If you want to visit Alaska, you will be impressed with how many interesting things you can do in this state. It borders Canada and Siberia but also the Arctic and Pacific oceans. Alaska is the largest state in America and a place where you can have unique experiences to cherish for a lifetime.
Without further due, here are the best things to do in glacier view Alaska so you can make the most out of your time here!
1. Touch a the Matanuska Glacier
Touching a glacier can be the experience of a lifetime. The Matanuska Glacier is easy to reach from the Glenn Highway if you turn on a pullout road to get to it. However, note that the roads to the glacier are not free because they are on private land. Driving to the Matanuska Glacier will take you to the largest roadside glacier in America, which by itself will be a great path to take with plenty of breathtaking views along the way. The Matanuska Glacier valley is 27 miles long and 4 miles wide and is the most impressive in the United States.
If you don’t want to visit this glacier by yourself, you can join a local day trip tour. If you do that, you will not have to be worried about finding your way around as the guide will take you to see the most beautiful caves and ice walls. And all you will want to do is take stunning pictures to remember this trip for many years to come!
One of the best views you will get is at the Glacier’s Toe. If you get to the Matanuska Glacier Park Resort, you will be able to walk right to the Matanuska Glacier. However, we don’t recommend venturing into a hiking experience on this glacier unless you have the right experience and equipment.
There are tours with professional guides that could train you in this respect though if you want to explore the glacier in more detail. You can easily spend two hours at the Glacier’s Toe.
2. Check out the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area at Mile 101
If you want a complex image of the glacier, make sure to check the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area. You will find this recreational site at Mile 101 on the Glenn Highway. This site has 12 campsites with everything you need from water pumps to fire pits, toilets, and picnic tables.
If you come here during the summer you can enjoy hiking, river rafting, and glacier trekking. In the winter months, the best activities are snowboarding, skiing, and other snow sports.
You will not be able to get to the glacier from this resort directly but you will enjoy the best views of it, in all its splendor.
It is recommended to book your stay at the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area by calling Long Rifle Lodge, phone (907)745-5151, to make sure they can accommodate you.
3. Scenic drives
If you love to drive and admire the nature around you, glacier Alaska offers you the best scenic drives you will ever have. There are 30 miles of amazingly beautiful views on the Glenn Highway. The highway goes north to the agricultural Palmer and turns east towards the Matanuska River Valley, where the scenic views will have you to stop and take pictures more often than any other place.
You can start your day trip at Anchorage and follow the road towards the Matanuska Glacier. There will be plenty of opportunities to low down and take in the magical surroundings!
As you drive on the Glenn Highway, you can also stop to check out various attractions on the way too and learn more about the local history and traditions.
4. Explore the wildlife
Are you a fan of wildlife? If so, you will feel spoiled in Alaska. Glacier View will lead you straight to Dall Sheep at the sheep mountain. Gunsight Mountain, 6,441 feet in height is a landmark in this area. You will be able to see the sheep more in the spring and you will find several trails you can take and places you can park if you want to spend some time in this area. As amazing as the sheep viewing is here, note that the area is not open for sheep hunting.
There are plenty of bird species to view in this area as well. You can even join the April hawk watch and you will encounter rare birds that migrate north in big numbers. Birdwatchers come here every year to enjoy the view and take unique and artistic pictures of not just hawks but also falcons and raptors.
Plus, besides the view of the birds, you will be charmed by the way sunshine reflects the snow, offering the best conditions for admiring the nature around you!
5. Take a day cruise to Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound is only 90 minutes away from the Anchorage area and it has the best and most fascinating tidewater glaciers on the planet. The tidewater glaciers here come from the mountains and plunge into the sea, creating a fascinating view.
If you choose to join a day cruise to admire these glaciers, you can expect to spend four to five hours surrounded by the beautiful views they offer. You can choose between the high-speed cruises and the slower cruises, depending on how you want to admire the area. The high-speed cruises will allow you to see more of the glaciers while the slower ones tend to stay more at each glacier so you can take in the atmosphere. The Surprise Glacier in Harriman Fjord is a particular glacier that you will love to admire and snap pictures of during your cruise.
