Photo Credit: Lazy Otter Charters

Anchorage Glacier Tours

It's easy to see a glacier if you're in Anchorage. Within just an hour or two (quicker by plane!) of Alaska's largest city, you can be looking at some of the most dramatic glacier scenery in the state.

Jump to: South of Anchorage | North of Anchorage | Winter

From Anchorage: By Air

Rust's flies over a glacier in Prince William Sound

Rust's flies over a glacier in Prince William Sound

The quickest way to see a glacier from Anchorage is to hop in a plane or helicopter, and soar over the sweeping glacier landscape. You'll get a true sense of how enormous these rivers of ice are, and will be able to see all the amazing crevasses and features from above. Tours will fly to the nearby Knik Glacier or Lake George, or over Prince William Sound. This is a great option if you're short on time, but the price tag is higher than a tour by boat or other means. Still, flightseeing is worth it if you can swing it.

South of Anchorage

There are three areas south of Anchorage you can go check out a glacier, and they're all doable as a day trip.

Portage Glacier

The closest is Portage Glacier (1 hr), where you'll take a small boat up to the face. You can also stop into the Begich Boggs Visitor Center. This is another great option if you're short on time, but don't have the budget for a flightseeing tour.
Getting There: Drive or arrange for a bus transfer when you book your boat tour

Whittier: Prince William Sound

Whittier provides access to Prince William Sound. Here you'll find the largest concentration of tidewater glaciers in North America. You can see them on a day cruise, jet ski, or kayaking trip.
Getting There: You can drive, arrange for a bus transfer with your day cruise, or, travel on the Glacier Discovery train.

Spencer Glacier Float Spencer Glacier Raft PC Corey Anderson2019

Chugach Adventures paddles in front of Spencer Glacier

Spencer Glacier

In summer, Spencer Glacier is only accessible by railroad! Once there you can walk the trail down to the lakefront, or opt for a tour that gets you closer, which is what we recommend. You'll raft or kayak among the icebergs that have calved into the glacier lake.
Getting Here:
Glacier Discovery Train

Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park

Seward is the furthest from Anchorage, but still makes for a great day trip from Anchorage. Here you'll take a day cruise or kayak into Kenai Fjords National Park to see glaciers and wildlife. Or, you can opt for a hike to see (or walk on) Exit Glacier.
Getting Here: Drive 2.5 hrs from Anchorage, travel by motorcoach, or ride the Coastal Classic train (4.5 hrs). Both the train and the motorcoach schedules align perfectly to take a day cruise and return to Anchorage the same day.

North of Anchorage

Knik Glacier

Not accessible by road, you'll see the Knik Glacier from a rowdy and fun ATV tour, or from above by helicopter. You can even land on the glacier and go dog sledding!
Getting Here: Drive 45-minutes to the Palmer / Wasilla area for the start of your tour.

2021 Glacier PIC

Glacier City Snowmobile Tours visits Spencer Glacier

Matanuska Glacier

The Matanuska Glacier is the largest roadside glacier in Alaska. Get up close, and walk across the ice on a guided glacier trek, or for something a little more adventurous, try ice climbing! You can also see it via ATV, or, an aerial view on a zipline ride!
Getting Here: Drive 2.5 hours from Anchorage along the scenic Glenn Highway. Some tours may provide a shuttle.

Winter

Seeing a glacier in winter is not talked about much, but it is possible, and the experience can be pretty extraordinary. One amazing adventure is by snowmobile. Operators based in Girdwood guide visitors to Spencer Glacier, where if conditions are right, you can explore inside the bright blue ice caves! You can also join a guided hike on the Matanuska Glacier. Or, in early winter or early spring, Lazy Otter Charters will do custom charters out in Prince William Sound.

Show Map

Glacier Tours

By ATV

Season: Year Round $245+ Full day, half day and multi-day

Head out into the Alaskan wilder­ness on this excit­ing ATV adven­ture, dri­ving through woods and splash­ing through rivers on your way to a gor­geous glacial moraine sur­round­ed by tow­er­ing snow-capped peaks. Trans­porta­tion from Anchor­age included.

Season: Apr 17 to Oct 31 $259+ drive | $139+ passenger Half, Full, and Multi-Day

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.

