I have been to Alaska twice and now working on a third trip and one quintessential must do is see glaciers, lots of glaciers. There are over 600 named glaciers in Alaska, but there are thousands more. Some are only accessible by boat, plane or rail, others you can get as close to as a stone’s throw. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike to see one!
When staying in Seward I took a boat cruise down through Kenai Fjords National Park and saw several glaciers including Holgate Glacier. The journey itself is beautiful and plenty of wildlife. The boat will get as close to the glacier as it can safely. I heard an eerie cracking sound and then a chunk of ice breaks away and splashes into the water. This is called calving. Scary, but cool!
When you leave Seward and head north, you will actually be able to pull off the highway and take a short 15 minute walk up to Exit Glacier. Although, not as big as some of the other glaciers it is still very impressive when you’re that close up. You can also take a hike on the Harding Icefield Trail for other viewing areas. I spent the better part of the day here.
Continuing north on Seward Hwy you will arrive in Portage. Stop off and visit Portage Glacier in the Chugach National Forest. This glacier you can hike to or take a boat cruise. The hike is short and easy. This glacier is in retreat so you can no longer view it from the observation deck at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center. The visitor center is well worth a stop. They have wonderful exhibits and you will learn so much more about glaciers and wildlife in Alaska.
When I arrived back in Anchorage a friend took me on a plane ride to see Knik Glacier. I’ll admit I was a little nervous about this trip due to low visibility. I was able to get a few good shots of the glacier before we had to return to the airport. It was definitely worth it.
These are just a few glaciers that I’m sharing. I saw many more by plane and others by hiking. When visiting Alaska, take time out to view a glacier or two, it’s not hard to find one!
More Alaska Adventures to come!…… If you like what you see, please leave a comment.
TIPS: Some glaciers require a fee.
*******All pictures taken by Simple Sojourner unless otherwise noted