, Alaska. Want some dramatic scenery? Although Kennicott Glacier has been receding from its terminus for years, its immensity and ruggedness remains a magnificent sight, filling the four-mile-wide valley like a mighty river. The only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road, Mendenhall’s grand edifice plunges from the immense Juneau Icefield, dropping…. 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. ...more. Just 15 miles…. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. A base camp manager coordinates communications between climbers and air taxis. You can see… Fig 3. Some of these might look overwhelming at first glance. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. One quarter of Alaska’s glaciers - more than 4.5 million acres - can be found within Alaska’s national parks. You’ll stare in disbelief at… This road trip gives you a feel for the colorful adventurers, guides and backcountry Alaskans who live in these remote corners of the state. Just 15 miles from Seward—where many cruises embark and disembark—Exit Glacier is one of the most popular road-accessible glaciers in the state. A visitor center operated by the U.S. Forest Service is open year-round with spectacular views and interactive exhibits, plus you’ll find great hiking to waterfalls and overlooks for photography. For now, the glacier isn’t surging, but you could say that it’s a pretty light sleeper— it does calve a lot. After seasonal snow recedes during spring and summer, scores of glaciers become readily visible on slopes overlooking highways that traverse Alaska’s coastal mountains and the Alaska Range. There are some glaciers you can drive to, but very few that you can stroll to. 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. You can, however, do some good exploring. This 13-mile-long river of ice descends from the immense Juneau Icefield into a berg-strewn lake only minutes from downtown Juneau. Both photographs are taken towards the north and show the retreating, calving, tidewater terminus of Yale Glacier, located at the head of Yale Arm, College Fiord, Prince William Sound, Alaska. Or, totally immerse yourself in the sound on a multi-day small ship cruise or private yacht charter. Once you enter the canyon, you will see the rugged, boulder-choked terminus with fluted ice above. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. Active glaciers still calve and crash into the sea as visitors watch from tour boats here. This stranded mountain glacier sprawls from its hanging valley below Crow Pass—a white, striated mass with blue-etched crevasses. ...more. Just a 2.5-hour drive from Anchorage, the Matanuska Glacier sits off the scenic but less-traveled Glenn Highway. Can be seen from a day cruise, or Inside Passage Alaska cruise, Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. Self-drive vacations. You can stop along the shore, pitch a tent and enjoy the solitude…. 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. Two of the glaciers shown in this image, the Kahiltna Glacier and the Ruth Glacier, originate on Mount McKinley (not shown), the tallest mountain in North America. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. Located 12 miles outside of Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier gets more than 400,000 visitors each year. It is the easiest glacier to visit in Southeast Alaska, and one of the most popular glaciers in the state. BRUCE F. MOLNIA. 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. This somewhat strenuous day-trip over a gravel ATV route takes you deep into the backcountry in just a few hours, with great photography and a chance to see the ravages of climate The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. ...more, Visit this Tidewater Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, This glacier, named after Northwestern University in 1909, can be found at the head of Northwestern Fjord in Kenai Fjords National Park, just under 30 miles southwest of Seward. But there’s plenty to do in this old mining town, including glacier day hikes, whitewater rafting and flightseeing over the ice-studded Wrangell St. Elias Mountains. This display of immense natural violence fills the senses. When the ice rolls, it reveals deep, dark blue ice that’s saturated by fresh water. One of the most spectacular and otherworldly modes to view glaciers is from the air. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. 7-10 days is the most common. Unfortunately, a washed-out bridge on the road to the glacier currently complicates access. It’s a family-friendly recreation destination featuring camping, hiking, glacier exploration, nature walks, paddling and sightseeing. One of the most visited natural attractions along the Richardson Highway, this four-mile-long glacier descends almost to pavement and is easy to approach on foot. A few hundred feet above the boat, you’ll see Northland Glacier perched atop sheer rock. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. Glacier Monitoring Story Map. One of the most beautiful glaciers in Alaska accessible by car. Generally, by the time you can see green vegetation in the chutes and bowls near ridge tops, most of the white, icy masses on looming slopes will be bona-fide hanging glaciers rather than just late-melting snow. Off the coast of Yakutat — 200 miles NW of Juneau — Hubbard…. Be sure to catch Muir on your cruise through Glacier Bay! Bear Glacier, found in Kenai Fjords National Park, is a tidewater glacier and a popular spot for kayakers, but you can easily see it on a cruise from Seward. Located in the Hatcher Pass area of the Talkeetna Mountains northwest of Palmer, the Mint Glacier area is a popular day-hike, summer backpacking and ski mountaineering destination. One of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, it can be reached by hiking a few miles up a relatively easy trail. That means that just getting close to this glacier can be tricky. Many terrestrial glaciers can be approached up close by people who can handle short hikes. And it can be touched! In the photo you can see the retreating terminus of Stephens Glacier with several of its retreating unnamed valley glacier tributaries. 