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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Matanuska Glacier: Top 4 Incredible Facts

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Matanuska Glacier is one of Alaska‘s most accessible glaciers. It is a stable 27-mile long river of ice flowing from the Chugach Mountains north to the Glenn Highway.

It is visible from one of Alaska’s major highways with a four-mile wide terminus. It is the most popular roadside attraction between Anchorage and Glennallen.

Every year, many tourists flock to the summer area for the glacier’s brilliant views and epic perks.

Matanuska Glacier

Matanuska Glacier: A Top 4 Incredible Facts

Matanuska Glacier is a valley glacier that exists on the valley floor. Today, the majority of the glaciers are smaller alpine glaciers that hang off mountain slopes.

This road trip gives you a feel for the colorful adventures, ice climbing, and Alaskans who guides glacier.

The Glacier is on private property. So, you’ll have to pay $30 per person to enter the glacier.

1. Ecosystem In Matanuska Glacier

There are more than 100,00 glaciers of various sizes and importance in the ecosystem. The Matanuska Glacier is a valley glacier. It consisting of streams of flowing ice that create the headwaters of the Matanuska River.

It is located on a continent that has a perfect blend of circumstances to create and support glaciers.

The terminus position has changed 60 miles south of Palmer, relatively little in the past 30 years.

The Glacier functions as a weather hole that naturally propels warm air upward. Visitors will experience sunnier skies and a more courteous environment compared to the rest of the Mat-Su Valley.

This is a premier destination for those seeking glacial adventures.

2. Activities In Matanuska Glacier

Most visitors of Glacier Park are curious about ice. Once you reach Glacier Park, you can access a resort. It is a private campground at Mile 102 of the Glenn Highway.

A Road leads to a parking lot at the terminal moraine. And from there, you can access a 20-minute self-guided trail. It takes you to the gravel-laced ice at the foot of the glacier.

The park also includes various tours led by experts with helmets, crampons, and trekking poles. Local Guides are available for those who want to trek out onto the ice and outfit clients with helmets, crampons, and trekking poles.

It is best to hire a guide or join in a tour that has experienced guiding. Guided tours are always beautiful and joyful. There are many opportunities for photographs on all your trips.

This hike will carry over lunch. So, bring snacks, water, and a small day-pack if you have one. There will be an option to eat lunch after your hike at a nearby restaurant.

A scenic campground is on the banks of the Matanuska River with views of King Mountain to the southeast.

There are several lodges, beds, and breakfasts in between Matanuska Glacier and King Mountain. These give the views of the glacier.

A 229-acre recreation area located adjacent to the Glenn Highway at Mile 101, to the south of Glacier state Park is Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site.

There is no direct access for anyone to the glacier. But still, this state site provides some of the best views of the Matanuska Glacier and the headwaters of the Matanuska River.

To reach the glacier viewing platforms, you can take 20 minutes to stroll through the forested Edge Nature Trail.

There are popular summer activities include glacier trekking, picnic table, river rafting, and hiking. You can also experience winter activities include skiing, snowshoeing, and snow machining.

matanuska hike

3. Influential Conditions Of Matanuska

The influential conditions here that created and continue to support Matanuska Glacier are the following:

1.Closeness to a Large Moisture Source:

Matanuska Glacier gives you a chance to experience moist ocean air because it is located near the Pacific Ocean. And due to this humid air, it will freeze and fall as snow under the right circumstances.


Moist ocean air is forced to form higher, colder air due to the Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges’ rising bedrock. You can see these while taking a day trip Glacier tour.

Beyond 7000 feet of elevation, the moisture subsequently freezes and falls as snow accumulates layer upon layer. But there are few risks of the snow ever fully melting.


The Glacier is located at 61.6 degrees North Latitude. It is much farther away from the equator than most any location you might visit within North America.

So, the winters here are more prolonged and average temperatures more relaxed throughout the year. Therefore, snow is accumulated at high elevations and transforms into beautiful and blue glacier ice.

4. Weather

The weather varies quite a lot here. It is about 5-10 degrees cooler down the glacier. You need not worry about checking the weather ahead of time as there is no accurate forecast for the area.

4. Travel Guide For The Glacier

1) Activity Level:

Trails surfaces vary from flat to uneven natural terrain. You should be able to walk short distances on uneven ground.

2) Safety Measures:

You may face Rocky Terrain, slippery ice, and changing weather at the Glacier. So, you must follow some safety measures and take care of yourself. There are many risks associated with the glacier level.

There are even hazards like crevasses, that may even cause your death.

3) Children:

Children carried in arms are not allowed. The minimum age is 8 years old. Children under 8 years are not recommended to keep your safety in mind. Only Parents and legal guardians are allowed to take care of minors.

4) Things to Include in this Hike:

  • Small-Group Experience.
  • Admission into Matanuska Glacier.
  • Certified Wilderness First Responder Guides.
  • 1 to 6 guide to guide ratio while on the Glacier
  • Approximately 3-hour guided hike to and on the Matanuska Glacier.
  • Mountaineering crampons
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Live commentary on board
  • Professional ice guide
  • Helmet
  • Trekking pole
  • Loaner Hiking Boots
  • Day Packs
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Heavy Snacks
  • Bottled Water
  • Gloves
  • Clothing Layers
  • Rain Gear
  • Camera

5) What not to do:

You must arrive dressed appropriately for your tour. Make sure you bring the right clothing for the straight season.  If you risk yourself by coming with improper clothing, your ticket to the term may be canceled without any refund.


If you are a tourism lover and always wanted to visit beautiful places, absolutely Matanuska Glacier is the best hike to see. You will love it whether you are a self-proclaimed thrill-seeker or only someone who appreciates beauty.




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