FREE shipping on most US orders and we do ship international! Please use the chat below to request a shipping quote

0
Shopping Cart

Your Shopping Cart Is Empty

Voyij

Oct 16, 2021| Top Activities & Things To Do

Alaska Has Glaciers Galore; Here Are Some Of The Best Ones

PORTAGE 1.jpg

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Packer Expeditions
Skagway, AK

Visit Store

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Mountain Flying Service
Haines, AK

Visit Store

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Liquid Alaska Tours
Juneau, AK

Visit Store

The glacier is a fixture of the Alaska landscape. Estimates indicate that Alaska has about 100,000 glaciers. That’s a lot of ice. But it’s also a lot of gorgeous peaks and valleys. And that’s why you need to visit these frosty behemoths.

 

Of course, 100,000 is a big number, and you can’t see them all. So, we’ve put together a list of the best glaciers in Alaska. You may stumble onto a few glaciers during your travels in The Last Frontier, but these are the best major glaciers Alaska has to offer.

 

Largest, of course, doesn’t mean best. But we’ve chosen the following as the major and most famous glaciers in Alaska, the 49th state.


What Exactly is a Glacier? 

Before we begin, a few fun facts about glaciers.

  • Ice fields must be at least 25 acres in size to be called a glacier.
  • About ten percent of Earth’s surface is covered by glacial ice.
  • Alaska has the largest concentration of glaciers in North America.
  • Of Alaska’s 100,000 glaciers, only about 600 have been named.
  • The massive Lambert glacier in Antarctica is the biggest in the world. It’s 60 miles wide and roughly 270 miles long. By comparison, Alaska’s largest glacier, the Bering Glacier in Elias National Park near the Gulf of Alaska, is 140 miles long and 10 miles wide. (The glacier is named after famed explorer Vitus Bering.)
  • Calving has nothing to do with cows. Calving is the breaking off of huge ice chunks from the glacier’s edge. It’s both exciting and depressing at the same time as you watch the parts of the glacier’s face falling into the water.

Ten Alaska Glaciers You Have to Visit 

Now that you’re an expert, let’s take a look at some of the best glaciers in Alaska. 

Mendenhall Glacier

 

Mendenhall Glacier is probably the best-known and most popular glacier in the state. Located in the famous Tongass National Forest, Mendenhall Glacier is twelve miles north of Juneau. When you visit, you can enjoy hiking, grab some spectacular photos and see the magnificent Nugget Falls.

Exit Glacier

 

 

Exit Glacier is a glacier that, um, you won’t want to exit. (Sorry.) Exit Glacier is accessible by car, but you can also walk from the park entrance to the toe (or lowest end of the glacier) of the Exit. The toe is also known as the snout or terminus. Exit Glacier is located in the exotic Kenai Fiords National Park, a place you truly want to visit on its own, located about 10 to 15 minutes from Seward.

Matanuska Glacier

 

 

This goliath is 27 miles long and four miles wide and is the largest glacier accessible by car. Take a walk on a real live glacier or check out the Matanuska Glacier Caves. The glacier is 93 scenic miles from Anchorage and is accessible at Mile 101 of the Glenn Highway. Although naturalist John Muir named it the "Auk” glacier for a member of the native Tlingit tribe, Matanuska is a Russian word that means "copper river people.”


Spencer Glacier

 

 

Hike, kayak, or camp, Spencer Glacier is 3,500 ft. tall and is in the Chugach National Forest. It’s only 60 miles from Anchorage, and it’s worth the trip to see massive peaks, giant waterfalls, and pristine waters. But you can’t get there by car; you have to take a train ride on the Alaska Railroad that takes you past the beautiful Turnagain Arm.


Portage Glacier

 


Located 55 miles south of Anchorage, you can get to this beauty of a glacier by taking the Seward Highway. Your best off by seeing this one by boat. Although it is retreating, Portage Glacier offers camping, hiking, and a walk through a glacial cave.


Hubbard Glacier

 

 

This 450-year-old ice field is more than 2,000 feet thick in some places, and, unlike many of its glacial cousins, it is advancing into Disenchantment Bay. Because of its size, Hubbard Glacier collects more snow and grows due to its sheer size. Take a cruise to see one of the most magnificent Alaska glaciers.

 

Dawes Glacier

 

 

 

Not as well-known as some of its famous glacial colleagues, you’ll see towering granite cliffs, incredible waterfalls, and wildlife that you’ve only seen on TV. Talk about calving; the Dawes often sheds icebergs into the sea. Located near Endicott Arm, it’s about 50 miles from Juneau.


