I saw people biking the trail and also bringing overnight gear in using Radio Flyer pull carts. There are 2 group camp sites and 3 groups of established campsites along the trail. Find all the transport options for your trip from Anchorage to Spencer Glacier right here. You probably ended up here because you were looking to visit Spencer Glacier, but the tours to Spencer Glacier are, let’s face it, ludicrously expensive.There’s good news for you! Leave your Altras at home. Also note that the ending climb shown on the route profile is … More importantly, the train schedule puts a tight time constraint on how far one can hike. Spencer Bench Cabin sleeps 6-8 … The next day we packed up and and had a slow hike back to the train. Transfer from Girdwood to the Portage train station provided. and were shocked with the beauty of the glacier! Enjoy a float down Placer River, witnessing Spencer Glacier in all of its beauty. Spencer Glacier rises 3,500 feet in a stunning, natural ramp from a lake of royal-blue icebergs in the Chugach National Forest just 60 miles south of Anchorage. The Spencer Glacier in itself is a mild quickie hike if you have out of town guests who want a smattering of Alaska. The Glacier Discovery is a passenger train operated by the Alaska Railroad between the towns of Anchorage, Whittier Alaska and south on the Seward rail line as far as Grandview whistle stop; then back again. Disembark at the Spencer Glacier Whistlestop, and gear up for an exploration of the iceberg-choked Spencer Lake and points beyond. The hiking trails are wide and well maintained. Spencer Glacier Iceberg Float Your experienced raft guides will meet you at the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop. This ice-age setting is rugged and primeval—mile-high peaks, sheer headwalls towering over gravel outwash plains, astonishing waterfalls and braided rivers. Had to use rocks on top of the pegs. It is a seasonal train, only operating between the months of May and September. Until next time!! From the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, cabin users will hike 2.4 miles along the Spencer Glacier Trail around the north side of the lake to reach the signed trailhead for the Spencer Bench Trail. No other campers joined us, so we were happy. I would LOVE to do it again. Then you take a hike about a mile and a half to the glacier itself. The second campsite was sheltered, but no glacier view so we moved on. There was a campfire ring in each of the 3 sections of the campsites and a stream for filtering water was a 2 minute walk away. It's best to call for reservations: (800)544-0552 or 265-2494 in Anchorage. Enjoy a float down Placer River, witnessing Spencer Glacier in all of its beauty. • Waterproof • Tear-Resistant • Topographic MapNational Geographic's Trails Illustrated map of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska's panhandle is perfect for hiking, camping, boating, paddling, and wildlife viewing in this scenic, rugged frontier. You have just enough time to go get a meal to go during your 40 minute stop over in Whittier. Enable JavaScript to see Google Maps. The Spencer Bench Cabin is the newest public use cabin in the Chugach National Forest. The second and third sites have 3 clusters of tent sites each (too close to each other, IMHO). After a short but scenic train ride, arrive at Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop aboard the Alaska Railroad. The train ride was comfy and beautiful. $80 cabin, $135 train ticket. Have fun Hiking family! The most interesting aspect of the glacier was the ice boulders on the lake, both apparently a result of the receding of the glacier. The area is open to overnight use by either staying at the Spencer Bench Cabin (5.4 mile hike), dispersal camping outside the Developed Recreation area, or in the group campground. Working in partnership with Chugach National Forest and the Alaska Railroad, we plan to build a 25 bed lodge overlooking Spencer Glacier, followed by … This ice-age setting is rugged and primeval—mile-high peaks, sheer headwalls towering over gravel outwash plains, astonishing waterfalls and braided rivers. Modern maps, charts, satellite First you take the train back into the wilderness to the Spencer glacier whistle stop because there are no roads. The Glacier Discovery Project is a proposed linked three hut system along on the Glacier Discovery Trail in the Kenai Mountains. In hindsight, although expensive, we wished we had taken the inflatable boat to the side of the icebergs looks amazing! Upon completing the hike I think they aren’t listing it fairly. I had 10 minutes of hyperextending my throat muscles when they failed to produce my Kimber upon our return to Anchorage. Spencer Glacier from Mapcarta, the free map. This amazing tour suitable for all ages and abilities starts with an easy hike from the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop along the banks of the Placer River down to Spencer Lake. Then you take a hike about a mile and a half to the glacier itself. The Spencer Whistle Stop and Glacier are located just South of Portage Valley and the Turnagain Arm in the Kenai Mountains and the Chugach National Forest. It's an extraordinary sight, and definitely worth the trip. *I stashed the empty gun case inside of the kennel in the bushes near the SB train “depot” while I was hiking. The trail is compressed gravel and is in excellent condition. When the Begich-Boggs Visitors Center was originally built, it was right at the foot … This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Or take a leisurely journey by raft down the Placer River toward Turnagain Arm. We hiked around and then met up with the. Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. This trip to Spencer glacier is worth every penny. It’s also home to one of the most spectacular and visible glaciers along the Railbelt: Spencer Glacier, a massive wall of ice cascading down the mountains to Spencer Lake. Kids explore the waterline at Spencer Lake with a good view of Spencer Glacier and some of its icebergs on Saturday, June 11, 2016. involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring.) ous Due to a fast flowing river, one is apparently not able to (easily) access the left side of the glacier. We stuck with the ranger because she had bear spray!! I wish I had thought of this.) rafting crew and went down the river. Spencer Whistle Stop Hop off the Train at the Spencer Whistle Stop! The glacier was at. A smidge traumatizing! Our trip to Spencer Glacier with Amy was awesome! We had a ranger conduct the tour but you could go out on your own as well. She took us safely to a beautiful, incredible place. Tour Overview. It is entirely off the road system, so we ride the scenic Alaska Railroad from Anchorage or Girdwood with breathtaking views of … We took the train in and camped overnight. The boat launch on Spencer Lake is a quick drive down a down former mining road. Glacier Bay. Loved it, spectacular and sad that it is disappearing but we rode snowmobiles out there and it was a one of a kind experience. No technical shenanigans and a hecka gradual but never ending ascent. I personally didn't think it was worth the 1.2 mile each way effort due to dodging a ton of animal scat and overgrown bushes but my husband disagrees- he thought it was a fine trail. When you have eliminated the JavaScript , whatever remains must be an empty page. The Glacier Discovery utilizes part of the Anchorage - Seward route. maintained. more, Is this a place or activity you would suggest for, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Is this a place or activity you would go to on a. Spencer is spectacular, scintilating and special! Hikers can access the area, south of … On the hike you will learn about the flora, fauna and local history of this glacial valley. She is a skilled and knowledgable guide, and made certain we were properly "geared up" before we left. Spencer Glacier is truly a wilderness, filled with the awe-inspiring power of nature. Station Stops. We saw bear scat and a few piles of odd bear berry vomit. Our train arrived at the Spencer stop at 2pm, and the return train was at 4:30pm. Had a beautiful view of the glacier from the tent. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. There is a trail near the RR depot called the Glacier Discovery Trail- Basically it's an overgrown road that leads out to a shallow part of the gorge. Spencer Glacier - Grandview Spencer Glacier – Grandview Day Trip. Portage Glacier. Take a tour with a Forest Service interpreter around the foot of Spencer Lake and then float among the icebergs that have calved off of the great glacier while the guide steers an Alaskan Native canoe. Take the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop Train in Alaska. THIS IS NOT YOUR MAMA’s TRAIL RUNNERS HIKE! The most easily and frequently measured glacier-fluctuation parameter is the geographic position of the terminus. I loved the snowmobiles and I loved looking at that blue ice. To travel on the railroad between Portage and Spencer Glacier is just $64. $20 kennel fee, $30 rail road parking lot fee. (Other passengers rafted around the glacial lake and then downriver, and were picked up by the train on its return trip. Our trip began with a short train ride from the station in Portage (which is not really a town anymore), but the Glacier Discovery train actually sets out from Anchorage. We went by Alaska RR and took the trail walk with a Park Ranger (checking out tracks of animals and following our guide who had the bear spray!) The hiking trails are wide and well. Otherwise no bears. However, we were pretty satisfied with just hiking the moraines and had a blast. Loved the walk. This trip to Spencer glacier is worth every penny. the stop after Portage, and from here, we took a short guided walk to the glacier itself. Fresh bear droppings on the trail. The cabin uses kerosene, the first setting does a great job taking the edge off without cooking you out. Rome2rio makes travelling from Anchorage to Spencer Glacier easy. View panoramic mountain & glacial landscapes on a 7-mile scenic river float down the pristine Placer River. Grab the train and a picnic lunch and spend 3 hours scouting around on very easy peasy trail and watching the icebergs. Updated March 2020, Visit Spencer Glacier on the Whistle Stop Train was originally written in June 2017. After a safety briefing, you’ll load up and float across Spencer Lake, getting up close to icebergs and taking in panoramic views of Spencer Glacier. In recent years, some glacier changes have been quite dramatic. Spencer Glacier (United States) Map, Weather and Photos. The cabin sits at an elevation of 1,900’ at the end of the Spencer Bench Trail, climbing away from the lake revealing breathtaking views of the Placer River valley and Spencer Glacier below. Alaska is pure beauty at its finest. (Just don’t miss your 4:30 train!) Looking at the history of the railroad construction and how much the glacier has. Both the second and third campsites have sand for the tent sites which initially look super great, but underneath is mostly rock and we had a tough time getting our tent pegs to stay in the ground. The railroad says you have to bring a kennel but fails to mention there will be a $20 kennel fee AND that your precious barely 1 year old puppy will be put into a cavernous empty loud cargo box car without heat for 4 hours each way. Be careful when pouring the kerosene in, it likes to dribble all over your arm which can really harsh your mellow when lighting poopy toilet paper