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Glaciers in Alaska: A Look into the Natural Wonders of the Last Frontier

Updated: Sep 11


Alaska is home to some of the largest glaciers in the world, and they are considered to be one of the most remarkable natural wonders in the state. These massive rivers of ice are a source of awe and inspiration for people all around the world. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of glaciers in Alaska and what makes them so special.


What are glaciers?

Glaciers are large masses of ice that move slowly down slopes or valleys. They are formed from compacted snow that has accumulated over time and becomes so dense that it begins to move. Glaciers are found in regions where snow accumulates faster than it melts, and they can persist for thousands of years. The world’s largest glacier, the Lambert-Fisher Glacier in Antarctica, is over 60 miles long and almost 2 miles thick.

Why are glaciers in Alaska special?

Alaska is home to some of the largest glaciers in the world, and they are a major tourist attraction. The glaciers in Alaska are special because they are easily accessible and provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Additionally, many of the glaciers in Alaska are part of the Chugach State Park, the third largest state park in the United States. This provides ample opportunity for people to explore and admire these natural wonders. One of the most famous glaciers in Alaska is the Mendenhall Glacier, which is located just outside of Juneau, Alaska’s capital city. This glacier is over 12 miles long and has been designated as a U.S. National Monument. Another popular glacier in Alaska is the Columbia Glacier, which is located in Prince William Sound and is one of the fastest retreating glaciers in the world.


The beauty of glaciers in Alaska is not only limited to their size and accessibility. They also provide a unique opportunity to witness the effects of climate change. Many of the glaciers in Alaska are retreating at an alarming rate, which is a clear sign of the impact that humans are having on the environment. This makes visiting these glaciers even more important, as they serve as a reminder of the urgent need to protect and preserve our natural resources.

How to explore glaciers in Alaska

There are several ways to explore the glaciers in Alaska, depending on your interests and level of adventure. One of the most popular ways is to take a guided tour, which will provide you with an up-close and personal look at these natural wonders. You can also take a scenic flight, which will give you an aerial view of the glaciers and the surrounding landscapes. For those who are looking for a more adventurous experience, there are several options for glacier hiking and ice climbing. These activities allow you to get up close and personal with the glaciers, and provide a unique perspective on their size and beauty. It’s important to note that these activities can be dangerous and should only be attempted by those who are experienced and properly equipped.


There are an estimated 27,000 Glaciers in Alaska. About 616 have names in the USGS (United States Geological Survey) system. In Alaskas Glacier Bay alone there's 1000 Glaciers. All the Glaciers in Alaska make up 0.1% percent of the world's Glaciers. Here are just a few of the many Glaciers in Alaska and how best to access them.


UPDATED: 06/24/23


COUNT: 14

​Bear Glacier LOCATION: Seward, Kenai Fjords ACCESS: Boat / Kayak NOTES:



Beloit Glacier LOCATION: Kenai Peninsula, Blackstone Bay ACCESS: Boat NOTES:



Blackstone Glacier LOCATION: Kenai Peninsula, Blackstone Bay ACCESS: Boat NOTES:



Buckskin Glacier LOCATION: Denali National Park ACCESS: Airplane NOTES:



Byron Glacier LOCATION: Portage ACCESS: Hike NOTES: May be the easiest spot in the world to view ice worms in the wild.



Exit Glacier LOCATION: Seward ACCESS: Hike NOTES: Made famous by a visit fomer President Obama



Godwin Glacier LOCATION: Seward ACCESS: Helicopter NOTES:



Kalhitna Glacier LOCATION: Denali National Park ACCESS: Airplane NOTES:



​Lawrence Glacier LOCATION: Kenai Peninsula, Blackstone Bay ACCESS: Boat NOTES:



Marquette Glacier LOCATION: Kenai Peninsula, Blackstone Bay ACCESS: Boat NOTES:



Porcupine Glacier LOCATION: Seward ACCESS: Boat / Hike NOTES:



Portage Glacier LOCATION: Portage ACCESS: Boat NOTES:



Ruth Glacier LOCATION: Denali National Park ACCESS: Airplane NOTES:



Spencer Glacier LOCATION: Chugach National Forest ACCESS: Train / Hike NOTES:





The glaciers in Alaska are truly a marvel of nature and a must-see for anyone visiting the state. From their size and beauty to the unique opportunities they provide to witness the effects of climate change, there are many reasons why these natural wonders should be on your list of things to see and experience. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and head to Alaska to witness these incredible glaciers for yourself.


Did you Know: Out of the 10 largest Glaciers in the World, Alaska has three of them; Malaspina-Seward Glacier, Bering Glacier, and the Hubbard Glacier. Antarctica has the largest, Seller Glacier which is two times the size of Alaska's Largest Glacier.


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