Start with a dramatic flightseeing trip in either a helicopter or ski plane and then get out onto an ancient river of ice for a thrilling glacier exploration either hiking or climbing.
Get out and see a part of Alaska you would never see from a bus or a boat. Seward’s landscape is especially spectacular from the air, thanks to mountains, ocean, and three icefields (one of them is one of North America’s largest). From here, you can do everything Alaska is known for in one place: national parks, calving glaciers, inland climbing and hiking, and much more. See it all by going heli-hiking and flightseeing with Exit Glacier Guides. You’ll be in small groups with guides who are some of the best in the business—passionate about what they do, focused on safety, and intent on education.
Glacier Ski Plane Adventure
Once you get outfitted at the company office, you’ll head to the airport for this private, 4- to 5-hour trip. Take off in a Cessna 185 ski plane and enjoy 20-25 minutes of amazing flightseeing as you travel up Resurrection Valley and over to Exit Glacier, and then up over the Harding Icefield. After flying a loop, you’ll land inside the national park on skis, right on the icefield. You’ll rope up and set out on an easy to moderate hike, up to a ridgeline where you can look out over a 70-square-mile expanse of the icefield—a remnant of the Pliocene era—and see over the Gulf of Alaska, where the glaciers are spilling out of the fjords. After a snack and some hot chocolate, it’s time for the return flight home.
After meeting at the office and gathering gear, your private group will head to the airport to meet your helicopter. Lift off on a dramatic flight: You’ll be immediately surrounded by sea waters and snow-capped peaks, as well as alpine glaciers, ice fields, and massive waterfalls—there’s something new around every corner of this stark and rugged terrain. Keep an eye out for mountain goats, bears, moose, and even whales. Your destination is Godwin Glacier in Chugach National Forest. You’ll land right at the glacier, where you’ll don crampons and, for the next 1.5 hours—following the lead of your experienced guide—you’ll have the unforgettable experience of hiking around and exploring this ancient, frozen river.
Like the heli-hiking excursion, this trip begins with some dramatic flightseeing. After landing on the ice, though, you’ll go in search of amazing spots for ice climbing on the frozen surface. No experience? No problem. In your 4 hours out on the ice, you can choose to climb moderate walls on the glacier’s surface, or look for more advanced spots, deep within breathtaking moulins.
Enjoy a longer, private version of the ice hike. After your flightseeing trip, you’ll land near the glacier, where you’ll have a short hike to the glacier. Then don crampons and spend about 3 hours fully experiencing the magic of this mammoth river of ice.
After your unforgettable private, heli-flightseeing trip, you’ll land on an alpine ridge at around 4,000 feet, a carpet of tundra underneath your feet. Out here in the wild, you won’t find hiking trails, just the opportunity to wander about with your guide, exploring the alpine tundra and glaciers. In this super-beautiful, ever-changing landscape, you’ll be gazing out across the icefields to the Gulf of Alaska. It’s a land of waterfalls and alpine glaciers, and you’ll be keeping an eye out for mountain goats, bears, and marmots. Lunch is provided; the entire tour lasts around 7 hours.
About Exit Glacier Guides
Owners Brendan and Ryan both come from climbing backgrounds and have lived in the area going on 20 years. When Ryan first came to Seward, he worked for adventure companies and continued his passion for climbing. When the pair went onto Exit Glacier to work on their own personal climbing, they found an amazing resource that no one was taking advantage of.
They started the company in 2005 to share this amazing spot they loved. Theirs was the first land-based adventure company out of Seward to do glacier hiking and climbing, and they worked closely with the Park Service to make it happen. It’s grown over the years, but by focusing on safety and quality with all of their guides, they’ve been able to maintain one of the safest training programs in the state.
What to Bring
- Comfortable, non-cotton hiking clothes
- Hiking shoes
Prices & Dates
|Season||May 20–3rd week of September|
|Rates||Helicopter Ice Hike // $349 per person | 3 hrs. | Minimum age 8|
|Helicopter Glacier Exploration // $395 per person | 4 hrs. | Minimum age 10|
|Helicopter Ice Climbing // $425 per person | 4.5 hrs. | Minimum age 15|
|Alpine Backcountry Helicopter Hiking // $420 per person | 7 hrs | Minimum age 12|
|Gear Provided||Backpacks, trekking poles, technical gear for ice climbing / hiking|
|Rate Notes||Extended flightseeing time can be added to any tour; call for a quote|