North view of the terminus and lower reaches of Valdez Glacier, a rapidly thinning and retreating valley glacier located northeast of Valdez, northcentral Chugach Mountains, Alaska. Large valley glacier systems consist of numerous cirques and smaller valley glaciers that feed ice into a large trunk glacier. (By National … Portage may be t… Glaciers are defined as persistent large bodies of ice that slowly move, propelled by their own weight. Because of its greater ice discharge, the trunk glacier has greater erosive capability in its middle and lower reaches than smaller tributary glaciers that join it there. Check out our alaska glaciers selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops. Learn about Alaska's Glaciers. The changes described in the new study seem to depend on the unique features of its environment, such as the slope of the land that the glacier flows down, the properties of the ocean water that touch the glacier, as well as the glacier’s interaction with neighboring glaciers. The glacier can be viewed by boat tours or ferry from both Valdez and Whittier. Car, train, or group tour. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. 17 destinations – including five glacier-viewing experiences – on 12 unique itineraries and 140 departures. Scientists are more interested in total glacial land coverage as a measure. Originally known as Sitaantaagu ("the Glacier Behind the Town") or Aak'wtaaksit ("the Glacier Behind the Little Lake") by the Tlingits, the glacier was named Auke (Auk) Glacier by naturalist John Muir for the Tlingit Auk Kwaan (or Aak'w Kwaan) band in 1888. To get to this glacier, you will take a short 2-hour drive from Anchorage along the scenic Glenn Highway. Ten stories tall and miles long, Portage Glacier sits at the far end of a lake, and is accessible by boat. Glacier Bay National Park. It is best to get up high, like on the top level of any of the parking garages in downtown Anchorage or a top floor of one of the many hotels. Our goal is to provide clear directions to the most sensible viewing spots that are also easy to include during popular itineraries around the state. ... Alaska's Natural Features. The Center offers opportunities to learn about the Chugach National Forest and glaciers with fun and interactive exhibits. Mendenhall Glacier located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles from downtown Juneau in the southeast area of Alaska. Prince William Sound: Day Cruise. At first glance, it may seem that all glaciers look alike, but as you spend time getting acquainted with the glaciers of Glacier Bay, you will soon realize that each is unique. Five percent of Alaska is covered with the state’s 100,000+ glaciers. Watch for glaciers overlooking Girdwood and Alyeska Resort. Where possible, we’ve also provided contacts to vendors and guides to assist you on your journey. Alaska's Glacier Names. Why is the ice blue? The glacier comes to life while your guide describes its unique features. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. About 3% of Alaska is covered by glaciers. Hubbard Glacier. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map. As glaciers flow, mechanical weathering loosens rock on the valley walls, which falls as debris on the glacier. For more information visit the Alaska Railroad Spencer Glacier webpage. Mendenhall Glacier located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles from downtown Juneau in the southeast area of Alaska. Note the trimlines and the enlarging ice-marginal lake exposed at the margin of the glaciers. The Alaska Range seen from the Parks and Richardson highways. Glaciers exist on every continent except Australia. McBride Glacier, the only tidewater glacier in the East Arm, is approximately 40 nautical miles from Bartlett Cove. Along with its rich human heritage and undiminished wildlife, Alaska offers visitors a chance to explore and witness some of the most extraordinary natural features on the planet. If you are on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, you should be able to see Denali at Point Woronzof, Eathquake Park, and Resolution Park but, again, only if the day is very clear. The distance between Denali and Anchorage is approximately 130 miles by air and approximately 225 miles by car. The 10 Largest Urban Parks In The United States. Talus is building up against the flanks of the valley, gradually covering up the u-shaped erosional characteristics. Ice Climbing-Expert guides will show you “the ropes” of glacier climbing. One easy way to think about a glacier is simply … For more information, visit the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve website. In fact, 10 times more of Alaska is covered by glaciers than is settled by humans! The average amount of snowfall in the mountains that feed this glacier is over 250 inches per year. A glacial horn in the Bearthooth Mountains. Glaciers of Alaska come in all shapes and sizes. Glacier Bay. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. Yosemite National Park is famous for its spectacular glacially carved landscape. Glacier-fed ecosystems are delicately balanced, populated by species that have adapted to the unique conditions of the streams. Head out an be awed! First Trip to Alaska? From its source in the Yukon, the glacier stretches 122 km (76 mi) to the sea at Yakutat Bay and Disenchantment Bay. Also located in Chugach National Forest, can only be accessed by railroad from Anchorage or Portage. In 1891 it was renamed in honor of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall. Some of these might look overwhelming at first glance. From the center one can take a short boat trip to view the glaciers or hike along the nature paths. How do they form? Best Alaska Glaciers Matanuska Glacier: Hike or Drive. 