There is no shortage of glaciers in Alaska. They are found on the edge of the Sea of Alaska, in the middle of the state, just about everywhere. If you are visiting Alaska and want to see glaciers, then here are the five must see glaciers in Alaska!
Located 15 south of Seward, Alaska in the Kenai Fjords National Park is Bear Glacier, the largest glacier flowing out of the Harding Icefield. It has receded back from the Pacific Ocean and has created a deep lake at the foot of the glacier. The glacier originally calved back in the 1920s and now calves into the lake creating very large icebergs. You can only access this amazing glacier by helicopter, water taxi, or by kayak.
Twelve miles south of Juneau, is the Mendenhall Glacier, which is 12 miles in length. There is a visitor center at this glacier that shows the history of the surrounding ice field and how the glacier recedes a little bit each year. Hike up the western side of the glacier takes about three hours and is well worth the killer view.
The Ruth Glacier
In Denali National Park is Ruth Glacier, the deepest of all of the glaciers. The ice is 3,700 feet deep and is surrounded by walls of granite that rise up about 5,000 feet creating an unbelievable beautiful gorge. This gorge is one of the most challenging for those seeking mountaineering adventures.
Exit Glacier is one of the most accessible of the glaciers to visit. Located just north of Seward is Exit Glacier. There is a paved tourist trail that makes it handicap accessible and goes to the foot of the glacier. You can do a 4-mile hike to the toe of the glacier or see the Harding Icefields for a more strenuous hike. There are guides that can take you out to walk on the glacier, as you don’t want to do that without someone with experience in your group.
Located north of Palmer is Matenuska Glacier. The entrance is on private land that requires a $20 fee to access or you can hike back from the road about two miles. This is another glacier that you can walk on and have an amazing experience. The walk back to the glacier is about 20 minutes so make sure you have hiking boots as there is a lot of mud before you get to the glacier.