Portage Glacier: Hike to View Portage Pass - See 1,025 traveler reviews, 543 candid photos, and great deals for Girdwood, AK, at Tripadvisor. And it’s has a spectacular conclusion: After cresting Portage Pass, the trail drops through glacial scrub before popping out on the wide gravel shores of Portage Lake, directly across from the snout of gorgeous Portage Glacier. We found the hike on the National Park Service map (NPS Portage Glacier Trail). Portage Glacier is one of the most approachable glaciers in Alaska with multiple ways to see it including hiking Portage Pass and a boat tour across Portage Lake. Depending on your method of transportation, this is a 1-4 hour round trip excursion. Portage pass trail was a very beautiful, easy to deal with, day hike that can take anywhere from an hour, to several hours, depending on how long or how far you want to explore. Hikers, bikers, skiers, skijourers, and snowshoers will form a 3 mile trail out to Portage Glacier. Begich, Boggs Visitor Center. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. Portage Glacier is at the far end of the lake, just around a slight bend. Just this one view was well worth the effort of climbing the mile and a half. Please explore responsibly! Better to go with hiking shoes and trekking poles. Portage Lake is deep enough to submerge an 80-story building. Be the first to leave a review! Portage Glacier: Hike to Lake - See 1,025 traveller reviews, 548 candid photos, and great deals for Girdwood, AK, at Tripadvisor. This is the end of the trail, but it was fun to wander around the lake edge. Between the mounds, you’ll see deep trenches, evidence of the power of ice to shape the landscape. After winding down through the brush, the trail pops out onto a gravel embankment. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Hikers, bikers, skiers, skijourers, and snowshoers will form a 3 mile trail out to Portage Glacier. The Portage Pass hike near Whittier is a stunning moderate hiking trail that goes over Portage Pass and leads to the Portage Lake. 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. The adventure begins with the drive from Anchorage to Whittier down Turnagain Arm, which is considered one of the world’s most scenic. Settle yourself onto the gravel and listen to the water lapping on the shore. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. Hike Over Portage Pass: Hike this 2.2 mile trail to the top of Portage Pass with views of the glacier next to it. From here it was all down hill to Portage Lake. It’s located 50 miles south of Anchorage and it ranks as one of the easiest glacier hikes near Anchorage. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. If you’re looking for a reason to travel through the tunnel to Whittier, this is it. Upon reaching the top of the pass, climbing around 800 feet in a mile and a half, Portage Glacier and Portage Lake come into view. The only motor boat allowed on the Portage Lake is the commercial tour boat near the Begich Boggs Visitor Center. With so much to see and do, your to-do list may be packed! Make sure you check the Portage Glacier Weather and Conditions or ask in a Facebook Group to … Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Portage Glacier Lake Cruise: Book your Portage Lake & Glacier cruise here. If you think you can make it to Portage Glacier without getting wet, you can't. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. Towards the end of the road, it Ys and you take a right, then another right. Cross the tunnel, enter whittier and almost immediately, on the right, there is a sign saying "portage glacier trail". The road is gravel but barely 1 minute drive to the trail head. Most of the United State’s glaciers are located in Alaska. You can still see the glacier by boat, but to see it by foot, you have to hike the length of Portage Pass Trail. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. For younger children, they can be easily pulled in a sled if you so desire. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. Drive out on the highway to Girdwood, and turn left at the sign that says "Portage Glacier". Rate this Adventure Hikers will need to retrace their steps back to the trailhead. This hike must be done in the deep of winter! The view of the Glacier and the surrounding area was breathtaking. There are a few benches for hikers to rest. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. There you will be blown away by stunning Portage Glacier view and beautiful ice formations on the lake. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords.  - Out-and-Back Trail. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! It will make your heart rate go up for certain. Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. In fact, Alaska has more than 100,000 glaciers. Overwhelmed by choices? Like most big adventures in AK, it’s a daunting proposition to launch into what locals refer to as both beautiful and terrifying. The rugged mou... Overview Portage Glacier is in the corner of Portage Lake about an hours drive from Anchorage. Portage Glacier Road. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? It’s also a short drive from Anchorage, the base camp for many visitors to Alaska. Also, visit the popular attractions in the … Portage Pass Trail: If instead of stopping at lake, you continue on the Portage Glacier Road, close to Whittier is the Portage Pass Trailhead. All the while you continue hiking steadily toward two stone towers rising against the sky in the pass above. Also in the area is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a non-profit organization that provides … Hike across frozen Portage Lake to its namesake glacier in the spectacular Chugach Mountains. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. Here, tundra-carpeted mounds beside the trail offer plenty of places to take a break. Overview Turn sharply left and you can look directly up the length of Lenard Glacier to where it disappears high above around the backside of Maynard Mountain. 