Alaska Excursions

Alaska Excursions

A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.

Iditarod 41

Photos and stories from the last great race.

Anchorage: 37°/51°/Cloudy

Fairbanks: 30°/53°/Partly sunny

Juneau: 36°/52°/Showers

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Why is glacier ice blue?

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More on Glacier viewing

Glaciers Galore

Exit Glacier, in Kenai Fjords National Park, provides a stunning backdrop for a group of picnickers. The glacier, just outside of Seward, is accessible by car and then by foot. Entrance to the park by car costs $5.

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.

Harvesting glacier ice

Anyone can harvest ice from Alaska's 28,800 square miles of glaciers.

Ice worms on the glacier

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.

Why is glacier ice blue?

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

Worthington Glacier is an easy-off, easy-on stop at Mile 28 of the Richardson Highway northeast of Valdez.

It partly depends on how dense the ice is

Glaciers are created when decades upon decades of snow compact themselves into ice. As the ice crystals grow, they push out the air.

The ice absorbs most light and reflects the short-wave-length blue light.

But as ice moves along and is exposed to warmer air or warmer water, the crystal structure breaks down and reflects all the light. That change, writes guide Karen Jettmar in "Alaska's Glacier Bay: A Traveler's Guide," makes the ice appear white.

And that's why the deepest blue coloration is often seen in fractured places: crevasses, towers and where chunks of ice have calved. The color may appear richest on cloudy days.

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