Based on the most recent comprehensive survey in 2011, there were about 27,000 glaciers in Alaska. Note the fresh moraine deposits on the valley floor. Seeing icy glaciers is a quintessential Alaskan experience. The North and South Sawyer Glaciers are tidewater glaciers at the head of Tracy Arm, a … You’ll stare in disbelief at… Gorgeous Portage Glacier lies just 48 miles south of Anchorage. The most active tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound. Child’s Glacier is not currently accessible by road. Or, you can hike to the glacier. ...more, These three photographs show the significant changes that Tazlina Glacier has undergone in recent years. Barry Glacier actually flows behind College Fjord and parallel to it for a dozen miles before plunging into the head of Barry Arm. You’ve likely seen those iconic glacier images, with hunks of ice crashing into the ocean. ...more, This popular glacier lies just beyond the end of a flat, well-maintained trail south of the Portage Lake. In a few views, some of this sediment can be seen in contact with the bedrock on the wall of the fjord. Glacier Bay has more than 50 named glaciers, as well as two major arms: East Arm and West Arm. And it can be touched! A winter wagon road from Talkeetna… Pedersen Glacier, located in Kenai Fjords National Park, receded throughout the 20th century exposing Pedersen Spit and Pedersen Lagoon. 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. 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. ...more, While not the most spectacular glacier, it nonetheless deserves note because one of the creators of The Alaska App went…. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. With a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon, and glacial ice 3,800 feet deep, it’s hard to find a…. Harriman named the glaciers along the left of the fjord after East Coast Ivy League women’s colleges and those on the right after men’s colleges. Cascade is in rapid retreat. But, unlike a glacier, a rock glacier is composed mostly of rocks and has only a core of ice. Here are the most popular glaciers and the best ways to see them. 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. Expert Advice; Spencer Lake is filled with blue icebergs—which, in fresh water, are called growlers. Originating in a bowl, or cirque, of the mountain, this undulating tongue of rock fragments moves much like a glacier. Alaska Glaciers. 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. Granted, most of that ice is below water, but the ice can be so thick that cruise ships can’t get too close. With a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon, and glacial ice 3,800 feet deep, it’s hard to find a more impressive alpine glacier environment than this in Alaska. 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. Here you have a glimpse into the edge of the Harding Icefield. The narrow gorge has the raw, wild feel of a defile far from civilization. Alaska may be the best place in the world to witness this spectacular phenomena. There are stories of people finding salmon stranded in the forest, washed 20 to 30 feet from the river by these glacier tsunamis. On clear days, you can see the alpine ice falls on Mount Blackburn (16,390 feet) at the head of the glacier. 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. One of them is The Trail of Time, a ½-mile paved interpretive walk, with signs marking the glacier’s recession. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. Look for three alpine glaciers back in Thumb Cove. Scientists are more interested in total glacial land coverage as a measure. 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. Filter Choices. View Items on Map. 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. If you’re wanting a more adventurous visit, go sea kayaking in Glacier Bay and make Lamplugh Glacier a stop on your route. 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… 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. Stephens Glacier is one of many Alaskan glaciers that is rapidly shrinking. This icefield is the main feature of the Kenai Fjords National Park. Many people camp on the outer beach near Bear Glacier, and enjoy the glacier views in the background. Gobs of hanging glaciers can be seen from just about every highway that traverses Alaska’s high mountains. 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. Take a cruise from Seward and envision the entirety of of Northwestern Fjord filled with ice, as you make your way ...more, Cross the Tokositna River which marks the southeast corner of Denali National Park. 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. 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. One easy way to think about a glacier is simply … Those are the climbers and tents of Denali (Mt. ...more, Stephens Glacier is one of many Alaskan glaciers that is rapidly shrinking. 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. This stranded mountain glacier sprawls from its hanging valley below Crow Pass—a white, striated mass with blue-etched crevasses. ...more, A family-friendly recreation destination featuring camping, hiking, glacier exploration, nature walks, paddling and sightseeing. By Water Glacier & Wildlife Cruises, Sea Kayaking, Rafting, Canoeing, and Jet Skiing Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. You enter the Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier — the world’s deepest. 