10 Biggest Urban Parks In The World. Glaciers are Alaska’s #1 tourist attraction, and they’re the source of some of the absolute best Alaskan cruise excursions. If you are kayaking, McBride Glacier is a good destination because it attracts fewer motorized vessels and is a very active glacier. While commonly associated with the Arctic Circle and Antarctica—indeed, 99 percent of all glaciers are located in these two regions—glaciers can be found on every continent, usually in high mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, Andes, and the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Geologists, for example, might describe a glacier as a large, persistent body of ice that features a distinct accumulation and ablation area.Luckily, though, it’s actually not too complicated! There are 12 campsites available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.For more information visit the Kenai Fjords Naitonal Park website. There is a state recreation site which allows visitors to view the glacier and its moraines. The word glacier is a loanword from French and goes back, via Franco-Provençal, to the Vulgar Latin glaciārium, derived from the Late Latin glacia, and ultimately Latin glaciēs, meaning "ice". The process of glacier establishment, growth and flow is called glaciation. Helicopter Glacier Weddings Package prices for 2020 are $2,471; $2,641; $3,355; $5,100 and $6,030. On our first trip in summertime, there were a lot of wildfires … Alaska is one of the most seismically active places in the world. It covers 850 square miles, which is almost the same size as Rhode Island. During the twentieth century, Valdez Glacier thinned by more than 300 feet. For more information, call the Anchorage office at 907-644-3661 or the Fairbanks office at 907-459-3730. Located just north of Valdez by road. However never paddle (or take a boat) into McBride Inlet due to its hazardous entrance. Use our calculator to find out, Stay casual, dress in layers, and get proper footwear, Guides to the best locations around the state to view wildlife. What are the different types of glaciers? Duration: 8 minutes, 34 seconds. Named after the elite ivy-league school in 1899 by the Harriman Alaska Expedition. Agassiz Glacier, a valley glacier found in the Saint Elias Mountains of southern Alaska. Be aware that many of the parks, forests, and refuges in Alaska have closed their visitor centers in light of these events. Originally known as Sitaantaagu ("the Glacier Behind the Town") or Aak'wtaaksit ("the Glacier Behind the Little Lake") by the Tlingits, the glacier was named Auke (Auk) Glacier by naturalist John Muir for the Tlingit Auk Kwaan (or Aak'w Kwaan) band in 1888. You’ll find more glaciers in the Alaskan national parks than anywhere else, which keeps these ancient monuments of ice accessible to all, including scientists who are closely studying the role of glaciers in our changing climate. Based on the most recent comprehensive survey in 2011, there were about 27,000 glaciers in Alaska. We land at elevations of 1,800 … The Mojave Desert Also, near the visitor center there are a total of 50 campsites at the Williwaw and Black Bear campgrounds. Matanuska is an easily accessible glacier near Palmer, Alaska. Whether seen from the water at Glacier Bay, from the air, or up-close as you hike across a field of ice, your first sight of Alaska’s glaciers is breathtaking. Enjoy the digital video on glacier fun facts. For more information visit the Alaska State Parks website at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/matsu/matsuglsrs.htm. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. For more information, visit the Tongass National Forest website, Located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. A short hike (3/4 mile) allows visitors a view of the glacier and a raft trip down the river to the train if desired. The Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is your gateway to the glaciers. Although glaciers have come and gone many times in the past, there are still two active glaciers near Yosemite's highest peaks. Glaciers are important fresh water reservoirs and glacier-related tourism is an important part of Alaska's economy. There are elevated access boardwalks for wildlife viewing and trails for more glacier observing opportunities. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, and forests in Alaska make up some of earth's most beautiful scenery. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. Yes, on a very clear day, you can see Denali, which is Koyukon Athabascan for "The Great One", all the way from Anchorage. The most vital ingredient for glacier-making is a location … 2-5 day small ship explorations. Unique environmental features and ecosystems support this untamed wilderness. One of the most visited glaciers in the Chugach National Forest, an hour (50 miles) south of Anchorage off the Seward Highway. From $95. The mv Ptarmigan cruises Portage Lake multiple times daily throughout summer on one-hour tours to the face of this icy wonder. It is approximately 400 square miles, 32 miles long and 1,800 feet thick. The picture is from modern day Ruth Glacier in Alaska. Promising stretches include: Seward Highway southeast of Bird Point and north of Ingram Creek. It is about two hours north of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. Overwhelmed by choices? Highlights plus less visited destinations. Tidewater glaciers are even more complicated. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. Perhaps you’ve heard a glacier referred to as a “river of ice.” It turns out that this definition isn’t too far from reality!Glaciers can be defined in a few ways. However, the number of glaciers is a misleading statistic. Glacier Bay's glaciers follow this trend. The Fairbanks APLIC is open Monday -Friday from 8 AM - 5 PM. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. During portions of its cycle, a tidewater glacier is relatively insensitive to climate change. Updates to individual glacier statistics and status is underway. Please try again. These perennial formations of ice, snow, rock and water have stuck around Alaska well past their 11,000th birthday, and a visit to one of these natural spectacles is an excellent sightseeing experience. One of the most beautiful glaciers in Alaska accessible by car. For more information please visit https://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm. Spencer Glacier. Our most popular and unique Alaska destination wedding location is an Alaska glacier landing and what a location to elope in Alaska. The visitor center near the glacier is the first visitor center built in the nation (dedicated in 1963). Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. You can see hanging valleys and truncated spurs. A U-shaped glacial valley in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana/Wyoming. Learn about Alaska's Glaciers. Named in 1890 after Gardiner G. Hubbard (regent of the Smithsonian Institution and first president of the National Geographic Society), it is the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, with an open calving face over ten kilometers (6 mi) wide. Worthington Glacier In Valdez, Alaska. These unsorted deposits of rock are called glacial till. