Begich Boggs & Portage Glacier History

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About the Audio Guide

Glaciers are formed when more snow accumulates than melts through the seasons. The weight of the snow creates pressure that turns snowflakes into dense rivers of ice that shape the land.

About the Visitor Center

This picturesque Visitor Center on the shores of Portage Lake is your gateway to Portage Glacier. The center offers a movie, educational presentations, exhibits and displays about Alaska’s glaciers and glacial lakes. You can touch centuries old glacier ice and on certain days, take a walk with a ranger to look for iceworms.

You’ll learn about the glacial advance and recession that shaped much of the landscape you see around you. The Visitor Center sits on top of the remnants of a terminal moraine. It was deposited at the edge of the lake during the glacier’s 1893 advance. Walk the short Moraine Trail to learn more about this event.

Portage Glacier has retreated back into the valley just out of view, but still deposits ice bergs into the lake that float up into the viewing area.

Just down the road from the Visitor Center is the mv Ptarmigan. This cruise boat takes you across Portage Lake and just 300 yards from the face of the glacier.

Admission & Hours

  • Free admission
  • Open 9am-6pm, June-September

Getting There

Portage Glacier Hwy
Girdwood, AK 99587
Driving Directions

Begich Boggs & Portage Glacier History

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