The Forest Service’s Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is located in Portage Valley, one of Alaska’s most visited recreation areas. The valley is a showcase of glacial activity with a number of "hanging" glaciers gracing the encircling mountains. The visitor center is located on the northwestern shore of Portage Lake, and was built on the terminal moraine left behind by Portage Glacier almost a century ago. The Trail of Blue Ice, Byron Glacier Trail, and other trails available in close proximity to the center.
Here's what you'll find here:
- Modern, accessible visitor center.
- Honors Interagency Passes (Senior Pass, Access Pass, Annual Pass, Military Pass, and Golden Age/Access Passport). Valid passes allow access for cardholder and three guests.
- State-of-the art exhibits with moving light patterns, sounds of a rushing stream, and cool blasts of air as you take video tours of life-sized dioramas or kayak trips on Prince William Sound.
- A theater with the award-winning film, "Retreat and Renewal: Stories from Alaska's Chugach National Forest," Interpretive specialists help you explore the glaciers, wildlife, climate, geography, and people of the Chugach National Forest and Prince William Sound.
- Opportunity to take a close up look at Portage Glacier via a one-hour tour boat excursion on Portage Lake. Offered by a commercial company through a special use permit with the Forest Service, Forest Service interpreters provide information about glaciers and their effects on life and the landscape.
- A multi-use classroom that serves as an extension of the visitor center, also available for meetings, lectures, and special event rentals.
50 miles south of Anchorage at Mile 5.5 of Portage Glacier Road
When to go
Open daily Memorial Day Weekend through early September from 9:00 AM to 5 PM.
Length of stay
One hour to all day. Day use only, visitor center closes at night
A few accommodations are found in Whittier, Girdwood, and Bird. Anchorage has a range of hotels and B&Bs