Experience the excitement of walking, trekking, or climbing on the largest road-accessible glacier in Alaska! Just 90 minutes from Anchorage and guided by the company who pioneered the first Matanuska glacier trips!
There’s nothing that can prepare you for what it’s like to walk on a glacier. The crinkling of ice beneath your feet. The deep, blue crevasses. The cracking of settling ice and the echoing booms of rocks dropping into bottomless holes. It’s beautiful, it’s surreal, and it’s slightly spooky—kind of like an earth-bound moonwalk!
NOVA Alaska Guides walk into this world every day, and they love to share the wonders and experience of a lifetime with guests. You don’t need any specialized skills for this tour, just a basic level of fitness and ability. You’ll be on the ice for 2 hours exploring the many different features of the Matanuska glacier. All you need is a sense of adventure, some warm clothing, and snacks. NOVA provides everything else: crampons, helmets, walking sticks, and hiking boots. This trip is ideal for photo enthusiasts so make sure you bring your camera! Additionally, if you are interested in a more personalized experience Nova also offers this trip with a private option which is perfect for families with smaller children.
Matanuska Adventure Trek
The Matanuska Adventure Trek is a longer version of the Glacier Tour into the glacier. This adventure takes physical hikers out beyond the main terminus ‘Ice Falls’ area to the heart of the Matanuska Glacier and beyond the more frequented areas. Traveling back though the frozen ancient world of ice, exploring out where the more unique features are located and harder to access. It's approximately 4-5 hours long and you must be able to comfortably walk 6 miles to enjoy this trek.
Your guide to client ratio is kept small, 1:4, that way it is possible to customize each trip to your group's desire.
No experience is required and all of the glacier gear is provided; including boots, crampons, walking sticks, and a helmet.
Guided Backcountry Ice Climb
For those looking for more of a thrill or challenge, consider NOVA’s Ice Climbing trip. This is a good trip if you’re looking to test yourself physically and mentally. You’ll finish the day exhausted and with aching muscles, but you’ll have learned a whole new set of skills.
NOVA’s introduction to ice climbing lets you learn basic techniques, then put them to use. You’ll be outfitted with crampons and ice axes, a climbing harness and helmet, and learn the skill and art of ice climbing.
How do you most efficiently kick in a crampon toehold, or how can you tell when your ice axe has a good purchase?
Start on low angle pitches, then build your way up to more vertical sections of ice. Soon you’ll be looking down from towering ice pinnacles!
The Matanuska Glacier is the classroom, and your guides are experts who spend their lives exploring the world’s climbing meccas—Alaska, Utah, the Andes, and the Himalayas. They’ll share their knowledge, tips, and insights as you work your way to the top.
This ice climb lasts 8 hours, and you should be ready to work hard. But remember, the harder you work, the higher you get.
About Nova Alaska Guides
The first company in Alaska to guide tours on the Matanuska Glacier, NOVA Alaska Guides offers these hikes—as well as ice climbing and advanced trekking. NOVA groups everyone according to fitness level, and since they offer a low guide-to-client ratio, everyone gets the most out of their adventure.
Few people know the Matanuska Glacier like NOVA founder Chuck Spaulding, who’s been guiding on rivers and glaciers in Alaska for almost 50 years. His company headquarters is just down the road from the Matanuska and on the Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway, and Chuck and his crew spend a lot of time on the ice, finding new routes to explore and refining every aspect of trip safety.
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly glacier walk or a steep ascent with an ice axe, you’ll find it with NOVA.
Prices & Dates
|June 1 - Sept 10
|3 - 8 hrs
|Glacier Tour // 3 hrs | Check-in time 9:30am, 10:30am and 2:30pm | $115/person plus the $45 Glacier Park entrance fee
|Private Glacier Tour // 3 hrs | Check-in time 1:30pm and 3pm | $145/person plus $45 Glacier Park entrance fee
|Matanuska Adventure Trek // 5 hrs | Check-in time 9am and 1:30pm | $215/person plus $45 Glacier park entrance fee
|Guided Backcountry Ice Climb // 8 hrs | Check-in time 9am | $249/person plus $45 Glacier Park entrance fee
|Please see website for trip limitations (Age, weight, height, shoe size)
|Glacier Park is a separate company and their fee is $45/adult, $30/senior, $25/teen