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By Water

Season: May 29 to Sep 15 $159+ 5 Hrs

Take a 5‑hour cruise out of Seward into Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park. Look for glac­i­ers and wildlife from the M/V Bravest, a 127-foot, high-speed, sta­ble cata­ma­ran that fea­tures an enclosed heat­ed seat­ing area with large win­dows and two out­door decks.

Season: May 28 to Sep 06 $45+ 1 hr

Just an hour’s dri­ve from Anchor­age, the MV Ptarmi­gan let you get with­in 300 feet of the tow­er­ing ice wall called Portage Glac­i­er. You can also book a nar­rat­ed motor­coach tour to take you to Portage Glacier. 

Season: May 01 to Oct 02 $159+ 5.5 Hrs

Phillips 26 Glac­i­er Cruise, out of Whit­ti­er, will take you to 26 dif­fer­ent glac­i­ers in just 5.5 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.   ...more

Season: Year Round $175+ 3.5 to 9 hrs

Lazy Otter offers clas­sic tours, but this is a 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  ...more

Season: May 29 to Sep 06 $200+

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  ...more

Season: Mar 11 to Sep 26 $105+ 5 to 8.5 hrs

This vet­er­an tour oper­a­tor runs a a fleet of fast, mod­ern boats in Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park. You’ll vis­it tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers as you watch for puffins, sea otters, Dall’s por­pois­es, sea lions, and more. Some tours are designed to please bird­ers or shut­ter­bugs, while oth­ers are per­fect for families. 

Season: Mid-April – Late September $340+ per driver 4 hours

Tour­ing the spec­tac­u­lar tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers of Prince William Sound is even more excit­ing when you do it on a Jet Ski. Go with Alas­ka Wild Guides out of Whit­ti­er to expe­ri­ence the area’s unique sights and sounds while skim­ming across the top of the water on your own per­son­al watercraft.

Season: Jun 06 to Sep 06 $349+

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.

Season: May–September $340 4 - 4.5 hours

Faster than a kayak and more inti­mate than a day cruise, the Jet Ski is a great way to get up close and per­son­al with Alaska’s gor­geous scenery. Go with Whit­ti­er-based Glac­i­er Jet Ski Adven­tures and you’ll be tak­ing your machine out on the water to explore the stun­ning glac­i­ers and wildlife of Black­stone Bay. All equip­ment is pro­vid­ed and no expe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary on this unique 4.5‑hour journey.

Season: May 25 to Sep 15 $699 per person

Expe­ri­ence the wilder­ness of the Chugach Nation­al For­est from sev­er­al dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. Com­bine a heli­copter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, riv­er raft­ing and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours! It’s one big and bold Alas­ka tour de force with Chugach Adventures.

Season: Mar 06 to Oct 10 $89+ 3.5 hrs - Full Day

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. This fam­i­ly-owned tour oper­a­tor has gone above and beyond to give guests an amaz­ing day on the water since 1990

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By Snowmobile View All

Season: November - March $150+ 3 hrs

Feel the thrill of explor­ing the Alaskan wilder­ness while dri­ving your own snow­mo­bile over the tun­dra, look­ing for wildlife and tak­ing in amaz­ing views. And on a clear day you’ll get an amaz­ing view of Denali.

Season: Mid-November to mid-April $200+ 3.5+ hrs

Hop aboard an eco-friend­ly snow­mo­bile in Gird­wood and ride on groomed trails beneath mas­sive, 7,000-foot glaciat­ed peaks or vis­it the daz­zling blue ice of Spencer Glac­i­er. Or, head north of Anchor­age for a trail ride through mid-alpine black spruce forests. No expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary, all gear pro­vid­ed, and warm bev­er­ages and snacks included. 

Season: Dec 01 to Apr 20 $255+ 5-6 hours (day trip) or 4-10 days (multi-day)

Explore Alaska’s back­coun­try astride a speedy and fun snow­ma­chine. Alas­ka Wild Guides will take you out for one thrilling day, or for sev­er­al days of exhil­a­rat­ing adven­ture. Find hid­den ice caves and remote glac­i­ers while nav­i­gat­ing along frozen rivers and through deep powder.