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. Formed during the ice age some 20,000 years ago, the Harding Icefield is 30 miles wide by 50 miles long and in places presumed to be 3000 – 5000 feet thick. “It’s pretty good.”. If you travel for the photo ops, the twin Sawyer Glaciers will keep you very busy: touring them gives you an up-close, vivid look at the ice. You can also book excursions for kayaking, fishing, flightseeing, and more. Explore the glacier, visit the museum, and go for a boat ride. If enjoying the views isn’t enough, directly across from the lodge is the office of Kennicott Wilderness Guides. Grand Pacific Glacier can actually be found in two countries. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? Because of the steady snows, Worthington Glacier is not retreating as quickly as most. Popular destinations with a good chance of witnessing calving include Beliot and Blackstone glaciers at the head of Blackstone Bay and the very active Surprise Glacier in Harriman Fiord. There are at least 38 rivers of ice or glaciers that flow out of the Harding Icefield. Those are the climbers and tents of Denali (Mt. Beloit Glacier fluctuates betwen 125 and 250 feet high at water’s edge depending on recent calving activity. Please check your email to verify your subscription. 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. But the bonus with the latter trail is that you’ll get to within 100 feet of the glacier’s terminus. McKinley (which is just 6 miles away). Agassiz Glacier is a valley glacier in the Saint Elias Mountains in southern 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. Look for tents or rafts next to the river. This very active glacier now hidden inside a lobe of Portage Lake has undergone what may be the most closely watched retreat of any glacier in Alaska. And while this mind-blogging spot near Mt. Though the glacier finally slipped from easy view in the 1990s and became largely a tour boat destination in summer, Portage continues to generate icebergs that ground within sight of lakeshore parking. In a few views, some of this sediment can be seen in contact with the bedrock on the wall of the fjord. With a five-mile-wide face and daily calving, it’s an impressive sight: 400-foot ice walls rise out of a lake filled with icebergs that are floating, turning, and breaking apart. Higgins, is an August 6, 1909 view of the then retreating northern part of the terminus. Nearby, too, is the famous Million Dollar Bridge. Indeed, there is some comfort in the fact that you can’t get any closer. The only challenge: McCarthy-Kennicott is pretty remote—an 8-hour drive from Anchorage or a 2-hour flight. Look for three alpine glaciers back in Thumb Cove. One of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, it can be reached by hiking a few miles up a relatively…. You can hike right up to Seward’s Exit Glacier and feel the dense blue ice while listening to it crackle. Notice the lovely cabin on the edge of Thumb Cove. The slower cruising boats, on the other hand, spend more time at the glaciers they visit, and those trips often include Blackstone Bay, where you can listen to the creaking and cracking ice while eating prime rib and king crab. It’s not as active as either Cascade or…. Gorgeous Portage Glacier lies just 48 miles south of Anchorage. You can find a great overlook that shows off most of the glacier near the 3,880-foot Crow Pass, about three miles from the Crow Pass trailhead in Girdwood. How to See Glaciers in Alaska (2:29). They calculate that Alaska's glaciers and frozen rivers are melting fast enough to cover the whole state with 30 centimeters of water (nearly a … Today, the rock is not only exposed, but the glacier has pulled back away from it another several hundred feet. Shuttles regularly operate between McCarthy and Kennecott. It’s fed by the same ocean-driven weather that creates the vast glacial crown surrounding Prince William Sound. Billings Glacier is named for British Commodore Joseph Billings who commanded a Russian exploring and surveying expedition in 1791 and ’92. ...more, Tebenkof Glacier is named for Mikhail Demitrievich Tebenkof. You’ll see sculpted rock, eroded hillsides and scraped granite. Walk the lower trail to get a good photo in front of the glacier face. Glacial flour? 2-5 day small ship explorations. It was dubbed the Galloping Glacier and has been receding ever since. Aialik Glacier is the largest glacier in Aialik Bay, located in Kenai Fjords National Park. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. Calving diminishes the…, Beloit Glacier fluctuates betwen 125 and 250 feet high at water’s edge depending on recent calving activity. If getting close isn’t enough, you can also join a guiding company for a glacier hike, ice climbing class or rafting trip (with the option of either scenic or whitewater routes). Indeed, every day, 13 million tons of ice break off the face of it, leaving chunks in the water that are often twice as big as the boat you’re riding. You’ll get good photos from any trail, but none of them will lead you up to the glacier ice, due to the lake and cliffs. 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!). 2. of Alaska, about 5 percent of the State. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map, Most people book a day-trip on a marine tour, How tidewater glaciers behave (technical), Worthington Glacier State Recreation Site, Johns Hopkins Glacier: One of Few Advancing Glacier. