This beautiful glacier, lake and valley is one Alaska’s most visited tourist attractions. Once it used to cover the entire valley; now only a number of remnant glaciers remain. These are the Explorer, Middle, Byron, Burns, and Shakespeare glaciers.
It is located about an hour’s drive from Anchorage. The glacier is at the southeast end of the lake; you will be approaching from the north east, past the extant village of Portage. The access road will take you to Boggs Visitor Center. There are two ways to get to the glacier - by an hour long lake cruise, or by hiking along the lake.
- Portage: Not much is left of this ghost town apart from the husks of dead trees. A 1964 earthquake caused the land to drop six feet, flooding the village. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is near the village. It takes care of sick or abandoned wild animals.
- Begich Boggs Visitor Center: Though you can no longer see the glacier from the center it is still worth visiting. The telescopes still have some nice views, there is simulated ice cave.
- Byron Glacier Trail Head: An easy hike taking you along Byron Creek to views of the Byron Glacier, and upon return, great views of Portage Lake and Valley
- Portage Glacier Cafe and Gallery
- Trail of Blue Ice: Nice and wide path for hiking and biking with mountains all around but very little elevation gain.
- Portage Pass Trail: If instead of stopping at lake, you continue on the Portage Glacier Road, close to Whittier is the Portage Pass Trailhead. The day long hike will take you to an elevation with incredible views of the Portage Glacier.
Also, visit the popular attractions in the city by following Anchorage itinerary 3 days.
- Bring rain gear.
- Check out the Portage Glacier Cafe and Gallery.
- Prices depend on the cruise.
Begich Boggs Visitor Center:
- 9:00am - 6:00pm in the summer, daily.
- 9:00am - 6:00pm in the winter, weekends only.
- Drive to here.
- Take a cruise or hike to the glacier.
Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in Anchorage before you plan your trip.
Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Anchorage and book an accommodation of your choice.
35.78% of people who visit Anchorage include Portage Glacier in their plan
08 AM - 09 AM
63.54% of people start their Portage Glacier visit around 08 AM - 09 AM
People usually take around 5 Hrs to see Portage Glacier
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Portage Glacier
June 2018 Easy hike in a nearby trail for glacier view as well as affordable 1hr cruise. Nice view at ground level or above. It’s a good stop along the way.
Excellent view and quick. The Portage Glacier cruise included a presentation of what you are seeing while on the boat. The trip takes about an hour and half, and it is just perfect. I highly recommend this for people that do not have much time.
The glacier ice is great in a martini
What a view and experience boating to the glacier. The staff were incredible! Very knowledgeable, friendly, and experienced.
Very beautiful lake. Also beautiful glacier. You can buy a ticket direct from the boat. Very friendly staff. The journey will teke around 2 hour.