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. Receding rapidly, its face is now covered with rocky moraine. There’s even a viewing platform, since big calvings send waves across the river that scour the beach. You’ll step out of the plane and onto an ice sheet nearly a mile thick. 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. The Juneau Icefield is a massive accumulation of ice and snow stretching from upper Taku Inlet north to Skagway. You can hike right up to Seward’s Exit Glacier and feel the dense blue ice while listening to it crackle. GLACIERS OF ALASKA. Fig 3. Once you enter the canyon, you will see the rugged, boulder-choked terminus with fluted ice above. College Fjord gashes into the heart of the…. We shall say no more. Self-drive vacations. While fairly stable, the glacier calves most actively in May and June. Back in the 1700s, Grand Pacific Glacier filled the entire bay, and reached all they way to the Icy Strait. Other well-known glaciers in the Park include Johns Hopkins, Reid, Carroll and Lamplugh glaciers. 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! The large rock behind the kayaker in this photo was under ice only five years ago. 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. 20 miles west of Valdez, this short glacier features a very steep dropoff from ice to ocean! From May to late August, you may see loons, mergansers, golden eyes, and arctic terns flying through here on their migration routes. 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! Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. One qualifier: Access to the glacier is on private land, so there’s a $30 fee. Active glaciers still calve and crash into the sea as visitors watch from tour boats here. The reason? Both glaciers feed the valley’s stream-and-pond system, creating habitat for migrating salmon, Dolly Varden and rainbow trout. 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. Which one is right for you? 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. Largest glacier in Aialik Bay. 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. You’ll often see seals hauled out on the ice chunks, here; if you’re in front of the Margerie Glacier, you’ll also be within sight of the Grand Pacific Glacier. The Knik Glacier snakes out of the Chugach Mountains, tumbling into an iceberg-studded lake that feeds the Knik River. Also, a steady waterfall drains down; to the side, you’ll see a kittiwake rookery. Those surges were big enough to cross the bay, turning the fjord into a lake and threatening to flood the coastal town of Yakutat. Look for tents or rafts next to the river. 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. Here’s where to find Alaska’s glaciers – the slow-moving rivers of ice that make for some of the most beautiful natural attractions, The 13 most accessible and spectacular glaciers out of over 30,000, 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. The sheer ice walls, deep blue holes (called moulins) and creaking ice make it an unforgettable experience. The 2000 photograph documents the continuing advance of Harvard Glacier, which has completely obscured the view of Radcliff Glacier. You’ll feel like you can reach and out touch the… Wikimedia Commons has media related to Glaciers of Alaska. Nine national park units in Alaska contain glaciers. Beware of tight ice conditions changing with the tide and strong cold katabatic winds off of the Sargent Icefeild. The face is up to 400 feet tall, and icebergs 3 to 4 stories in height aren’t uncommon. There was a problem with your submission. See other best glaciers from a cruise. The glaciers provide an outlet for snow and ice that build in the Alaska Mountains. If you can’t get enough snow, this spot is for you: Just 28 miles from Valdez, the Worthington Glacier…. At the very least, it’s a great excuse to drive the Glenn Highway. Guides offer activities such as sea kayaking and rafting, hiking and climbing. Highlights plus less visited destinations. 2-5 day small ship explorations. Tidewater glacier in Glacier Bay National Park. Traveling south from Anchorage, the train makes a brief stop in Girdwood, … It all depends on the tide, winds, and calving activity. For now, the glacier isn’t surging, but you could say that it’s a pretty light sleeper— it does calve a lot. 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. It’s also one of the most studied glaciers in the state: a National Science Foundation project is three-dimensionally mapping its flow. 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. And while this mind-blogging spot near Mt. 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. This tidewater glacier may be a bit of sleeping giant. Photograph taken by Bruce F. Molnia, USGS. A state recreation site offers 12 campsites and trails to glacier viewing. He governed Alaska from 1845 through 1850 and was the first cartographer…. 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. The well-developed trails here have good footing and interpretive signs, explaining the return of plant life after the ice. 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. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. During the busy climbing season, there can be… Set between Anchorage and Denali, Spencer bends the road-accessible glacier definition just a little: the only way to see it is by rail. Flightseeing transforms glacier viewing into something like the grandest amusement park ride you’ve ever imagined. Alder has become established on the hill slopes, but is difficult to see from the photo location. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. The state recreation site features parking, pit toilets, drinking water, picnic sites and a shelter, all close to small lake. 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. ...more, Billings Glacier is named for British Commodore Joseph Billings who commanded a Russian exploring and surveying expedition in 1791 and…. You see rock ridges deposited everywhere…. This 25 – 50 foot high ridge of rock debris looks like an excavation pit that extends for miles down the center of the glacier. The U.S. Forest Service maintains a campground (reservations required.) 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. 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. Only 90 minutes from Anchorage by car or train, Prince William Sound has more tidewater glaciers than anywhere on earth, and it’s one of the easiest places to take a glacier cruise. The ice is 3700 feet deep, some of it more than a thousand years old. Southcentral Alaska Glaciers The Matanuska (Mat-Su) Glacier. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. These gleaming valley glaciers perch in the mountains above Portage Valley, easy to view from highway pullouts. The surrounding walls soar 4000 – 5000 feet above. The only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road, Mendenhall’s grand edifice plunges from the immense Juneau Icefield, dropping…. Explore the glacier, visit the museum, and go for…. Although it receded throughout much of the twentieth century,…. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. The easy lower trail leads to overlooks of crevasses. The 1905 photograph shows that Toboggan Glacier was thinning and retreating and was surrounded by a large bedrock barren… 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). Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. You’ll never run out of glacial viewing options. ...more, Carroll Glacier, found in Glacier Bay, is a terrestrial glacier. 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. 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. Unfortunately, a washed-out bridge on the road to the glacier currently complicates access. By the second half of the 20th century, Northwestern Glacier’s recession revealed a number of islands in the Fjord that had previously been covered in ice. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. 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. However, the number of glaciers is a misleading statistic. Just as impressive as the glaciers, however, is the land exposed by the ice’s recession. Tidewater glaciers originate high in the mountains and cover dozens of miles before plunging into the sea. 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. Glacial flour? 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 . There are at least 38 rivers of ice or glaciers that flow out of the Harding Icefield. You can stop along the shore, pitch a tent and enjoy the solitude…. You can also book excursions for kayaking, fishing, flightseeing, and more. 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. You can see… Most people book a day-trip on a marine tour. 13-mile glacier in the Kenai Mountains. This glacier in the eastern part of Prince William Sound has been in a “catastrophic”…. This display of immense natural violence fills the senses. Known for the terminal of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and colossal winter snowfall that can literally bury housing, this friendly port town at the end of the Richardson Highway is one of Southcentral Alaska’s best launch spots for glacier touring. Holgate Glacier, found in Holgate Arm in Aialik Bay, within Kenai Fjords National Park, is a tidewater and mountain glacier. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. Baltimore Glacier has continued to retreat and thin. Aialik Glacier is the largest glacier in Aialik Bay, located in Kenai Fjords National Park. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? 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. You can stop along the shore, pitch a tent and enjoy the solitude and scenic views for a day or two. McKinley is famous among mountaineers, you don’t have to be one of them to make your way there. This glacier used to wreak havoc on the Mat-Su Valley, advancing every winter and damming up a lake that would flood each summer. 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. Alaska’s glaciers extend geographically This short day hike — with an easily accessible trailhead a few hundred meters from the Begich Boggs Visitor Center — offers you big views of the Byron Glacier. Because this glacier extends deep underwater, the ice is compressed, making for very big and very blue icebergs. Non-motorized boats like kayaks are permitted along the north shore of Portage Lake to the beach at the base of Portage Pass, with a great view of the ice. 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). This 12-mile glacier is part of Tongass National Forest and its visitors’ center is just a half mile from the glacier’s face. Keep an eye out for summertime ice-climbers at this most impressive roadside glacier. You will see several private cabins.… From the left the three are Prospect, Spoon and Porcupine glaciers. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? Signage identifies the glacier’s terminal locations during its retreat over the decades, making the access trail a real-time index into the dynamics of climate warming. Bigger, Higher, Stronger. The main street in Kennicott turns into a well-maintained, 4‑mile-long hiking trail just outside of town. The famous surveyor Mendenhall named this glacier for a miner who was carrying mail from Cook Inlet to Whittier in 1896, disappeared in a snowstorm, and was never seen again. Alaska glaciers are incredible to see, and incredibly easy to reach. The easternmost former tributary lost contact with Stephens Glacier during the later part of the twentieth century. Salmon Glacier (Hyder) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You … Calving diminishes the face but it builds back up again quickly as the glacier descends to sea. Juneau Glaciers Directory. Spencer Glacier About 10 miles south of Turnagain Arm on the Alaska Railroad 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. This 13-mile-long river of ice descends from the immense Juneau Icefield into a berg-strewn lake only minutes from downtown Juneau. But to experience that humbling sight in person, your best bet is to go to Prince William Sound. 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!). The scale of the Amphitheatre is hard to fathom. College Fjord gashes into the heart of the Chugach Mountains. The absence of any icebergs indicates that by 1909, the glacier was no longer tidewater. There is one obvious reason why all the glaciers in Alaska’s parks had not been remapped since the mid-20th century. The September 9,…, The two included photographs were taken on the northeast side of Wachusett Inlet, Saint Elias Mountains, Alaska. How to See Alaska's Fjords and Glaciers | Best Fjords in Alaska | … Surprise also seems to create its own weather; it can be clear around here even when it’s cloudy everywhere else in the area. How to See Glaciers in Alaska (2:29). 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. 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. Explore the glacier, visit the museum, and go for a boat ride. For sheer rugged wilderness character in an ecosystem that’s fast exiting the ice age, there’s nothing else like it. An intermediate age photograph shows the glacier on September 4, 2000. Hike on Spencer Glacier with Ascending Path as your Guide. The dividing line between Cascade and Barry Glacier is sometimes hard to distinguish, because they converge into each other. ...more. Though most people visit Glacier Bay on cruise ships, there are many other tour options once you get to Gustavus. Out the left window, you can look south to the Peters & Dutch Hills, an active gold-mining area since the early 1900s. And it is actually advancing! This road trip gives you a feel for the colorful adventurers, guides and backcountry Alaskans who live in these remote corners of the state. But if you’re traveling on your own, you can rent a car for the quick drive from Valdez, or join a guiding company for a glacier trek or ice climbing trips. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. (It opens to ATV use on certain days.) The Alaska Map. Car, train, or group tour. ...more, This short day hike — with an easily accessible trailhead a few hundred meters from the Begich Boggs Visitor Center — offers you big…. 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. Car, train, or group tour. GPX: Glaciers in Alaska. Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. 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. 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. There are some glaciers you can drive to, but very few that you can stroll to. During its peak winter, 1951-52, the area got more than 80 feet of snow. One quarter of Alaska’s glaciers - more than 4.5 million acres - can be found within Alaska’s national parks. Record heat in Alaska melts glaciers, hints at bigger problems that … More of Alaska -- more than 100 times more -- is covered by glacier ice than is settled by human beings. Mendenhall Glacier. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. 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. It has a wood stove and bunks 6. Gobs of hanging glaciers can be seen from just about every highway that traverses Alaska’s high mountains. In the year 1850 this glacier calved icebergs into Resurrection Bay waters. 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 … 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. 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. (Otherwise, you might be no closer than 12 miles.). Around a hundred years ago, Blackstone Glacier extended all the way out to here. The first photograph by D.F. 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. 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. With massive icebergs and blue waters, seeing the glacier up close is a thrilling experience. Abstract. 1. 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. Take a cruise from Seward to see Pedersen Glacier, and the beautiful habitat surrounding it just under 20 miles away. The Alaska App. This is also a great area to check for whales, sea otters, puffins, and other wildlife. Talk about a room with a glacier view: This is the only glacier in the state with a hotel across the street. ...more, This glacier dominates all views west of the historic mill town site of Kennecott in the heart of Wrangell-St.…. Glaciers exist on every continent except Australia. Get The Alaska App (iOS only) Get More Alaska. 