Season: Nov 15 to Apr 04 $255+ Half Day, Full Day, Multi-Day

Own­ers Mat­ti and Dan can­not think of a bet­ter way to appre­ci­ate Alas­ka than shar­ing it with oth­ers. Mat­ti was born and raised in Palmer, Alas­ka and has been on snow­ma­chines most of her life. Alas­ka Back­coun­try Adven­tures offers mild to wild” expe­ri­ences and prides itself on pro­vid­ing a cus­tomized expe­ri­ence for all lev­els of abil­i­ty. It offers the widest vari­ety of expe­di­tions on the lat­est and great­est equipment.

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By Air

Season: May 01 to Sep 10 $125+ per person 30 min - 3.5 hrs

You’ll take off from Anchor­age, and Alas­ka will open up for you as you appre­ci­ate its vast­ness from the air. Where will you go? That’s up to you! Choose from a vari­ety of tours. Take one of the clas­sics, like flight­see­ing to Denali, or opt to explore one of the state’s hid­den gems. You can also fly to see glac­i­ers, go bear view­ing in Lake Clark Nation­al Park, or work with the pros at Alas­ka Air Ser­vice to cre­ate your own cus­tom itinerary.

Season: May 01 to Aug 31 $549 2 hrs

Ratch­et up the adven­ture fac­tor and try your hand at dogsled­ding. Alpine Air Alas­ka flies to a dog camp run by the old­est estab­lished dog-sled tour busi­ness in Alas­ka. With a shut­tle option avail­able from Anchor­age, you’ll trav­el by heli­copter from Girdwood’s green forests up over a small sad­dle to land on a glac­i­er and be intro­duced to the dog team. Dri­ve” the dogs your­self, or sit in the sled and enjoy hang­ing glac­i­ers that sur­round you.  ...more

Season: Year Round $379+ 1 hr - full day

For out­stand­ing view­ing and incred­i­ble access to remote places, there’s noth­ing like flight­see­ing by heli­copter. Join Alas­ka Heli­copter Tours – 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.

Season: Year Round $299+ 30 - 90 min

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.

Season: Year round - water landing approximately May 1st - October 5th $125+ .5 to 3 hrs

Explore Alas­ka from above with this fam­i­ly-owned com­pa­ny that oper­ates out of Anchor­age. Options include fly­ing above Denali, Knik and Colony Glac­i­er, the Chugach Moun­tains, and more!

Season: Year Round $125+ 30 min to 3 hrs

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.

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $569+ 1.5 hrs

Stun­ning scenery, a thrilling ride and hap­py pup­pies: this tour out of the Anchor­age area offers an unbeat­able com­bi­na­tion of clas­sic Alas­ka expe­ri­ences that will delight fam­i­lies or — real­ly, any­body. Tak­ing a total of about 90 min­utes, and run­ning from mid-May to ear­ly Sep­tem­ber, this tour includes a Flight­see­ing round trip, a small friend­ly group envi­ron­ment, and plen­ty of one-on-one time with the dogs and their mushers.

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By Foot

Hike on the Matanuska Glacier, just a little over a 2 hour drive from Anchorage

Season: Mid-May to Mid-September $89+ 3 hrs to full day excursions

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.

Season: Year Round $299 per person 9 hrs

Walk­ing out across the ice of Alaska’s largest road-acces­si­ble glac­i­er is an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence that you can take advan­tage of year-round — and it’s just a two-hour dri­ve from Anchorage.

Season: Jun 11 to Aug 20 $95+ 2.5 to 3 hrs

Expe­ri­ence a scenic float along a glacial riv­er. Just 90 min­utes from Anchor­age, the Matanus­ka Glac­i­er is Alaska’s largest road-acces­si­ble glac­i­er, and the water run­ning under­neath cre­ates a riv­er that’s per­fect for raft­ing. You’ll float down­stream for up to 2 hours, tak­ing in the scenery along the way — moun­tains, riv­er chan­nels, hill­sides, moraines — and look­ing out for wildlife. It’s fun for the whole fam­i­ly — any­one ages 5 and up can do this  ...more

Season: May 01 to Sep 15 $95+ 4 to 6 hrs

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  ...more

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