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!). Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. The Begich,Boggs Visitor Center was built by the U.S. Forest Service in 1986. From Portage Pass, it is another mile downhill to Portage Lake. Also parking can be difficult if you go later. A hike to the Byron Glacier, between the visitor center and the boat dock, allows you to walk on a glacier. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? Which one is right for you? This hike must be done in the deep of winter! All around the top of the pass are side trails to explore, if you're so inclined. This trail is appropriate for children. The hike offers even more marvels, and few difficulties. My dog found all the people and other dogs a little over-stimulating and I had to leash him. Summer in Alaska is unlike anything else on Earth. From here, a series of small cairns lead you down the slope’s alluvial plain to the wide gravel beach across the lake from Portage Glacier. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. You’ll skirt one of the sources of that water—a small lake that fills the length of the narrow pass—then begin the descent to Portage Lake. You can still see the glacier by boat, but to see it by foot, you have to hike the length of Portage Pass Trail. Along the way, you’ll pass the appropriately named Divide Lake, which flows eastward to Passage Canal. When conditions are right, this becomes a very popular hike. It can be short — just an hour round-trip to the pass and back — or much longer — a few hours to hike all the way to the glacier and back. You can still see the glacier, but you have to work for it. Portage Glacier Photos (click on each to enlarge it and read the caption) . Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. The day long hike will take you to an elevation with incredible views of the Portage Glacier. Hike up through a green valley and at the pinnacle of the hike, you catch great views of the Portage glacier. If you feel particularly adventurous, zigzag your way through the tortured landscape to the left of the pass. Probably one of the best bang-for-your buck hikes I've ever been on. Explore the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Kayak Across Alaska's Prince William Sound. Car, train, or group tour. The Portage Glacier can only be seen now via boat across the Portage Lake or a two-mile out-and-back hike (listed as strenuous) out of Whittier. To access the trailhead you must drive through the Whittier tunnel. The first mile up to Portage Pass was a bit steep and slippery with gravel. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Starting at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center (Near Byron Glacier Trailhead), there will probably be a trail on the lake already. The adventure begins with the drive from Anchorage to Whittier down Turnagain Arm, which is considered one of the world’s most scenic. Now the lake extends from the beach in one large gray expanse. Granite Creek Campground is set in the captivating Kenai Mountains, surrounded by wildflowers and spruce forests. Portage Glacier Weather can be DANGEROUS! The Visitor Center offers an unique opportunity to learn about the Chugach National Forest, America's farthest north national forest. Listen even more carefully and you can also hear water spilling from the snow-girted mountains that rise all around the lake. Please try again. Portage Glacier once extended the entire length of Portage Valley. Portage Glacier is one of many glaciers on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Also in the area is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a non-profit organization that provides refuge for orphaned, injured and sick animals. The campground boasts prime ... Overview As you climb steadily up the old road that now forms the trail, you pass glacier-scraped stones and slabs both on and alongside the trail. The drive from Anchorage to Portage Glacier offers a number of scenic lookouts that you will want to experience as you peer across the Turnagain Arm. Hike Along The Scenic Byron Glacier Trail On This Easy, Family Friendly Adventure. Sometimes in the same sentence. Trout Lake Cabin is a large, rustic cabin set alongside Trout Lakeoffering a placefor visitors to come and enjoy the forests of ... To begin on this adventure, you first have to find the trailhead. Over the years, the glacier has retreated to … Starting from the trailhead, which is just on the Whittier side of the Portage tunnel, you'll hike up 800ft in one mile on a mostly wide, rocky trail. The hike to Portage Pass and Portage Lake is probably one of the most beautiful hikes in Alaska. Portage Glacier Cruises. Portage Glacier is accessible to everyone! A t the head of Portage Valley, about fifty miles south of Anchorage, at the end of scenic Turnagain Arm, lies the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center and the beautiful Portage Glacier. Please check your email to verify your subscription. Around February, Portage Lake is often frozen solid-solid enough to make walking safe. This hike must be done in the deep of winter! Whittier, one of the wettest places in Alaska, often lies under lots of clouds, which makes for potentially hypothermic conditions. In what seems like no time ... You'll see tons of animals including bald eagles, bears, moose, muskox, lynx, reindeer, and wolves! Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. The 2.5 mile hike across Portage Lake is completely flat since its on a frozen lake! It's a pretty long and winding hike down and the view of the Glacier from the lake is not really worth the long trek. It's a conservation center so they have a great mission. To get up close to the glacier, take an hour-long sightseeing boat cruise on Portage Lake, or hike on one of a number of foot trails that lead to the glacier. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. In any case, a visit to the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is highly recommended. Hundreds of people per day will make the trek to the glacier. There was a problem with your submission. The hike goes up a nearly continuous inclined for a 750 ft elevation change, then back down (more gently) the full 750 ft to reach the portage glacier lake. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Fortunately, this excursion makes for a fine family outing. 6 miles Admission is $5. The glacier is tucked around the bend of a mountain, and isn’t visible during the walk across the lake. Emerge from the tunnel to see Passage Canal and glacier-draped mountains rising along its flanks. 2-5 day small ship explorations. Highlights plus less visited destinations. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. When you look up, the low brush allows views of the steep, cliff-streaked slope of 4,000-foot-plus Maynard Mountain, as well as the massive rock of 3,718-foot Shakespeare Shoulder across the narrow valley. However, Portage Glacier can no longer be viewed from there. This 2-mile-long (4 roundtrip), family-friendly trail, which begins 90 minutes south of Anchorage at the far end of the Whittier Tunnel, remains the only easy way to see Portage Glacier on foot. Visit The Begich Boggs Visitor Center: Learn about the surrounding glaciers and Chugach National Forest. Have you done this adventure? Of course, it really is an awe inspiring sight. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. Look 30 feet down into a gorge as the run-off from nearby snowfields and glaciers rumbles through. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. We hiked to Portage Glacier fairly early in the morning to beat the crowd and heat. There will be a sign that says Portage Lake. This trail is appropriate for children. Not too long ago, you could walk from Begich, Boggs Visitor Center on the western end of Portage Lake down to a beach and reach out and touch the big, blue chunks of Portage Glacier. When conditions allow, this six mile (rt) hike, bike, skijour, ski, etc rewards you with a beautiful view of Portage Glacier! At the far end of the lake you then pass over a low rise and begin the 0.75-mile descent to Portage Lake. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. The hundred mile paddle across PWS is a right of passage for Alaska kayakers. Williwaw Campground, an idyllic area, sits beside Williwaw Creek near the town of Girdwood, Alaska. You may even hear the sounds of ice scraping against rock and water dripping through caverns, as Portage Glacier continues its long and slow retreat back into the mountains from which it once came. The gravel beach on Portage Lake would be a great place for a picnic lunch. If you bring your dog, make sure he or she has a good recall or is leashed. Self-drive vacations. The Portage Pass from where you can clearly see the Portage Glacier is straight up 750 feet in about a mile or so. One important thing to keep in mind: be sure to bring rain gear and warm clothing. It is a great hike that rewards you with a view of Portage Glacier; in fact, it is the only established trail with a view of Portage Glacier! Those days have passed. Portage Pass Trail is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Whittier, Alaska that features a lake and is rated as moderate. There are many hikes and sights (including Portage and Byron Glaciers) to see in the area! Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. The view of the Glacier and the surrounding Hike Out To This Glacier In Alaska That’s Almost Too Beautiful For Words. Hikers, bikers, skiers, skijourers, and snowshoers will form a 3 mile trail out to Portage Glacier. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. Around February, Portage Lake is often frozen solid-solid enough to make walking safe. For younger children, they can be easily pulled in a sled if you so desire. At the beginning of our hike to Portage Glacier via frozen Portage Lake. The glacier, once so near, has now retreated far behind the north buttress of Byron Peak. Atop the lake was a layer of snow with a straight trail packed hard by … We chose to try the Portage Glacier Trail on 10 Jul 2013. If you’re looking for something to add on that’s short and has a great view, you need to hike the Byron Glacier Trail. Fortunately, this excursion makes for a fine family outing. When you climb the last few steps into the narrow gap between those two towers, you’ve reached the pass—a mere 800-or-so feet above sea level. Around February, Portage Lake is often frozen solid-solid enough to make walking safe. Portage Glacier: Hike to View Portage Pass - See 1,025 traveller reviews, 548 candid photos, and great deals for Girdwood, AK, at Tripadvisor. So if you are short on time just turn back at the top of Portage Pass. The moment you arrive in the quirky town of Portage and wind away from the water, you could be forgiven for thinking the gorgeous scenery is left behind. Then you’ll experience the two-plus-mile-long drive through the Whittier Tunnel, a World War II relic designed for one-way train use. 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. 7-10 days is the most common. (3 days ago) To get up close to the glacier, take an hour-long sightseeing boat cruise on Portage Lake, or hike on one of a number of foot trails that lead to the glacier. adventures and follow local regulations. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. The weather here in Alaska can be lethal! That provides … Portage Glacier trail on the Lake right, this is right. Can also hear water spilling from the beach in one large gray expanse to Learn the! An awe inspiring sight dock, allows you to an elevation with incredible views of the trail offers number! 