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. The total elevation gain is about 3,000 feet, but the trail is mostly gradual and popular for backpackers and day-hikers, especially from July until snowfall. See other great roadside glaciers. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. Technically, Portage is no longer a roadside glacier, as it recedes an average of one foot a day and is now no longer visible from the road, but its big blue icebergs are often found along the shore of the lake, right in front of the parking area. Three intimidating walls of ice surround boats that pull close to the glaciers. There are a lot of them. 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. Because of the steady snows, Worthington Glacier is not retreating as quickly as most. It’s fed by the same ocean-driven weather that creates the vast glacial crown surrounding Prince William Sound. Watch for climbing camps…These may be the world’s most impressive granite monoliths. While many visitors aspire to visit the extraordinary icebound realms like Ruth Glacier in Denali or the Kennicott and Root glaciers of Wrangell-St. Elias national parks, don’t count out the less remote backcountry of the Chugach, Kenai and Talkeetna mountains. Off the coast of Yakutat — 200 miles NW of Juneau — Hubbard…. NOTE: A bridge at Mile 36 of the Copper River Highway is currently (2020) impassable, with repairs not expected for several years. There’s no other place where a glacier is such a constant presence—that tongue of ice creating a backdrop for your whole stay. Keep on the lookout for deep blue pools of ice melt. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. The Kennicott Glacier Lodge looks out over undulating piles of rock and silt, as well as the moraine on top of the ice. 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. Sometimes, a bay clear of ice can fill up in less than an hour. We're open for appointments Tuesday through Friday, June 23-26 … You can also take a guided hike of this area. It’s a great starting point, whether you have only a few hours or are planning a multi-day glacier and mountain adventure. One of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, it can be reached by hiking a few miles up a relatively easy trail. If you're not cruising, stay a few days at Glacier Bay Lodge, the only lodging within the National Park boundaries. Contact Cordova Ranger District for current venders providing transportation options to the far side. 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. Only from the air do you fully perceive how glaciers are flowing downhill in slo-mo, in some ways resembling gigantic lava floes. Indeed, there is some comfort in the fact that you can’t get any closer. To see the glacier, you can just take one of the pullouts all along the highway —each with great photo ops—or you can drive near the glacier’s edge for up-close photos. They feed the nearby stream systems that harbor many species of salmon and trout. Calving diminishes the…, Beloit Glacier fluctuates betwen 125 and 250 feet high at water’s edge depending on recent calving activity. This remote fjord in Prince William Sound is a special spot for paddlers looking for spectular views of Tiger and Chenega Glacier descending into the sea. 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. McKinley’s) flank.… Look down College Fjord to Harvard and Yale Glaciers, 20 miles away. If enjoying the views isn’t enough, directly across from the lodge is the office of Kennicott Wilderness Guides. 1 View on Map. Grand Pacific Glacier can actually be found in two countries. McKinley (which is just 6 miles away). 7-10 days is the most common. Directions: Head north from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. Robustly colorful and relaxing to reach. 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. 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. In 1937, Yale Glacier’s terminus was located at about the same position that it occupied when it was visited by… Most climbing expeditions begin here. “Have a taste,” my guide on Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier says, handing me a canteen cup he’s just filled at a tumbling freshet on the slope we’re climbing. Columbia glacier is located in Prince William Sound. 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. The Ice Age hasn’t ended in Alaska! It’s also been very active in the past, having had two major surges in the past 30 years. Naturalist and author John Muir first made his way to Alaska in 1879, where he went to explore Glacier Bay. Located 12 miles outside of Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier gets more than 400,000 visitors each year. Plus, it’s one of the easiest “walk-up” glaciers in the state, with a short paved hike to a viewing platform. Intermittent views of the glacier from the Gold Mint Trail will only get better the further you hike up the valley. The glacier ice drops 2,000 feet in ten miles— and if the ice melted away, the remaining gorge would be deeper than the Grand Canyon. Motorcoach tours visit the glacier, which has a large parking area, covered viewing shelter and interpretive signs. Look down College Fjord to Harvard and Yale Glaciers, 20 miles away. 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. It’s not as active as either Cascade or…. Around a hundred years ago, Blackstone Glacier extended all the way out to here. Like its name implies, Cascade twists steeply down a mountainside into the west side of Barry Arm. 