Travel Tuesday: Touring glaciers around Southcentral
The first official day of summer is this week. The season brings an influx of tourists to Alaska, ready to enjoy what residents of Southcentral have the opportunity to experience every day.
On this Travel Tuesday, Visit Anchorage shares what's on top of the tourist to-do-list and how easy it is for locals to enjoy as well.
While many Alaskans appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds them, some would be surprised to learn that there are about 60 glaciers within 50 miles of Anchorage. Visit Anchorage President and CEO Julie Saupe says viewing a glacier is easier than you may think.
"Not only do we have a lot of glaciers, but we've got several different ways to see them," Saupe said. "You can see them by boat, by rail, from the air, or it could be as simple as just putting on a good pair of walking shoes and getting outside."
Just past Turnagain Arm, great glacier viewing options await beginner adventurers at Begich Boggs Visitor's Center.
"Probably the easiest and most family friendly would be going out to Byron Glacier," Saupe said. "It's a 3-mile walk, it's flat all the way so it's very popular for families and those who maybe aren't used to elevated hiking."
If you're more adventurous, Saupe suggests trying the Portage Pass Trail — a four mile hike with elevation gain.
"It's very popular because when you get to the top, you look one way you see Portage Glacier, you look the other way and you see Prince William Sound. So spectacular; it's one of my favorite hikes in the area," she said.
There are also great trails for history buffs, including the historic Crow Pass Trail. There's access to the trail in Girdwood, which takes you to Raven Glacier.
"It's quite a hike," Saupe said. "It's for probably the more experienced hikers. It's an 8-mile round-trip. But, as you're climbing up the trail you'll go past old ruins from the Monarch Mine, as you get to the top you'll see Crystal Lake which is spectacular. There's an old cabin up there, and then you start getting views of the glacier."
These are glaciers that live in our own backyard, but seeing one of these destinations is a dream fro some visitors.
"These are things on their bucket list and of course, glaciers and climate change have certainly been in the public eye for several years now," Saupe said. "And that actually is one of the reasons why a lot of folks are choosing Alaska now. They want to get up and see the glaciers."
For more information on Southcentral destinations in Alaska, check out the Visit Anchorage cabin downtown or visit their website.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.
MORE TRAVEL TUESDAY: