Glacier Climbs & Treks with St. Elias Alpine Guides

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A third of Wrangell - St. Elias is covered in glacial ice, making it one of the easiest places to access a glacier in Alaska. The Root and Kennicott Glaciers practically spill right into town, serving up a fascinating wonderland of natural ice features with lots of ways to go exploring. Led by passionate pros who know the ever-changing glacier like the backs of their hands, you’ll enjoy a unique trip you’ll never forget.

Don crampons and explore the stunning features of the glacier.

Don crampons and explore the stunning features of the glacier.

Glacier Hiking Tours

From their office in Kennicott, you’ll reach the Root Glacier via a 2-mile trail. Once on the ice, it’s time to strap on the provided crampons and explore the stunning features of the glacier with expert guidance - rivers and waterfalls, crevasses and blue pools wait to be discovered. Learn about glaciology, local history, flora and fauna and enjoy views of the towering 7,000-foot-high Stairway Icefall and 16,390-foot Mt. Blackburn! Choose from a private tour (good for families) or a group tour, and a half (5-6 miles) or full-day (7 - 9 miles) option.

Ice Climbing

No experience is necessary to take on the challenge of scaling the dramatic icy walls of a glacier in one of the world’s most spectacular environments! Expert guides will walk you through every step. You’ll start off with a 2-mile hike to the Root Glacier, get fitted with the gear you need, learn some pro tips, and try your hand at this challenging but satisfying activity. After mastering your technique on an icy wall, you’ll move to a more challenging location that will put your skills to the test. Your guide will lower you into a seemingly bottomless moulin, a smooth, glossy, blue hole in the ice and you’ll get the unique experience of climbing inside the glacier!

Ice Cave Exploration

Glowing blue walls of ice, walking deep in an otherworldly setting, touching the various textures of ice: This truly unique opportunity is your chance to see what’s happening inside a glacier. It’s a strenuous half-day trip that will be one of the most memorable experiences of your Alaskan getaway! Given the dynamic nature of the ice, the conditions of the glacier’s caves are ever-changing, so this trip cannot be booked in advance. If this experience is high on your Alaska wish list, here’s how to ensure the best chances for success. First, visit after July 1 - early season flooding often prohibits safe entry into the caves. Second, because this trip is so challenging, you must successfully complete a half or full-day glacier hike before signing up for this trip so your guide can assess your abilities. The conditions of the caves can change during the season, so be prepared that they may become inaccessible at any time.

About St. Elias Alpine Guides

Founded in 1978, St. Elias Alpine Guides has a long history of empowering adventurers to achieve their trip of a lifetime. Their home base is the teeny bush town of McCarthy, Alaska, located in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park (the largest national park in America). Largely untouched by human impact, this extraordinary wilderness is the perfect staging ground for glacier hiking, backpacking, rafting, skiing, or even climbing some of the tallest peaks in the country. Take advantage of SEAG’s expertise and dedicated service to customize your dream trip - perfect for families or groups with a range of interests and abilities. No matter what you choose, you’ll be sure to get a slice of the “real Alaska” and make memories to last a lifetime.

Getting There

Motherload Powerhouse
Motherlode Powerhouse
McCarthy, AK 99588
Driving Directions

Prices & Dates

Season May 26 – September 10
Duration 3 hrs - Full-day
Rates Half-Day Glacier Hike // $110 / adult, $90 / child | 5-6 hrs | 9am daily. Additional 1pm tour from July 1 – August 15
Full-Day Glacier Hike // $150 / adult, $130 / child | 8 hrs | 9am daily
Ice Climbing // $170 / adult, $150 / child | Full Day | 9am daily
Ice Cave Exploration // $115 | 3 – 4 hrs | Daily June 15 – September 10th

Glacier Climbs & Treks with St. Elias Alpine Guides

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