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. Ice sizzle? 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. Just 15 miles…. If you look just below the 4 mountain peaks to the left side of the valley you can see the ice of Godwin glacier. Catch a cruise from Seward, or go kayaking! Overwhelmed by choices? Higgins, is an August 6, 1909 view of the then retreating northern part of the terminus. This trail winds alongside the Kennicott and Root Glaciers, and hiking it is a great opportunity to experience the grandeur of the Wrangell Mountains and see more of the valley. 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 Talk about a room with a glacier view: This is the only glacier in the state with a hotel…. A popular place for cruises and kayaking. 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. There was a problem with your submission. ...more. 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. Many terrestrial glaciers can be approached up close by people who can handle short hikes. Later, a valley glacier in Glacier Bay National Park was named after him. The only issue here is access. Please try again. Shuttles regularly operate between McCarthy and Kennecott. Look up, and you shall see. Please try again. Gustavus is the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park, the most stunning place in Alaska to witness a fiord system newly exposed by retreating ice. You’ll see sculpted rock, eroded hillsides and scraped granite. It is the larger of the two glaciers, and if conditions are good you can come within 1⁄2 mile of the face. The tour then, is nicely dramatic. 2-5 day small ship explorations. Self-drive vacations. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. When photographed, Yalik Glacier had a gently sloping terminus with… Being able to walk up to any glacier is a stunning experience, and this big boy is the biggest,…. 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. McKinley) basecamp! twitter email print. This includes all the glaciers … Robustly colorful and relaxing to reach. 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. There are also beautiful ice caves and rivulets to see, but be careful not to walk too far onto the ice of this tempting glacier. Alpine glaciers keep their ice in the alpine region of a mountain and don’t descend to a valley floor or the tidewater’s edge. View on Map. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. 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. 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. Visit a dramatic, fast-moving glacier. Alaska hosts an entire industry that specializes in flying visitors into glacier country, ranging from hour-long overflights to extensive trips that might involve landing or drop-offs on active ice. ...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. Just fifty miles southeast of Juneau, this glacier is not one to miss! 7-10 days is the most common. It snakes its way 32 miles through the Chugach Mountains before dumping into the Columbia Bay, about 40 miles by boat from Valdez. It’s an exciting spectacle. In the photo you can see the retreating terminus of Stephens Glacier with several of its retreating unnamed valley glacier tributaries. 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. They will equip you with crampons for a guided walk on the nearby Root Glacier. 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. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. 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. When the ice rolls, it reveals deep, dark blue ice that’s saturated by fresh water. 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 Now a days Godwin glacier is a valley glacier and behind the low hills you see in the foreground Godwin glacier… 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. ...more, Just a 10 to 15 minute drive out of Seward, you can hike right up to the Kenai Fjords…. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. It was dubbed the Galloping Glacier and has been receding ever since. A few hundred feet above the boat, you’ll see Northland Glacier perched atop sheer rock. The historic Million Dollar Bridge—damaged in the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964—is nearby. 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. His brother Willard (who gives his name to the nearby island) searched for him but found only the mail packet atop the glacier which now bears his name. Southeast Alaska has just one glacier accessible by road, but it makes up for its novelty in being extremely…. 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. Walk the lower trail to get a good photo in front of the glacier face. The North and South Sawyer Glaciers are tidewater glaciers at the head of Tracy Arm, a 27-mile long inlet 50 miles south of Juneau. Just a 2.5-hour drive from Anchorage, the Matanuska Glacier sits off the scenic but less-traveled Glenn Highway. Visit on a kayak trip or day cruise from Seward. During winter—once Portage Lake freezes solid—people also walk, ski, ice skate and snow bike about three miles to the vicinity of the glacier’s active face. The South Sawyer is the larger of the two, and if the ice conditions are good, you can come within ½ mile of the face. 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.
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