A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Fairbanks: -24°/-1°/Partly cloudy
Some glaciers you can literally reach out and touch, some you can walk on or climb across and some you want to observe from a very safe distance. Here are a few of the top ice capades around Southcentral Alaska.
Anyone can harvest ice from Alaska's 28,800 square miles of glaciers.
ON THE LEARNARD GLACIER -- Dusk was falling in a bowl above the entrance to the car-and-train tunnel at Whittier, and the ice worms were rising.
Glaciers are created when decades upon decades of snow compact themselves into ice. As the ice crystals grow, they push out the air.
Worthington Glacier is an easy-off, easy-on stop at Mile 28 of the Richardson Highway northeast of Valdez.
Aside from the state's famous roadside glaciers, Alaska has many more that are sort of close to the road but not so easily accessible.
See it from a viewing deck:
Polar Bear Glacier, a hanging glacier easily visible from the Eagle River Nature Center, Mile 12 of the Eagle River Road.
Look but don't get splashed by:
Childs Glacier, along the Copper River east of Cordova. Drive east on the Copper River Highway to a picnic area at the base of the collapsed Million Dollar Bridge.
Can be reached with a scenic and possibly demanding hike:
Muldrow Glacier, north flank of Mount McKinley. Best to see it from the Eielson Visitors Center on the Denali National Park road. The lower part is covered with many years' accumulation of rocks and alders. Eklutna Glacier, a 13-mile lakeside hike or bike ride from the campground at Eklutna Lake northeast of Anchorage in Chugach State Park. Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau. Trails lead across its moraine, making it easy for busloads of cruise ship passengers to see the ice and its blue-water lake. Sheridan, east of Cordova. View it from the Copper River Highway. Eagle and Raven glaciers, west of Anchorage and between Girdwood and Eagle River on the Iditarod National Historic Trail. These are along the marathon-length Crow Pass Crossing race held each July. Valdez Glacier, east of the town of Valdez at the end of the airport road. Salmon Glacier, about 17 miles north of Hyder, a hamlet reached through Stewart, British Columbia.
Often reached by helicopter or ski plane:
Godwin Glacier, east of Seward. You can get a helicopter ride from the Seward airport. Kahiltna, on Mount McKinley, with flights from Talkeetna and the Denali National Park entrance area. Some flights land on the glacier at the mountain climbers' base camp. Juneau Icefield, north of Juneau. Take a copter.