A Glacial Lake Inside Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier is a rare roadside glacier that one can actually look down on from the road.
Matanuska Glacier from the Patio of Long Rifle Lodge
( it was actually raining when I took this shot, we were lucky the rain stopped before our hike and started again when we were done)
This glacier is located on mile 102 of Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway, about 2 hours away from Anchorage. From the road, access to Matanuska Glacier is about 3 miles in unpaved but well maintained road. In the last 2 miles, access to the glacier requires a fee of $20 per person. From the parking lot of the trailhead, you can get closer to the glacier through a 1-mile interpretative trail, half of which is muddy due to the sediments that collected on top of the ice.
This Muddy Trail Actually Is Ice Underneath (photo by ktl)
Once you get to the edge of the glacier, the glacier itself is the trail, and you are free to explore around and inside the ice. Be extra careful getting inside the glacier since glacier can be very unstable.
photo by ktl
However, with proper gears and a common sense to be extra careful, one can enjoy exploring the ice. There are many guided glacier hike tours that you can find in Alaska.
High on Ice
Since we were not experienced ice hikers, we actually availed of guided glacier hike. I will share more about our glacier hike at Matanuska Glacier in a later post.