1. See America’s Largest Roadside Glacier
Right off the scenic Glenn Highway, the massive Matanuska Glacier extends off into the distance. Take one of the pullouts to check it out; be aware that there are fees for driving up to it (since glacier access is on private land), but if you’ve ever wanted to touch a glacier, this is your chance. If you want to really explore the glacier, take an unforgettable guided hiking or ice-climbing tour.
2. Amp Up the Adrenaline
The vast Matanuska Valley offers a variety of activities aimed to excite. Start with a view from above, zooming along on a zipline tour; the area features two of Alaska’s longest ziplines, as well as the state’s fastest! Then hit the water for a rafting journey; you’ll find everything from scenic floats on placid waters to exciting whitewater rapids. You can also set foot on the Matanuska Glacier by taking a guided hike with crampons or by learning how to ice climb. Or try driving a Jeep or ATV, where you’ll splash through the scenery on an exciting off-road adventure.
3. Take a Scenic Drive
The Glacier View area includes 30 spectacular miles of the National Scenic Glenn Highway. In addition to gawking at the views, you can make some fun stops along the way: visit historic Eklutna Village, take an easy hike to Thunderbird Falls, walk fun trails at the Eagle River Nature Center, and drop by the fascinating Musk Ox Farm.
4. Look for Wildlife
Things to Do
Glacier View Day Tours & Attractions View All
If you’re new to whitewater rafting or experienced in shooting through rapids, Lion’s Head makes for an exciting whitewater rafting trip. You’ll spend 2.5 hours speeding down class II, III, and IV whitewater, either paddling yourself or hanging on as your guide steers the raft downstream. All the while, you’ll be passing through gorgeous wilderness — wide-open vistas with massive rock formations — where you’ll have the opportunity to look for ...more
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
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.
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.
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
Nothing gets your heart pounding like zooming high above a glacially carved valley. The Nitro and G2 are two of the longest zips in Alaska, and the G2 is the fastest in the state. You’ll get the most amazing minute or so of sight-seeing you’ve ever had, gliding up to a half mile near the Matanuska River, and into the forested area around Matanuska Glacier.
Glacier View Parks & Trails View All
Beginning almost 120 miles northeast of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway, the trail to the summit of Gunsight Mountain takes a while to reach. After all, it involves a 3.5‑mile, 3,300-foot climb through some very big country. But the view from the top makes for an all-day excursion that you won’t easily forget.
Looking to break up your drive with a jog or bike ride? This little-used, 2‑mile section of the former Glenn Highway has little to no traffic. Rocks and shrubs are creeping onto the road surface in places. It’s quiet, scenic, and hilly. The roadway is officially closed in the middle but easily-passable.
A steep trail leads down to the creek from the gravel parking lot. Only pedestrian traffic is allowed on the trails (sorry, no ATV’s). The trail is difficult going at times due to its steep grade and lack of upkeep so watch your footing and perhaps take a hiking stick.
This amazing trail system was started by miners 50 years ago, and today they are maintained by Sheep Mountain Lodge Sheep Mountain Lodge owner Zack Steer. Zoom down Thriller on your mountain bike, enjoy a picnic with a view at the top of Corkscrew, search for a geocache site or come berry picking in the fall. There are 12 miles of maintained trails, which are groomed for cross-country skiing in winter. Peak blueberry season is from Aug. 15… ...more
This is part of the historic Chickaloon-Knik-Nelchina Trail System and travels high to show hikers beautiful sights. It starts in thick forest, but gradually climbs past lakes into wide open spaces. It used to be used to supply gold miners with equipment.
This trail is part of the historic Chickaloon-Knik-Nelchina Trail System and, in the early summer, almost always has Dall sheep birthing low on the mountain sides. There are moose here all the time. Be careful when crossing Boulder Creek.
This is part of the Chickaloon-Knik-Nelchina Trail System. The trail then goes to the left about a mile to a high cliff that overlooks Kings River. This trail gives hunters access to game country which keeps the trail free of brush but makes mud holes muddier. The first part of the trail is good for the whole family but gets more difficult as it continues on.
Mostly walks through brush, and forest. These trails can take you to a Chickaloon-Knik-Nelchina Trail System, which provide access to multiple creeks, lakes, and other trails. Caribou, bear, fish, and other wildlife are quite abundant in this area.
Be careful, it’s easy to miss this turn-off as you drop down the hill, but look out for the sign “Caribou Creek Recreational Area.” This seldom-used campground is a quiet place to camp, away from highway noise. It has fire rings and picnic tables, and there’s a trail to the creek. It’s a one-mile walk to the water. It’s a nice stream and it’s part of the State Recreational Gold Mining Area. So bring a pan and try your luck!
Climb to the summit of Belanger Pass, bike an all-day loop to Caribou Creek or off-road in a four-wheeler or ATV. This public access area is a gateway to adventure in the rolling tundra and alpine ridges of Belanger Pass and Syncline Mountain. The hike to the top of Belanger Pass is 90 minutes, following an old, rutted road. You can also bike this, following the Mining Road Trail for an all-day, 35 mile ride to Syncline Mountain and Caribou… ...more
Lion’s Head is famous throughout the state. This rock outcropping is the prominent feature beside the Matanuska Glacier and is featured in magazines and advertisements all over Alaska. And you can hike it! You’ve got to be in good shape and ready for a scrambling, one-hour climb. You’ll be rewarded by great views, looking down a 2,000-foot cliff face to the glacier. You’re panorama will include views of the Matanuska River, Caribou Creek with… ...more