Glaciers are impressive natural phenomena. The huge chunks of ice are responsible for shaping a large part of the United States topography. Alaska has several glaciers that you can access by foot, boat, train, or car.
1. Portage Glacier - also Byron and Explorer Glaciers
Right outside of Anchorage, on the Turnagain arm is the Portage Glacier visitor center. Portage used to be viewable from the visitor center, but it has since retreated. Cruise boats will take you out there, and you can see ice chunks floating in the sea. Two other glaciers are viewable once you are on the boat. Byron and Explorer are Portage's neighbors.
2. Exit Glacier
3. Eklutna Glacier
4. Polar Bear Glacier
5. Matanuska Glacier
This is one of the easiest to get to. A couple hour drive north of Anchorage will get you to the visitor center. A simple walk will take you right up to it.
6. Knik Glacier
Take another hike, or a boat ride, or snow machine in the winter, to get to the glacier that feeds the Knik river.
7. Whittier's Glaciers
Whittier is a wonderful little town for a great day trip. Drive or take a train through the Whittier tunnel and when you get their take a cruise through Prince William Sound and see any of the 26 glaciers that empty into the water. These are incredible to get close too and watch as they calve into the ocean. For the more adventurous, rent a kayak and have an up close experience.
8. Spencer Glacier
You will see the glacier by train only. Hop on the iconic Alaska Railroad to get a look at this impressive hunk of ice. By the way, the Alaska Railroad is a great way to experience a lot of what the state has to offer.
9. Harding Ice Field
While technically not a glacier, the Harding Ice Field is something you can't miss. If you choose to visit Exit Glacier, you'll be experiencing part of the ice field. It is the size of New Hampshire, and will blow you away. It's a top destination for ice climbing.
10. Cruising Through Kenai Fjords
If your Alaskan experience is limited to a cruise, do not despair. Even floating by the state, you will get to see beautiful blue glaciers clinging to the sides of mountains. The only question that remains is how many pictures will you take?
Alaska's Easy to Access Glaciers
Next Best Thing to Seeing a Glacier
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