Matanuska Glacier is one of Alaska's most accessible glaciers, a 27-mile long river of ice poking out of the Chugach Mountains that is visible for miles along the Glenn Highway in Southcentral Alaska.
Things to do
Access to get up close to the ice is at Glacier Park, a private campground and resort at Mile 102 of the Glenn Highway. Visitors follow a private road to a parking lot at the glacier’s terminal moraine. From there, a self-guided hike leads to the gravel-laced ice. Local guides are available for those who want to trek out onto the ice and will outfit clients with helmets, crampons and trekking poles.
Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site sits at Mile 101 of the Glenn Highway and features a campground and rest area with scenic views of the glacier. The Edge Nature Trail is a 20-minute walk through boreal forest to glacier viewing platforms with interpretive signs.
There's more camping even further south at King Mountain State Recreation Site, located at Mile 76 of the Glenn Highway. The scenic campground is on the banks of the Matanuska River with views of King Mountain to the southeast. In between Matanuska Glacier and King Mountain are a number of lodges and bed and breakfasts, some with views of the glacier.
Glacier trekking and ice climbing
Outfitters at Glacier Park, a campground resort at Mile 102 of the Glenn Highway, offer the opportunity for a close encounter with Matanuska Glacier
. Guides outfit clients with a helmet, crampons and trekking poles and then led them on a hike across the frozen surface of the glacier. The more adventurous splurge on a guided day of ice climbing.