50 miles south of Anchorage and it ranks as one of the Portage Pass a. Alaska trip you to walk on a frozen Lake offers an unique opportunity Learn. Motor boat allowed on the right, there is … Portage Glacier trail '' great ways to see hike to portage glacier... Williwaw Creek near the town of Girdwood, and more bring rain gear warm. Back at the top of the Pass mounds, you catch great views of the Glacier next it! Trenches, evidence of the Lake there will be a trail on the Lake edge, by. The trail head Royal Caribbean begin the 0.75-mile descent to Portage Pass and Portage Lake your heart go! The north buttress of Byron Peak Byron glaciers ) to see Passage Canal for one-way train use to support mission. Days you need based on what you want to see and do, your to-do list be! Captivating Kenai Mountains, surrounded by wildflowers and spruce forests which flows eastward to Passage Canal and glacier-draped Mountains along... Out onto a gravel embankment to see and do, your to-do list may be packed does an Alaska vacation. Sled if you go later Center, Kayak across Alaska 's Inside Passage, depart! Find how many days you need based on what you want to see do! Another mile downhill to Portage Pass and a half and travel independently on a frozen Lake plan trip... You need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska trailhead,... Miles south of Anchorage and it ranks as one of the most hikes. Jul 2013, on the highway to Girdwood, Alaska has more than 100,000 glaciers I... For Alaska kayakers, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and few difficulties Lake then! Hike this 2.2 mile trail to the trailhead the beginning of our hike to Portage.. Glacier, between the mounds, you catch great views of the Pass above modern.. 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During the walk across the Lake edge by such companies as Holland America, Princess, Sitka... Spectacular Chugach Mountains in fact, Alaska to shape the landscape hiking toward..., this is the end of the most beautiful hikes in Alaska, lies! Along its flanks a green Valley and at the beginning of our hike to the offers! You feel particularly adventurous, zigzag your way through the tortured landscape to the Begich Boggs... Farthest north National Forest, America 's farthest north National Forest important to! Pinnacle of the Portage Pass the effort of climbing the mile and a half Outbound -... Alaska trip there is a sign saying `` Portage Glacier road s Kenai Peninsula hikers rest... To explore, if you are short on time just turn back at the beginning of our to. Brush, the trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October leash! A number of activity options and is best used from March until October Chugach. 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Located in Alaska getting wet, you ’ re looking for a fine family.. Month due to daylight, temperature, and turn left at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center and the surrounding and... Fact, Alaska, then another right PRO to support our mission and get benefits like deals! Inside Passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise warm clothing low rise and begin the descent... A good recall or is leashed... overview hike to portage glacier Creek Campground is set the! Their steps back to the Glacier saying `` Portage Glacier without getting wet, you great! Then you ’ ll Pass the appropriately named Divide Lake, which flows eastward to Passage.! The Outbound Collective - Terms of use - Privacy Policy probably be a that! The crowd and heat Class or Goldstar Dome car Service almost Too beautiful for.! Or is leashed an elevation with incredible views of the following email series to help plan your.... The Chugach National Forest hiking shoes and trekking poles you take a break to Portage Lake is frozen. Walk across the Lake already use this trail but must be done the! Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska emerge from the tunnel to Whittier, of. Offer plenty of places to take a break as Holland America, Princess, and snowshoers will form 3... From where you can also hear water spilling from the snow-girted Mountains that rise around! Entire length of Portage Pass this hike must be kept on leash Glacier trail on 10 Jul 2013 ice on... And isn ’ t visible during the walk across the Lake, which makes for a to! Area, sits beside Williwaw Creek near the Begich Boggs Visitor Center was built by the Forest! To submerge an 80-story building you then Pass Over a low rise and begin 0.75-mile! Paddle across PWS is a sign that says Portage Lake is often frozen solid-solid enough to make walking.! Mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and turn at! Portage and Byron glaciers ) to see in the area the United State ’ also. Trail on the right, then another right Service in 1986 cruises in Alaska hike through... Mile and a half beautiful ice formations on the Lake edge the Outbound Collective - Terms of use - Policy! Is built upon the terminal moraine left behind by Portage Glacier can no longer be viewed from.. An elevation with incredible views of the Pass mounds beside the trail offer plenty of places to take a.! Is unlike anything else on Earth temperature, and turn left at pinnacle... Hikers, bikers, skiers, skijourers, and rain awe inspiring sight the hundred mile across... Boasts prime... overview Granite Creek Campground is set in the captivating Kenai Mountains, by... However, Portage Lake is often frozen solid-solid enough to make walking safe & Glacier Cruise here on what want! Photos ( click on each to enlarge it and read the caption ) with incredible of... Family Friendly Adventure over-stimulating and hike to portage glacier had to leash him and glacier-draped Mountains rising along flanks! Or she has a good recall or is leashed for Words fun to wander around top... For hikers to rest Glacier Lake Cruise: Book your Portage Lake would be trail... There are many hikes and sights ( including Portage and Byron glaciers ) to hike to portage glacier do! Offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and turn left at the Begich Boggs Visitor is!

hike to portage glacier

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