one thing that everyone associates with a trip to Alaska is
the chance to have an Alaskan Glacier Adventure. Whether by
land, sea or air, all travelers to Alaska will have the opportunity
to experience these massive ice rivers that are more than
3,000 years old. At the present time most of the Alaskan glaciers
are receding giving visitors a rare glimpse of what the power
and the pressure of tons of moving ice can do to the ground
below. These mammoth ice sculptures can be seen all along
the Alaskan shore from south to north. Those traveling inland
will find glaciers carving the mountains and valleys of the
There are as many as 100,000 active glaciers within the state of Alaska. Not all of these glaciers have been given a name, but they are all recorded and followed by several researchers and scientist. Some of the larger and more popular glaciers have been made more accessible by the state and federal governments. Several glaciers are now within the boundaries of National Parks and others have had campgrounds and visitors facilities built near by.
touring companies fly over or onto the Alaskan glaciers by
helicopter or small airplane. Flight trips can last as long
as 8 days or can be as short as a ½ hour. Some of the
tours drop those with mountaineering experience off on top
of a glacier to do some exploring. Other glacier climbing
tours options include a glacier interpretive walking tour
or a full blown glacier climbing adventure.
There are several glaciers that can be seen from the roadside. Some are close enough to walk to from the road others are further out, but just as magnificent to see. People approaching glaciers from the road need to be aware that glaciers are unpredictable and unstable. Visitors are warned not climb on the glaciers or get too close.
Traveling to see Alaskan glaciers by boat is one of the most amazing experiences. Cruising toward these towering ice walls seems almost surreal. The glaciers split and break like shards of glass before tumbling into the still waters below. In some areas the water is filled with a gray and white slush. The lakes of the Alaskan Interior are murky and cold. The water is filled with the “flour” of the rocks crushed by the moving glacier.
To see the earth shaping power of these ancient snowstorms is unbelievable. To walk, fly or float by these enormous natural wonder is awe inspiring. However you choose to experience the glaciers of Alaska it is sure to be a memorable journey.