Most visitors experience Skagway from sea level, as they arrive by cruise ship to explore the Gold Rush country between Alaska and Canada. Taking a TEMSCO helicopter tour shows off this remote land in a new light, revealing gorgeous, glacier-filled valleys, tumbling waterfalls and peak after icy peak at the north end of the Juneau Icefield.
Helicopters are uniquely adept at getting you close to picture-postcard scenes, including landing on a remote glacier to explore its wonders up close.
Take off from Skagway’s historic waterfront, leaving its green waters and forested mountains behind for higher, jagged peaks and even more dramatic vistas. Your route and destination will be determined before the flight, and will be based on the conditions of the day to ensure you have the best viewing opportunity possible.
Typical destinations include the Chilkat Glacier surrounded by jagged peaks, Ferebee Glacier encircled by plentiful waterfalls, or Meade Glacier and its spectacular “river of ice.” Enjoy the views from above during the 20-minute flight before you touch down for a 40-minute tour led by an experienced TEMSCO glacier guide. Learn about glacier features such as crevasses and moraines, and get an understanding of the incredible role glaciers play in shaping the dramatic landscape.
The return flight to Skagway gives you more time to take in the remote beauty of the Coastal Mountain Range separating Canada and the United States, and to reflect on an amazing once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan ice adventure!
When TEMSCO launched in 1958, its mission was pretty straightforward. An acronym for Timber, Exploration, Mining, Survey, Cargo Operations, the Ketchikan-based helicopter company was founded to provide support and rescue capabilities for the lumber, fishing and mining industries, since its aircraft could reach places that fixed-wing planes couldn’t—namely, by landing on ice.
Great Views, Unparalleled Access
In the 1980s, TEMSCO added tourism to its repertoire, offering travelers both amazing views of the mountains, glaciers and vast, untouched landscapes, as well as unparalleled access once the helicopter lands. TEMSCO’s tours – based out of Juneau, Skagway, or Denali National Park – give you the chance to walk on glaciers, drink glacier water straight from the source, or go dog sledding in some of the most beautiful and pristine environments imaginable.
Though there are no age requirements for TEMSCO tours, they do require a moderate level of activity. Guests will need to be able to walk a minimum of 100 feet to and from the helicopter, over uneven snow, as well as have the ability to get on and off the helicopter (which requires navigating two 18" steps with minimal assistance).
What to Bring
- Dress in layers to stay warm and comfortable
- Bring sunglasses: glaciers are bright even on a cloudy day
- Camera, binoculars
- For security reasons, guests are prohibited from taking the following items on the aircraft/tour: bags or cases of any kind, iPads or tablets, tripods, selfie sticks or other extendible items, drones, water bottles or liquids. You can safely stow a bag of other personal items at the TEMSCO office
Prices & Dates
|May - September
|Glacier Discovery Tour // $399
|Due to weight and balance limitations, as well as guest safety and comfort, passengers weighing 250 pounds (113kg or 18 Stone) or more will be charged an additional $150.00 to reserve adequate space onboard the helicopter. Total weight includes shoes and clothing. Surcharge must be paid at time of booking.
|Guests will need to be able to get into and out of the helicopter unassisted (or with a little assistance).
|They will also need to be able to walk a minimum of 30 meters over uneven/rocky terrain.
|Guests are not able to stay in helicopter, as the helicopter will drop them off on the glacier and return to town with other passengers.
|For each tour, allow about 30 extra minutes for transportation to and from the helicopter dock, as well as a safety briefing.
|TEMSCO tours are conducted under the Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS), a stringent safety management program.
|Flight routes and landing sites may vary due to weather and glacier conditions.
|TEMSCO also complies with the flightseeing and wildlife viewing practices adopted by the Alaska Visitor’s Association, in order to insure the continued viability of area wildlife.
|Guests must also be able to stand/walk on the glacier for 40 minutes during the guided tour.