What? : Matanuska
Glacier is a valley glacier, 27 miles long by 4 miles wide, it is the largest
glacier accessible by car in the United States. There are guided tours that
will take you hiking over the glacier although you can also visit without a
guide but then you will not walk on the glacier.
Where? : Located near hwy
1 about 100 miles north-east of Anchorage.
We took a dedicated
guide to our family (5 people) and he “tune” the hike to our needs and asks.
We booked the Advanced Trek:
This is a full
day of glacial exploration and hiking activity.
This is approximately
5 hours long and you must be able to comfortably walk 5 miles to enjoy this
You start your
day at their office with getting the gear and safety explanations, follow by a
short drive in their van to the glacier park.
After you enter
the private Matanuska Glacier Park Resort you will keep driving to the parking
area at the end of the gravel road (you can get to this point without a guide).
In this section
before the glacier you will explore the debris and blackened ice section of the
Because we were
a small group and OK with hiking our guide took us more into the glacier section
far away from any other group.
Only after 2
mile hiking you actually start to hike on the glacier itself, than you need to
ware your ice crampons on your walking shoes (I’m almost sure you get a proper shoes
as part of your gear).
During our few
hours slow hike on top of the glacier we saw deep moulins tunnels, crevasses,
ice cliffs and blue water pools, we also parked for short and light lunch break.
The guide was very informative and share his expertise and knowledge about this
looks difficult or dangerous at first this is not the case, you don’t need any pre-visit
specialized skills for this trek, just a basic level of fitness and an ability
to walk with crampons.
basic shape can do it and the guide will tune the distance and difficulty level
to the group ability.
was one of the top Alaska trip highlights, highly recommended!
Tip and remarks:
- Book a trip
reservation as early as you can, we had to change our trip visit order to fit
this into our schedule. This is the reason we drove up north from Anchorage and
after this day we went back down south heading to Homer.
- The night
before we slept at Grand View Cafe & RV Park (looks like this is the only
RV park near Matanuska Glacier ?).
- Aim to have a
small group, a “private” guide to your family is the best. We saw some large
15-20 peoples group and it looks less fun and much slower progress. When
tackling difficult sections, you will need to wait for longer time.
- it started called
and with light rain but soon it transforms to a nice warm summer day, thing
that add to the experience. You can have a rainy day so plan accordingly and
bring raincoat and warm clothes with you.
- Try start you
visit as early as you can, we had it 10:00a - 5:00pm
- Usually guide
fee does not include the 30$/person private park entrance or guide tip.
- Bring some light
food with you for the hike.
- Bring backpack
with you for warm cloth, water and food.
- Summer fee
for an unguided access to the glacier is $30, The start of the glacier is about
a 20 minutes’ walk from parking.