You can also choose cruises that last more than a day and spend a beautiful getaway weekend in this area. There are local charters you can join as long as you make the booking in advance because they are also very popular.
6. Check out the Knik Glacier
The Knik Glacier is one you shouldn’t miss if you are in Alaska. This glacier is 25 miles long and originates in the Chugach Mountains and gets to the Knik River. There are walls of 400 feet in height that land in the river, creating a beautiful site of icebergs that are breaking and floating in the water.
This glacier is close to both the Anchorage and the Mat-Su valley and you can join a day tour to check it out as well as to see other attractions in the area. There are ATV tours available and you can also hike certain parts of the glacier. One of the main attractions here though is the flights that can leave you right on top of the glacier.
However, if you don’t want to get that close to the Knik glacier, you can admire its beauty from the West Butte Trail, which is west of the Bodenburg Butte.
7. Stroll to the Exit Glacier
The Exit Glacier is just 15 miles away from Seward and you can reach it by foot, which will offer you a different type of experience. Seward is the place where most cruises start and end so you will come across it fairly easily. It will take you only about half an hour to get to the Exit Glacier from Seward and the road is accessible for everyone who wants a closer view to it.
This is not one of the biggest glaciers but it will offer you great views and many perfect spots for beautiful pictures. Plus, you will learn a lot about the movement of glaciers and be able to check a guide on the recession of the Exit Glacier for the past 120 years.
And if this is not an adventure enough for you, you can always explore the Harding Icefield Trail. This trail will get you to a height of 3,500 feet over a four-mile of distance and once you get on top you will find amazing views of the glacier and its surroundings.
Guided tours and hikes are available if you want to explore the glacier in that way too.
8. Book a room at the Kennicott Glacier Lodge
If you want a unique vacation with your friends, family, or even a getaway with your significant other, it can’t get better than Kennicott Glacier Lodge. If you book a room here, you will have a breathtaking glacier view every time you look over the window or you hang out around the property.
If there are no clouds, you can admire Mount Blackburn which is 16,390 feet in all its beauty. The only downside of this location is that it is not so accessible compared to other accommodations you might find. You can get to it after driving eight hours from Anchorage or taking a flight of two hours.
For those who don’t want to stay at the property all day, despite the mesmerizing beauty that they can enjoy here, there are Kennicott Wilderness Guides that will give you ideas regarding things you can explore in the region. You can choose different glacier tours, ice climbing, and even explore the local wildlife.
9. Visit the Glacier Bay National Park
If you are looking for the perfect combination between glaciers and wildlife beauty, this park should be on your to-visit list. Glacier Bay is home to more than 50 glaciers and it is split into two different arms to enjoy: the West and East arm. Over 40,000 tourists come to this area each year.
The most attractive glacier in the bay is the Margerie Glacier and it moves between 12 and 14 feet each day, which makes it so impressive. You can find this glacier on the West Arm of the park and several cruises will lead you here as well. If you make it to this glacier, you will be greeted by seals and you will be able to admire the Grand Pacific Glacier as well.
But the beauty of this area is not limited to the glaciers. You will also love to discover the land that remained after the ice recessed over the past decades. The sculpted rock is particularly interesting here and the land became home to an interesting variety of wildlife. Among the wild animals that call this region home, you will find bears, sea lions, seals, and mountain goats.
If you would like to spend a few days here, you can find the best accommodation at the Glacier Bay Lodge and you can also enjoy some fishing and kayaking while you are here.
There is not a dull moment in the glacier Alaska, and you will feel the local charm everywhere you look. Such a trip could be ideal for everyone, from those looking for an adventure, to those who want to experience the glacier life for a few days.
There are no limits to what you can discover in this part of the world but make sure to put your safety first and don’t venture into hiking or ice climbing without the proper guidance and equipment, even if the temptation will be strong!