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. ...more, This popular glacier lies just beyond the end of a flat, well-maintained trail south of the Portage Lake. Though most people visit Glacier Bay on cruise ships, there are many other tour options once you get to Gustavus. You can stop along the shore, pitch a tent and enjoy the solitude and scenic views for a day or two. There was a problem with your submission. Sea stacks, islets, and tagged shoreline… In the 1980s, the lagoon was designated as the Pedersen Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary, a 1,700-acre sanctuary meant to preserve and protect the area’s wildlife and land. twitter email print. Barry Glacier from Mapcarta, the free map. The face is up to 400 feet tall, and icebergs 3 to 4 stories in height aren’t uncommon. 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. There’s even a viewing platform, since big calvings send waves across the river that scour the beach. The narrow gorge has the raw, wild feel of a defile far from civilization. You will see several private cabins.… Please try again. How to See Alaska's Fjords and Glaciers | Best Fjords in Alaska | … In the photo you can see the retreating…. The glacier is very accessible on a kayak tour or day cruise from Seward. Catch a cruise from Seward, or go kayaking! One easy way to think about a glacier is simply … Looking beyond the peninsula you can see snowcapped mountains. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. More than four miles wide at its terminus, Matanuska is so massive that the water flowing out of its snout forms the roaring Matanuska River. There are several decent campsites with head-on views of the glacier. The land of the Resurrection Peninsula is divided between state park, national forest and private in-holdings. Want some dramatic scenery? Look for lateral moraines on the sides of the glacier and the terminal moraine at the toe of the glacier… You’ll know the terminus of the Ruth when you see it: the contortions of earth and ice resemble… Talk about a room with a glacier view: This is the only glacier in the state with a hotel across the street. ...more, Billings Glacier is named for British Commodore Joseph Billings who commanded a Russian exploring and surveying expedition in 1791 and…. Look down College Fjord to Harvard and Yale Glaciers, 20 miles away. 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. Child’s Glacier is not currently accessible by road. There’s a Forest Service Visitor Center overlooking the lake and glacier, which has a large aerial map of the icefield, an informational video and spotting scopes ($3). The main street in Kennicott turns into a well-maintained, 4‑mile-long hiking trail just outside of town. How snowy can it get here? If you’re wanting a more adventurous visit, go sea kayaking in Glacier Bay and make Lamplugh Glacier a stop on your route. Baltimore Glacier has continued to retreat and thin. There are a lot of them. Granted, most of that ice is below water, but the ice can be so thick that cruise ships can’t get too close. The dividing line between Cascade and Barry Glacier is sometimes hard to distinguish, because they converge into each other. Once dubbed the Auk Glacier by John Muir (after a member of the Tlingit tribe), This glacier forms a wall along the Copper River near a historic railroad route that once serviced the world’s largest…, This very active glacier forms a wall along the fabled Copper River near a historic railroad route that once serviced the world’s largest copper mine. The Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier has 5,000-foot sheer granite walls rising up on either side of the ice, making them some of the highest granite walls on earth. Highlights plus less visited destinations. 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. If you travel for the photo ops, the twin Sawyer Glaciers will keep you very busy: touring them gives you an up-close, vivid look at the ice. Explore the glacier, visit the museum, and go for…. Calving events sometimes throw 10-foot waves that strand flopping salmon on the forest floor. This is the most active tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound and the best place to see glaciers calving. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. Located in Hatcher Pass, the Mint Glacier area is a popular day-hike, summer backpacking and ski mountaineering destination. Both of these photographs were taken from the same location in Nuka Passage, about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) south of…, Both of these photographs were taken from the same location in Nuka Passage, about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) south of the position of the 1909 terminus of the glacier. Photograph taken by Bruce F. Molnia, USGS. Most have no names. Motorcoach tours visit the glacier, which has a large parking area, covered viewing shelter and interpretive signs. The most active tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound. ...more, Cross the Tokositna River which marks the southeast corner of Denali National Park. Gobs of hanging glaciers can be seen from just about every highway that traverses Alaska’s high mountains. This glacier calves a lot. To get a preview of this dramatic glacier, check out this aerial video, filmed by Alaska.org’s Bob Kaufman from his airplane. Expert Advice; The Copper River flows into and past the Childs, undercutting the face and causing continuous calving—and we mean continuous: during the summer, it happens about every 15 minutes. Set between Anchorage and Denali, Spencer bends the road-accessible glacier definition just a little: the only way to see it is by rail. Abstract. Car, train, or group tour. 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. 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. You will be rewarded throughout the… For those able to handle a four-mile round-trip hike with a couple of moderately steep sections, an obvious trail from the historic Kennecott town site leads north to the Root Glacier. Barry Glacier actually flows behind College Fjord and parallel to it for a dozen miles before plunging into the head of Barry Arm. It’s a great starting point, whether you have only a few hours or are planning a multi-day glacier and mountain adventure. An intermediate age photograph shows the glacier on September 4, 2000. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. There are trails, picnic sites, and picnic shelters within the roadside park, along with water and restrooms. You may also see whales, bears, and mountain goats. There’s nothing else like the moment a giant hunk of ice calves from the face of a glacier and then crashes into the sea. The large rock behind the kayaker in this photo was under ice only five years ago. One of them is The Trail of Time, a ½-mile paved interpretive walk, with signs marking the glacier’s recession. Maps - Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve (U.S. National Park … Harvard Glacier has advanced more than 1.25 kilometers (0.78 miles) since 1909. ...more. Many air charters take off from Merrill Field and Lake Hood airstrips right inside Anchorage. When photographed, Yalik Glacier had a gently sloping terminus with… Like its name implies, Cascade twists steeply down a mountainside into the west side of Barry Arm. There are some glaciers you can drive to, but very few that you can stroll to. Only a short hike on a flat trail south of Portage Lake near the head of Turnagain Arm, Byron dominates its own gorge-like valley, offering a rugged, remote atmosphere that feels as though you’ve traveled deep into the backcountry. If you look just below the 4 mountain peaks to the left side of the valley you can see the ice of Godwin glacier. Enjoy them as you travel! For sheer rugged wilderness character in an ecosystem that’s fast exiting the ice age, there’s nothing else like it. While fairly stable, the glacier calves most actively in May and June. Spencer Lake is filled with blue icebergs—which, in fresh water, are called growlers. 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. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? 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 … Tebenkof Glacier is named for Mikhail Demitrievich Tebenkof. There was a problem with your submission. The Knik Glacier snakes out of the Chugach Mountains, tumbling into an iceberg-studded lake that feeds the Knik River. It’s an exciting spectacle. McKinley’s) flank.… The Park is also filled with wildlife, with bears foraging the tide line, mountain goats grazing near sea level and seals, sea lions and whales bustling about in the water. But to experience that…. Take a catamaran tour for a close-up look at the bay’s massive, tidewater glaciers, a much more intimate experience than the typical visitor gets from the deck of a multi-story cruise ship. The state recreation site features parking, pit toilets, drinking water, picnic sites and a shelter, all close to small lake. 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. 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. Many tour companies and small-boat operators offer daily excursions into Western Prince William Sound from this port town on the road system about 60 miles from Anchorage. ...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. Also, a steady waterfall drains down; to the side, you’ll see a kittiwake rookery. If you opt for the longer trail, you’ll just have to hustle to get back in time. Guides and marine tour operators offer trips to the Valdez Glacier near town, the Shoup Glacier further out Valdez Arm, and to the immense Columbia Glacier—now undergoing drastic retreat and exposing a new spectacular fiord. For convenience, all glaciers of Alaska should be included in this category. Keep an eye out for summertime ice-climbers at this most impressive roadside glacier. From this vantage point, you can see the three types of Alaska…. ...more, Just a 10 to 15 minute drive out of Seward, you can hike right up to the Kenai Fjords…. Which one is right for you? Go to sea on a day cruise or fishing charter, and you’ll discover the coastal mountains of Southcentral and Southeast Alaska are among the best places in the world to experience glacier calving. ...more, A family-friendly recreation destination featuring camping, hiking, glacier exploration, nature walks, paddling and sightseeing. Because this glacier extends deep underwater, the ice is compressed, making for very big and very blue icebergs. Twin Sawyer Glaciers in Tracy Arm. Originating in a bowl, or cirque, of…. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. You see rock ridges deposited everywhere…. View on Map. McKinley is famous among mountaineers, you don’t have to be one of them to make your way there. Directions: Head north from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. He governed Alaska from 1845 through 1850 and was the first cartographer…. You have to fly or ferry to Cordova, a small fishing town, and from there you drive an hour along a road that was once the route of the Copper River Railway. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Re-Photography Reveals Extent of Retreat, The last two aerial photographs in this group of five document changes that occurred during the 69 years between June 1937 and July 28, 2006. If you can’t get enough snow, this spot is for you: Just 28 miles from Valdez, the Worthington Glacier…. This icefield is the main feature of the Kenai Fjords National Park. Beware of tight ice conditions changing with the tide and strong cold katabatic winds off of the Sargent Icefeild. Pedersen Glacier, located in Kenai Fjords National Park, receded throughout the 20th century exposing Pedersen Spit and Pedersen Lagoon. The historic Million Dollar Bridge—damaged in the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964—is nearby. Just a 2.5‑hour drive from Anchorage, a glacier you can walk right up to, Some 15,000 years ago, this glacier reached another 50 miles west to the Palmer area. McKinley) basecamp! The only issue here is access. You’ve likely seen those iconic glacier images, with hunks of ice crashing into the ocean.