Margerie Glacier

 

 

 

Like the Hubbard Glacier, the Margerie is advancing roughly 30 feet each year. This 21-mile-long ice sheet spikes 250 feet into the sky. It is in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and is accessible by cruise ship.


Byron Glacier

 

 

Take a one-to-four-hour hike and see ice caves. This icy blue snowfield has beautiful sites and a three-mile hiking trail, but the National Park Service warns travelers to bring rain gear. Take the Seward Highway and turn off the Seward Highway Portage Glacier Road to get to this gem. The glacier is located near Girdwood.


Castner Glacier

 

 

Located 140 miles from Fairbanks, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive, Castner has hiking trails and snow-shoeing cool glacier caves.


Remember, these are just a few of the glaciers in Alaska. Although there is likely no way to get to all of them – some may be inaccessible – you’ve only got 99,990 left to explore!

Read More: Top Activities & Things To Do

All About Denali National Park

All About Denali National Park

From the best places to visit to the best activities to do, all you need to know about the Denali National Park!

Read More
Top Things to Do in Kenai Fjords National Park

Top Things to Do in Kenai Fjords National Park

From Kayaking and Whale Watching to Hiking and Glacier Landing, here are the top things that you can do to explore the Kenai Fjords National Park.

Read More
What To Do In Denali National Park And Preserve

What To Do In Denali National Park And Preserve

Take a look at the best ways to explore the Denali National Park, how to get there, and top activities to do. Book Now with Voyij!

Read More
Expert Bob Hallinen Shares His Tips for Photographing Alaska

Expert Bob Hallinen Shares His Tips for Photographing Alaska

Bob Hallinen is an Alaska photographer in search of “magic light”. Learn what it takes to capture great pictures in Alaska as he provides expert tips for Photographing Alaska.

Read More
19 Top Things To Do In Alaska In The Summertime

19 Top Things To Do In Alaska In The Summertime

Planning a summer trip to Alaska? Here is a list of the must-go-to spots in Alaska that you can't miss while on a trip to Alaska.

Read More
Top 10 Things to Do in Alaska in Summer

Top 10 Things to Do in Alaska in Summer

Looking for the top things to do in Alaska this summer? Here’s our list of 10 must-do’s for an Alaska summer trip.

Read More
When and Where to See The Northern Lights in Alaska

When and Where to See The Northern Lights in Alaska

When and where to see the northern lights in Alaska – Here’s how to see Alaska’s aurora borealis in five easy steps

Read More
5 Most Popular Skagway Day Hikes With A View

5 Most Popular Skagway Day Hikes With A View

You may not know it yet but Skagway is a hiker's paradise! From easy hikes like Yakutania Point and Lower Lake to more challenging hikes like AB Mountain, Skagway offers world class hiking. Learn more here!

Read More
Fishing In Alaska: An Introduction To Alaskan Halibut & Salmon

Fishing In Alaska: An Introduction To Alaskan Halibut & Salmon

Learn a little bit about the fish that are essential to Alaska’s favorite pastime.

Read More
Carrie Schwausch Can't Get Enough Of Piloting A Helicopter In Ketchikan, Alaska

Carrie Schwausch Can't Get Enough Of Piloting A Helicopter In Ketchikan, Alaska

Schwausch, a San Francisco native has piloted flights for Helicopter Air Alaska during the summer, and she can’t think of anything she’d rather do.

Read More
In the Hunt for a Gun? Jason Tarver and Mercantile & Armory Has Your Quarry

In the Hunt for a Gun? Jason Tarver and Mercantile & Armory Has Your Quarry

Jason Tarver did not grow up in Juneau, but a colorful journey brought him to Alaska and he can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Read More
Northern Lights Through The Lens Of A National Geographic Photographer

Northern Lights Through The Lens Of A National Geographic Photographer

The Northern Lights are a magical experience that can’t fully be understood until you see them for yourself. Even Alaskans accustomed to viewing them on clear winter nights will rush outside at a first sighting.

Read More
White Black Bears And Blonde Grizzly’s

White Black Bears And Blonde Grizzly’s

The most likely bear you’ll see in Southeast Alaska is the black bear, the most abundant and smallest of North America’s three bear species. About 100,000 live in Alaska.

Read More
Mike Healy Brews It Up For Skagway

Mike Healy Brews It Up For Skagway

"Our goal, and I think we’ve succeeded, is just to become a neighborhood pub with a brewing site and fresh beer available,” Healy said.

Read More
Joel Probst Of Klondike Brewery Knows The Secret Of Great Beer

Joel Probst Of Klondike Brewery Knows The Secret Of Great Beer

Klondike Brewery specializes in barrel-aged beers, which are known for their richness, as well as seasonal beers.

