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Portage Glacier Alaska Information | Hike, Tour, Reviews, Cruise

Portage Glacier


5 Things You Need To Know

Portage Glacier Hike

Hiking enthusiasts can experience the beauty of Portage Glacier through the Portage Pass Trail. Here are the details:

  • Trail Length: 2 miles, offering a manageable yet rewarding hike.

  • Difficulty: Moderately challenging, suitable for those looking for a bit of adventure.

  • Location: Situated 90 minutes south of Anchorage, it's easily accessible at the far end of the Whittier Tunnel.

  • Scenic Ending: The trail culminates on the picturesque shore of Portage Lake, providing stunning views of the glacier, mountains, and the serene lake.

  • Base of Portage Glacier: The trail's end brings you to the base of the Portage Glacier, allowing you to witness its grandeur up close.

Portage Glacier Cruise Tour

Exploring Portage Glacier is made even more convenient with day cruises, such as the Portage Glacier Cruise. Here are the details:

  • Season: The cruises operate from May 13 to September 21, ensuring you can experience the glacier's splendor during the warmer months.

  • Cruise Ship: You'll embark on the MV Ptarmigan, a comfortable vessel for your adventure.

  • Guided Tours: Your journey will be enriched by informative narration provided by the U.S. Forest Service, offering insights into the glacier and its surroundings.

  • Tour Options: You also have the option to begin your tour in Anchorage, making it a seamless experience for those traveling from the city.


For those seeking a more personal and adventurous experience, paddling at Portage Glacier is a fantastic option:

  • Non-Motorized Vessels: Bring your own non-motorized vessels such as kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes to explore the serene waters.

  • Entry Point: The adventure begins at the base of Portage Pass, offering a picturesque starting point for your paddling journey.

  • Rental Services: If you don't have your own equipment, you can conveniently rent kayaks and other vessels through companies like AK Paddlesports, ensuring you have everything you need for your adventure.

Getting There and Parking

Getting to Portage Glacier is relatively straightforward:

  • Distance from Anchorage: It's approximately 55 miles from Anchorage, making it a manageable day trip from the city.

  • Parking: When you arrive, you can conveniently park at the Boggs Visitor Center, providing easy access to the glacier and the surrounding natural wonders.

Winter Activities

Portage Glacier is not only a summer destination; it offers a range of winter activities as well:

  • Winter Hiking: Experience the serene beauty of the area with winter hiking. Snow-covered trails provide a unique and tranquil setting.

  • Skiing: For those who love winter sports, skiing is an option in the surrounding mountains. Enjoy the thrill of the slopes in this picturesque landscape.

  • Snowshoeing: Explore the snowy wilderness with snowshoeing. It's an excellent way to navigate the winter wonderland.

  • Fat Tire Biking: Try fat tire biking, a fun and unique winter activity. The wide tires make it easier to cycle on snow and ice, allowing you to explore the surroundings.

  • Hiking: If you prefer a more relaxed winter walk, you can still enjoy the beauty of the area through winter hiking. The landscape is transformed by snow, creating a serene atmosphere.

Other Nearby Attractions


Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center


Alyeska Aerial Tram


Chugach State Park


Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

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