Portage Glacier

Currently Open
  • Address: Portage Lake Loop, Girdwood, AK 99587, Anchorage, United States
  • Timings: 24-hrs Details
  • Time Required: 05:00 Hrs
  • Tags: Outdoors, Trail, Family And Kids, Lake, Valley

About Portage Glacier, Anchorage

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.

Portage Glacier Information

  • Bring rain gear.
  • Check out the Portage Glacier Cafe and Gallery.

Portage Glacier Ticket Prices

  • Prices depend on the cruise.

Portage Glacier Opening and Closing Hours

Begich Boggs Visitor Center:

  • 9:00am - 6:00pm in the summer, daily.
  • 9:00am - 6:00pm in the winter, weekends only.

How To reach Portage Glacier by Public Transport

  • 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.

TripHobo Highlights for Portage Glacier

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Things to Know Before Visiting Portage Glacier

  • 84.77% of people who visit Anchorage include Portage Glacier in their plan

  • 77.81% of people start their Portage Glacier visit around 08 AM - 09 AM

  • People usually take around 5 Hrs to see Portage Glacier

Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Portage Glacier

People normally club together Eklutna Lake and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center while planning their visit to Portage Glacier.

People also prefer to start their day with Portage Glacier.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures

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Portage Glacier, Anchorage Reviews

  • 2.5 mile hike (one way) in the snow when portage lake is frozen over. Bring snowshoes or skis in the spring during break up season or you will have a rough time.

  • A glacier that requires a day journey to reach, but you won't be disappointed. Portage Glacier is hidden well behind some rock, so if you want to see this glacier you'll need to travel to it. You could take a ferry from the Portage Glacier Cruises and that would be the easiest way to see Portage Glacier. Travel by kayak to the glacier is also possible, but you'll need to bring your own kayak and travel with someone experienced with the weather conditions. Finally you could hike to it from Whittier via Portage Pass Trail.

  • If it happens to get cold enough during the winter, be sure to make the ~2.5 mile (one-way) home across the lake when it freezes over. The glacier is gorgeous up close and certainly something everyone needs to see.

  • Walking across the frozen lake was amazing. Lots of people on bikes, great place to bring your dog as well. Definitely worth the slippery hike. Just make sure not to get too close to the base of the glacier as this area can be dangerous from calving.

  • Great amazing place to go see . Beautiful views of the glacier . You are able to get very close to it from the both . It's a must see do not miss this place . It is offered for about 85 per person through Holland of America . Someone else did it through Groupon .

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