Alaska’s Spencer Glacier – Explore the World of Ice

Richard Moor - Feb 25, 2013
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Alaska’s Spencer Glacier is a truly phenomenal place to visit and it can only be reached by rail. Ascending Path and Alaska Railroad work together to get visitors to this amazing place offering guided hiking tours of the glacier. This location is the perfect place to learn about blue ice and get really up close and personal with the giant frozen mountain.

Spencer Glacier is situated south of Portage Valley, the Chugach National Forest and the Turnagain Arm in the Kenai Mountains. Hikers need to get on a train in either Anchorage, Portage or Gridwood, where they will be taken through the area and be able to see the most breath-taking views of the glaciers. When the visitors reach Spencer Whistle Stop, small groups of about five people are transported by means of a van to an overlook where they can see the icebergs floating in the lake.

The distance from the lake’s edge to the edge of the glacier is around two miles of flat forest trails. The last half a mile is more of a rugged moraine walk. The hike takes five hours to complete, which includes many rest stops and photo opportunities, where the visitors learn all about the interesting history, wildlife and glaciology. It is necessary to gear up for the day of hiking; Spencer Glacier is very cold and hikers must be dressed warm enough.

The trip includes the guided tour, lunch and a train pass to the glacier. These hiking trips are conducted on a daily basis, but only from the 1st of July until the 10th of September every year. Groups of a minimum of two and a maximum of twenty-five people are welcome to join in this adventure.

This hike is available for any person from the age of thirteen, right up until seventy years of age. That means that you can take grandma and grandpa along, as long as they do understand that the hike is considered to be strenuous exercise. You do not need any experience to take part in this guided tour, as there will be qualified professionals with you, who will train and assist you when you need help.

Visitors will be required to sign the waiver and fill out a glacier hikes application before they will be able to embark on their journey. It is also highly recommended that guests dress in layers of warm clothes, bring a fleece jacket with them, wear sunglasses and gloves when they come to go hiking, Spencer Glacier is a beautiful place, but it does get extremely cold there.

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