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Hiking on the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska

The perfect adventure awaits you!
Chaitrali Datar
Soothing expanses of icy blue glaciers as though spread out as sheets! They surely are a treat for your eyes!
America's most largest and beautiful glacier: The Matanuska, Alaska
  • The Matanuska Glacier lies near the Glen Highway about 100 miles to the North of Anchorage in Glacier view.
  • It is the largest valley glacier by car in Alaska, USA.
It is 27 miles long and 4 miles wide and you can reach the base by car.
Hiking the Matanuska
Before we begin on how to hike the Matanuska, let us look at some information on what is a glacier.
  • A glacier is a constantly moving mass of dense ice.
  • New crevasses are opening all the time,and the ice keeps on collapsing, and forming icy rivers.
It is advisable to book a professional guided tour as this is not your normal hike in the woods!
Hiking Gear Checklist (Important)
✓ A strong walking stick
✓ Pointed Hiking Boots
✓ Water proof pants and jackets
✓ An all season jacket
✓ Sunglasses
✓ Strong gloves
✓ Winter cap/hat
✓ First Aid Kit/Toiletries
✓ Sleeping Bag
✓ Tent
✓ Compass,
✓ Knife
✓ GPS
✓ Big backpack.
Hiking Gear Checklist
✓ Ready to eat Food packets
✓ Energy Protein Bars
✓ Energy Drinks (Glucose)
✓ Plenty of Water
✓ Fire Starter (to make warm water)
✓ LED Lamp with extra batteries
✓ Ice Axe (optional)
✓ Extra set of clothes
✓ Plastic Zip lock bags
✓ Women essentials
For hiking the Matanuska, crampons are your best bet. It is like a traction device which is attached to your footwear to improve the mobility on ice.
The Matanuska is a private property and you have to pay a fee of $30 to enter! If it is a guided tour, then it is included in your tour fee.
Ice Fall Trek
  • Time duration : 4 hours
  • Experience great views of the ice-fall
  • Very popular
  • Get up and close to the bottomless crevasses and experience the beautiful ice-fall.
  • The mountaineering crampons will actually help you 'walk on water', as you experience unique ice formations. 
It is truly a sight to behold!
Advanced Trek
  • This trek requires certain level of expertise along with stamina.
  • It will require a full-day of exploration.
  • This trek involves height exposure.
  • Depending on your group's ability and pace this trek takes about one hour to one and half an hour.
  • It involves climbing over loose rocks, muddy trails and steep slopes.
But the hard work is definitely worth it, as you will be introduced to scenic vistas along with ice glacial exploration.
Overnight Glacier Camping
  • Experience the beauty of Matanuska in the night.
  • An overnight stay in the environs of ice!
  • Experience spectacular terrains throughout the day,with scintillating experiences in store for you.
  • You need to learn some basic hiking and climbing skills as this takes more than 5 hours extra than your normal trek.
Prep for the Hike
  • The climb involves walking over loose rocks and steep icy slopes.
  • Your base camp is from 2 miles from the point of your summit.
Enjoy a sumptuous hot dinner along with hot chocolate around a campfire on ice!!
Enjoy soothing coffee the next morning in the soothing environs.
  • Feel the adrenaline rush as you see sheets of ice from atop a helicopter.
  • Zoom past glaciers and do not forget your camera!
Helicopter Glacier Tour
  • The time duration for the helicopter ride is appx. 30 minutes.
  • Minimum of 2 people can go at one time.
  • Please note that you need to check the weather beforehand and ask your guide as your safety is top priority.
There are headsets provided for narration during the flight. You will be able to enjoy the views either from the side or in the front from the windshield.
Luxury Camping
  • Do not wish to undertake all the hike and sweat?
  • Matanuska provides you luxury camping also.
  • Experience comfort and seclusion on the base of Matanuska overlooking the glacier.
You can choose between deluxe tents and forest tents. You also have the option of exploring the glacier an entire day and returning to the base to relax.
Enjoy luxury camping with all the top amenities!
Safety precautions to undertake while hiking the Matanuska.
The Matanuska is definitely an extraordinary place to experience glacier hiking and adventure, and its biggest advantage lies in its easy accessibility.
However, some inherent risks definitely cannot be ignored...
  • Extreme rocky terrains
  • Slippery ice
  • Sudden changes in weather
  • Difficult glacial crevasses
Necessary Precautions:
  • Always have a guide with you.
  • Do follow their instructions even though it is an accessible hike
  •  Children should not be carried in strollers, backpacks or arms.
  • Minor children are solely the responsibility of the guardian or the parent.
  • Do have all the necessary equipment with you.
Happy Hiking!