fires. In fact, it is practically impossible to hike to the glacier and back in that amount of time. First you take the train back into the wilderness to the Spencer glacier whistle stop because there are no roads. Experience beautiful scenery, blue icebergs and a majestic glacier! Spencer Iceberg and Placer River Float Regardless of age or physical ability, you’ll get to experience picture-postcard Alaska with … /ˈärjo͞oəs/ adjective This average hiker girl was nervous. Even if you don’t make it back to the ice caves, just exploring past the end of the trail was like being in the opening scene of “The Sound of Music” and this time of year there were lots of low bush blueberries to snack on —yum! Yes, it’s 49 switchbacks up up up, but apart from the shale rock trail sections that sometimes make it hard to discern where the trail actually is, it is very doable. BEST thing ever! Their clam chowder is marvelous. Day Tours from Anchorage or Girdwood Start your day in Anchorage or Girdwood and join one of glacier day tours to get off the beaten path on a small group adventure, led by friendly and knowledgeable guides. The third campsite (closest to the glacier) is where we camped. We had to meet at the railroad station since there are no roads to this glacier. shrunk since 1890 is what more people need to see. Spencer Glacier is a () and has the latitude of 60.63333 and longitude of -148.90278. Hope this helps some of you out! The trail leads to Spencer Lake for spectacular glacier viewing. I classify it as a solid upper “moderate”. It’s a bit of a chunk of change to do this hike. Once you reach the glacier you will be amazed. It's so beautiful you'd think it was fake. Kayakers Josh Bastyr and Andrew Hooper ventured out on what they called a “peaceful glacier exploration” at Alaska’s Spencer Glacier. Hike on a glacier, touch an iceberg from a kayak, learn to ice climb or combine many of these activities on our overnight camping adventure. Happy trails! used to produce those estimates. Chugach Adventures’ was the original guide service at Spencer Glacier pioneering the area since 2001. It is plenty of time, however, to hike to the lake and enjoy the many floating icebergs with the glacier visible in the distance. The glacier is a wild place, it was a hike to remember. First of all, this trail is only accessible by train, and the ticket is not cheap (even starting from Portage -- a stone's throw away or more precisely a 20 minute slow train ride -- the roundtrip ticket is more than $80 as of 2019). The Glacier Discovery train leaves Anchorage each morning during the summer and heads south along the Turnagain Arm stopping in Girdwood and Portage before traveling through the tunnel to Whittier. We tried to hike as much as we can further around the lake toward the iceberg, but had to turn back halfway to catch the train. There is a 1.7 mile trail that extends from Spencer Lake to Spencer Glacier. From here, choose your own route across to tour ice bergs frozen in the lake and the ice wall of Spencer Glacier. I am used to trails falling in the normal intermediate, moderate, difficult classification and had never had one be listed as arduous. Although a few glaciers are advancing, many are in re-treat, especially those situated at lower elevations. Also, be prepared for a hiking trip that costs about the same as a 1 way ticket to Hawaii. Get up close to picturesque icebergs at Spencer Glacier lake after your scenic train ride on the AK Railroad’s Glacier Discovery Train. The Spencer Bench trail is an arduous 3 mile switchback trail that climbs 1800 vertical feet and terminates at a foot bridge. You'll be riding on the frozen lake and not on the actual glacier, which is not recommended. After a short 1 mile van ride your guide will outfit you in paddling gear and give a kayaking and safety briefing. Enjoy a float down Placer River, witnessing Spencer Glacier in all of its beauty. (It did finally turn up after a lengthy train shakedown). The first "dispersed" sites have enough sites for easily 5+ tents. If you want to bring a gun they require it be in a locked gun case and surrendered to them. Spencer Glacier is a glacier in Alaska and has an elevation of 2234 feet. If you wake up early enough and grab a snickers bar and/or a line of cocaine you can do some real off trail navigational exploring to the ice caves at Railroad Peak glacier. The train then took us to a bus station just for the park; Whistle Stop and dropped us off near the glacier. Rome2rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. It is massive and truly gorgeous. If you want to bring your dog like I did there are some things you should know. Spencer Glacier rises 3,500 feet in a stunning, natural ramp from a lake of royal-blue icebergs in the Chugach National Forest just 60 miles south of Anchorage. McBride Glacier, the only tidewater glacier in the East Arm, is approximately 40 nautical … Spencer Lake Iceberg & Glacier Tour. We followed the waterline and climbed up and hiked on the high dirt moraines (no trail, just using the least path of resistance) to the lake directly across from the Glacier. Online resources: Mystery Pass to Longspur Falls via Berry Pass. Spencer Glacier was our third glacier tour in two days, but it was anything but ho-hum. Discover the wilderness just beyond Anchorage with these unique and adventurous tours out of the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop. The trail is wide with crushed gravel and super easy to navigate. Once at the Spencer Bench cabin you will find a nearby stream water source and a new outhouse system that has you burning your used toilet paper in a bucket. The trail continues until it abruptly ends near the left lateral moraine of the glacier. 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