By Sea//Glacier & Wildlife Cruises and Sea Kayaking Trips
Phillips 26 Glacier Cruise, out of Whittier, will take you to 26 different glaciers in just 5 hours. Enjoy cozy comforts on the high-speed catamaran and wander its outdoor decks as you come within 300 feet of massive tidewater glaciers. In addition to glaciers, the captain will be on the lookout for wildlife like otters, whales, harbor seals, and marine birds. The trip takes place in the afternoon, and a hot lunch is included in your tour.
Ride the rails, sea kayak through an iceberg-strewn lake and explore a glacier, all in one trip! Locally-owned Ascending Path designed this awe-inspiring outing, packing several exciting elements into one satisfying day. Trusted by locals and Hollywood producers alike, Ascending Path will take you on an unforgettable Alaska adventure.
A fleet of fast, modern boats takes you to specifically selected tidewater glaciers as you watch for puffins, cormorants, sea otters, Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, and more. This veteran tour operator offers a lot of variety with its day trips into Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. Some tours are designed to please birders or shutterbugs, while some are perfect for families with little kids. You’ll hear the captain’s narration on all of them, sharing his deep knowledge of the Seward area’s history and terrain.
This family-run company operating out of Valdez will show you the best glaciers, with great customer service along the way. On any given day trip you’ll likely see huge rafts of sea otters, horned and tufted puffins, cormorants, humpback whales, or even bald eagles. Stan Stephens offers two daily tours, one of which features Columbia Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in South Central Alaska. And the company prides itself on staffing its vessels with all local Alaskans.
Throughout the decades, Anadyr has carefully tailored its trips to offer an option for just about anyone. Never kayaked before? Try the Valdez Glacier Tour for a relaxing paddle on a lake with an easy hike to the glacier. You’ll explore icebergs and even kayak into a glacial cave. Got a six year old that can’t wait to get out there? At 3-4 hours, the Duck Flats tour offers a mix of wildlife (sea lions and otters are common) and Valdez history. And if you want the comfort of a bed along with remote rugged views, then a mothership tour or lodge-based experience with delicious meals is in order.
Lazy Otter offers classic tours, but this is water taxi, so they’ll also take you anywhere you want to go within Price William Sound—or just customize a tour to whatever you want to see. Maybe that's glaciers, or whales,—or maybe it’s quiet time on a secluded beach. Lazy Otter can also help facilitate taking you and your family on a camping trip. You're not held to any strict schedule, either: if, on a day tour, you can spend more time in one spot if you want to see if a glacier will calve.
Glacierview Sea Kayaking with Alaska Travel Adventures offers the opportunity to kayak through Auke Bay while enjoying views of Mendenhall Glacier. You’ll also have the opportunity to see wildlife like whales, sea lions, seals, and bald eagles. Kayaking offers a much more intimate and quiet experience than other boat tours; at the same time, it is perfect for travelers who want an adventure. And even if you’ve never paddled a kayak before, a guide will help you learn the ropes before you depart.
Major Marine Tours will take you into Prince William Sound, which has the world’s densest concentration of tidewater glaciers and calm waters for cruising. You can choose from the half-day Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise of the Surprise Glacier Cruise. Both offer heated cabins, outdoor viewing decks, and an Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet.
Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords are great places to see wildlife and glaciers. And Major Marine’s vessels, which have cozy heated cabins and an outdoor viewing area, can take you out to see both. The half- and full-day excursions offer an Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet. to enjoy while you take in the scenery.
Explore Prince William Sound in a unique sailing kayak for a super-safe, comfortable and hands-free journey that uses wind and pedal power over paddling. Half-day, all-day and multi-day adventures reveal glaciers, marine wildlife and a phenomenal perspective of a remote and wondrous natural world.
By Land//ATV Tours, Hikes & Rafting
Enjoy a magical morning or evening kayaking the calm waters of Spencer Lake, in the awe-inspiring presence of a jagged terminus glacier. Your time on the water is sandwiched between two train rides that offer up some of Alaska’s most scenic rail miles. It’s a full day of unforgettable experiences in our country’s second largest national forest – the Chugach.
May - September
This guided walk near Mendenhall Glacier offers a compelling mix of tour, technique, and personal attention, so that you can create great memories and beautiful pictures. You’ll get some expert tips on photography—even if, like many travelers these days, you are taking shots with your phone, not an actual camera. You’ll get advice on how to use your smartphone camera better—namely through certain apps and built-in features that you might not be making the most of.
Northstar Trekking operates out of Juneau and caters to all styles of exploration. The curious glacier observer can simply fly to the glacier and snap photographs from flat or rolling terrain. You can also choose to hike on the glacier itself. If you’re very adventurous, you can even learn how to climb on the ice walls. No matter which option you choose, NorthStar Trekking will guide you all the way, making sure you get the most out of this unique opportunity.
The focus of the 3.5-hour Mendenhall Glacier Float Trip is great views of the namesake glacier, which is 1.5 miles wide, 150 feet high, and the most famous part of the massive Juneau Icefield that even John Muir once raved about. Glide along the iceberg-studded lake and scope out the glacier, getting up-close views of hanging glaciers and towering peaks. Keep an eye out for birds nesting in the rocky cliffs, as well as otters, seals, black bears, and bald eagles.
Mid-May to Mid-September
There’s climbing a mountain – and then there’s climbing an ICE mountain. Regardless of your climbing ability or experience, you'll end the day feeling fulfilled and inspired. MICA also offers short, guided hikes and longer treks if you prefer a more leisurely explore of the glacier and its grandeur.
The original hallmark trip that got the Alaska Railroad to bring the Glacier Discovery to Spencer Glacier in 2002. This is one of the most scenic glacier river trips in Alaska and a perfect float for all ages. Your trip begins with a scenic ride on Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery train, which runs from Anchorage, Girdwood, and other pick-up points along the railbelt. Enjoy a beautiful ride down Turnagain Arm and the Placer River Valley and into remoter areas of Alaska that you can’t get to by car. Disembark at the Spencer Glacier Whistlestop, and gear up for an exploration of the iceberg-choked Spencer Lake and points beyond.
Experience the thrill of walking or climbing on a glacier. The Matanuska is Alaska’s largest road-accessible glacier, and it’s just 90 minutes from Anchorage, so it’s an easy way to get up close and personal with these amazing natural wonders. You don’t need to be experienced in either activity—just be in good shape and up for adventure. You’ll either walk around on the glacier with crampons or learn how to use an ice axe and safely work your way up the gorgeous river of ice.
The location of this ATV adventure is the midpoint between Anchorage and Glennallen. Plenty of travelers drive through this area without pausing for more than a picture of the roadside glacier, but Glacier View ATV’s three-hour tour—the only ATV excursion in this part of Alaska—makes this tour well worth a longer stop.
Walk in the wild places of Alaska with experienced and friendly guides who will reveal the wonders of our local rainforests, alpine inclines, glaciers, or the far backcountry. Trusted by locals, Hollywood producers, and even the White House, Ascending Path guides you expertly to select areas just minutes from Anchorage.
If you’ve never walked on a glacier, this is your chance. Going with experienced guides, you’ll leave from Kennicott, hike two miles, and spend the next several hours on the Root Glacier, safely exploring the blue ice, blue pool, canyons, and moulins of this extraordinary natural phenomenon. Choose a half- or full-day tour and learn all about natural and human history from your expert guides along the way. Or ramp up the excitement by going ice climbing on the glacier—it’s something anyone can do.
May - September
A “hike” is often just about exercise, and a “tour” often just about history. This 4-5 mile hike from a Juneau-based operator offers a mix of talking, learning, and sharing, all the while climbing about 500 feet in elevation. The rewards for your hiking efforts are multiple panoramic views of Mendenhall, leading to the pinnacle view at the very end with a huge view of the glacier, surrounding mountains, and the ice field. Top off the tour with a tasting at Alaskan Brewing Co.
With Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours, you can experience glaciers inaccessible by road. Never fear if you’ve never driven an before; this company teaches you to maneuver your ATV through the Alaskan wilderness with your guide at the lead. Your destination is the magnificent Knik Glacier, where you’ll enjoy lunch and gorgeous scenery.
By Air//Flightseeing Tours
Go with Wings Airways and you’ll take off from Juneau in a 10-passenger DeHavilland Otter floatplane and get a lush view of the city as well as the surrounding mountains and ice fields. Opt for a 40-minute flight seeing tour, or book the “Flight and Feast Tour,” which takes you to dine at a 1920’s lodge.
While you may never join the ranks of climbers who have summited Denali, an up-close view of North America's tallest peak can still be yours. K2 Aviation offers once-in-a-lifetime flightseeing tours among and above the Alaska Range. Add a glacier landing to get a sense of how immense these peaks really are.
A lot of people swear to it: the best way to see Alaska is from an airplane, and there may indeed be no better way to get close to the face of Denali. This one-of-a-kind flightseeing operator makes it easy to see up close to the Great One without spending a great deal of time.
Natron Air’s owner and only pilot, Tim, can take you flightseeing to some of Alaska’s most beautiful places: the Harding Icefield and Mt. Redoubt Volcano. You can also opt for a bear-viewing tour that includes a beach landing, where you can photograph bears in their natural environment.
For outstanding viewing and incredible access to remote places, there’s nothing like flightseeing by helicopter. Join Tanalian Aviation – a locally-owned, highly-respected helicopter tour and charter company – for excursions that reveal hidden sites just minutes from Anchorage. Spot wildlife from the air, stand on a glacier or land on a remote airstrip.
Taking a TEMSCO helicopter tour shows off the Gold Rush lands around Skagway in a new light, revealing gorgeous, glacier-filled valleys, tumbling waterfalls and peak after icy peak at the north end of the Juneau Icefield. Then land on a remote glacier for an exciting guided journey on ice that was formed thousands of years ago!
A tour aboard a TEMSCO helicopter offers beautiful views of Alaska’s Capital City, and up-close exploration of Mendenhall, one of the state’s most accessible glaciers. Look out on alpine lakes, moraines, and crevasses before you land and check out the Juneau Icefield for yourself.
Enjoy a bird's eye view of Alaska's scenic highlights on a flightseeing tour with Rust's Flying Service, where every passenger gets a window seat. Tour options include a short 30-minute Anchorage Flightseeing Safari, a flight to Denali, Denali plus a glacier landing, and more. Tours begin at Anchorage’s Lake Hood, the world’s busiest seaplane airport.
Fly Denali is the only company north of the Alaska Range with a permit to land on glaciers inside Denali National Park. The result is a world-class flight-seeing trip, with landings on Denali’s glaciers.
May - Mid September
The port city of Seward is a classic stop on any Alaska itinerary, thanks to its proximity to Chugach National Forest and Kenai Fjords National Park. But it’s also one of the more diverse places to fly. This tour operator offers stunning birds-eye views of the area’s alpine meadows, glaciers and fjords, as well as the chance to touch down, explore the terrain and even meet sled dogs.
Go flightseeing over Denali National Park in a very unique way: via helicopter. Lift off on a 50-minute flight to check out the peaks of the Alaska Range and a 900-foot waterfall as you look for bears, moose, and Dall sheep. Or choose another great tour—landing the helicopter on a glacier, putting on special boots, and going for a walk on the frozen landscape to get an up-close look at it. Flightseeing in a helicopter is much different from in a plane—learn all the benefits of this great way of checking out the Alaskan wilderness.
There are few things more spectacular than lifting off in a helicopter and soaring over Alaska's glacier-filled terrain or out across its shimmering waters. Suitable for all ages. Get a taste for helicopter flightseeing on a 30-minute trip into the 20-Mile river valley and the heart of glacier country.
Touring Alaska by helicopter gets you to unimaginably wild and remote places. Some of the most amazing have been scouted by Alaska Ultimate Safaris. Explore a glacier surrounded by snow-capped mountains, or climb to the steaming summit of an island volcano. In either case, the views are unparalleled and the experience is surreal.