Read More
Small Planes: What It’s Like Flying The Inside Passage

Small Planes: What It’s Like Flying The Inside Passage

Most flights are fairly routine for pilot Mike Stedman. But there have been some memorable journeys.

Read More
Train Conductor Mike Sica Never Gets In The Way Of A Good Story

Train Conductor Mike Sica Never Gets In The Way Of A Good Story

"My favorite thing about the railroad, in addition to the scenery and the history and the magic of trains, is the people on the train.”

Read More
Hiking The Chilkoot Trail? Packer Expeditions, Ltd. Is The First Stop

Hiking The Chilkoot Trail? Packer Expeditions, Ltd. Is The First Stop

The Chilkoot Trail is the first 33 miles of a 450-mile trail leading to the gold fields near Dawson City in northwest Canada. The 450-mile trail is, he said, "a pretty epic journey.”

Read More
A Musher’s Life: Winning The Yukon Quest

A Musher’s Life: Winning The Yukon Quest

Matt Hall is a musher’s musher.

Read More
Captain Chris Goes To Where The Fish Are. And The Whales. And Seals. And Eagles.

Captain Chris Goes To Where The Fish Are. And The Whales. And Seals. And Eagles.

Chris Condor knows that when people visit Juneau for the first (or fourth) time, there’s one thing they want to do: see whales. He’s operated whale watching tours longer than anyone in the capital city.

Read More
Life As A Lumberjack

Life As A Lumberjack

Ray Geist has an ax to grind. As a lumberjack, it’s part of his job.

Read More
The Trail Never Ends For Park Ranger Annie Brady

The Trail Never Ends For Park Ranger Annie Brady

For Annie Brady all trails lead back to Skagway and the Chilkoot Trail.

Read More
For Ryne Olson, It’s A Dog’s Life

For Ryne Olson, It’s A Dog’s Life

Ryne Olson’s life is a dogged pursuit for excellence.

Read More
The Wheels Keep Turning For Matt Jillson

The Wheels Keep Turning For Matt Jillson

"Touring is about getting into that rhythm and watching the scenery and seeing the world go by. You’re going fast enough for the scenery to change and slow enough to stop and take a picture."

Read More
It’s All About Trust Between Musher And Dogs For Riley Dyche

It’s All About Trust Between Musher And Dogs For Riley Dyche

Riley Dyche believes trust is the most important aspect of being a musher.

Read More
The Alaska Canoe Experience Is A Spiritual Journey Into First Peoples’ History

The Alaska Canoe Experience Is A Spiritual Journey Into First Peoples’ History

When you take a trip with Alaska Canoe Experience in Ketchikan, it’s more than a pleasant jaunt on the water. It’s part of a spiritual journey that reflects hundreds of years of the history of Alaska’s First Peoples.

Read More
Up Close With Whales The Size Of School Buses

Up Close With Whales The Size Of School Buses

If you plan your trip in July, you may witness a rare phenomenon known as bubble-netting, a new and specialized feeding technique unique to Southeast Alaska humpbacks and regularly practiced by only about 60 whales in the area.

Read More
Local Fishing Spots In Juneau

Local Fishing Spots In Juneau

There are 5 types of salmon that swim in Alaska’s streams: (1) chum (thumb) (2) sockeye (pointer finger sock-your-eye-out) (3) king (middle finger) (4) silver (ring finger) (5) pink (pinky finger.)

Read More
Bear Using A Spruce Tree To Scratch His Back Near Skagway

Bear Using A Spruce Tree To Scratch His Back Near Skagway

This is bear country — the Yukon alone is home to an estimated 10,000 black bears and 6,000 to 7,000 grizzly bears.

Read More
Saloon Life During The Gold Rush

Saloon Life During The Gold Rush

During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, the newly built town of Skagway, Alaska housed 80 (illegal) saloons. Saloons were the lifeblood of the community.

Read More
Thom Ely And Dustin Craney Are Building A Better World With Bikes At Sockeye Cycle Company

Thom Ely And Dustin Craney Are Building A Better World With Bikes At Sockeye Cycle Company

Thom Ely and Justin Craney believe there’s more to a bike trip than just a simple tour of the Haines or Skagway areas.

Read More
Juneau’s Macauley Salmon Hatchery: Teaching Salmon To All Ages

Juneau’s Macauley Salmon Hatchery: Teaching Salmon To All Ages

Katie Harms has an interest “in all things fish and all things ocean.”

Read More
Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion Offers So Much More Than A Scripted "Song and Dance"

Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion Offers So Much More Than A Scripted "Song and Dance"

There is something magical about a trip on Ketchikan’s Lighthouse, Totems, and Eagles Excursion.

Read More