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. It was named for … These places include horizon-filling volcanoes, more glaciers than you can count, mountain ranges that stretch hundreds of miles, waterfalls and secret beaches, gorges and hot springs. They’re Formed by Snowflakes and Time. Etymology and related terms. How do they form? Melting glaciers deposit all the big and small bits of rocky material they are carrying in a pile. Glaciers can carry rock of any size, from giant boulders to silt (Figure below). Find important safety tips & and guides on: McBride Glacier in the Due to COVID-19, Alaska Public Lands Information Centers have reduced hours and programming for 2020. The processes and features caused by or related to glaciers are referred to as glacial. Beginning August 3, 2020, the Anchorage APLIC will be closed in accordance with Anchorage Municipality health mandates for the remainder of 2020. Glacial till is fo… If you want to see beautiful blue ice that’s thousands of years old, a trip to Alaska might be the way to go. Is one of the most visited glaciers in the state, and the only part of the Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by road. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. Aboard the ship, Forest Service Ranger’s share the story of Portage Valley’s geology, wildlife, and history as a connection point between Prince William Sound and Turnagain Arm. 7-10 days is the most common. Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. About 60 miles southeast of Anchorage, Spencer Glacier is only accessible via the … From the Juneau Icefield to the far far North, tens of thousands of them cover the state. The number of glaciers is less important since large ones can split up into several as they retreat. Recent research determined that there is 11% less glacial ice in Glacier Bay than in the 1950s. Glaciers / Glacial Features The top of Exit Glacier as it is flows from the Harding Icefield NPS Photo/ D Kurtz Approximately one quarter (4.6 million … Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. Of the more than 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, 95% are currently thinning, stagnating, or retreating, and more importantly, the rate of thinning is increasing. Please call ahead if planning to visit and continue to check back for updated information. About; Contact; Expert Advice. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. We’ve put together this quick guide to help you find them. McBride Glacier, the only tidewater glacier in the East Arm, is approximately 40 nautical … What are the different types of glaciers? Why is the ice blue? The most intimate multi-day cruise option. The Ketchikan visitor center will be closed indefinitely for the health and safety of staff and visitors. These rocks with a different rock type or origin from the surrounding bedrock are glacial erratics. Introduction. Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier in North America. For more information on Portage Glacier visit the Chugach National Forest website. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, and forests in Alaska make up some of earth's most beautiful scenery. You’ve likely seen those iconic glacier images, with hunks of ice crashing into the... Mendenhall Glacier: Hike or Float. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? Visitors can take a short walk to reach the face of the glacier or hike a little further to the Harding Icefield. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. This trip is like the above glacier hike but includes the opportunity to ice climb on the glacier as well. West of the mountains lies a region characterized by braided glacial rivers, cascading streams, waterfalls, turquoise lakes, boreal forest and tundra. These rocks can be carried for many kilometers for many years. Self-drive vacations. For more information visit theAlaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation: Prince William Sound website, Formerly known as Sitantagu (meaning "The Glacier Behind the Town"). This glacier is the largest piedmont glacier in North America; spanning 60 miles across. Which one is right for you? There was a problem with your submission. Based on the most recent comprehensive survey in 2011, there were about 27,000 glaciers in Alaska. Located near Juneau in the Tongass National Forest. Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? Visit September to April to see the Northern Lights, Best Northern Lights Viewing Spots Near Anchorage, How to Travel to Alaska in January and February, The Best Large Family & Group Vacations in Alaska, How to Get from Anchorage to Your Cruise Port in Whittier or Seward (or the reverse!). Approximate distribution is:91% in Antarctica8% in GreenlandLess than 0.5% in North America (about 0.1% in Alaska)0.2% in AsiaLess than 0.1% is in South America, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, and Irian Jaya. Most U.S. glaciers are in Alaska. Look all around for glaciers … The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. Best Time to Visit Alaska? North of Yakutat in Yakutat Bay and Disenchament Bay. Important COVID-19 Update [as of December 8, 2020]. Please check your email to verify your subscription. The Columbia Glacier descends from an icefield 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level, down the flanks of the Chugach Mountains, and into a narrow inlet that leads into Prince William Sound in southeastern Alaska. Your guide to experiencing Alaska's Public Lands, Discover Alaska's Parks, Forests and Refuges, Alaska Department of Commerce and Economic Development, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, Stewardship of Public Lands: Do Your Part, How to Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes and Pests, http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/matsu/matsuglsrs.htm, For more information visit the Kenai Fjords Naitonal Park website, Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation: Prince William Sound website, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve website. COVID Closure: Due to the Governor’s instructions issued … Tidewater glaciers consist of recurring periods of advance alternating with rapid retreat and punctuated by periods of stability. 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