Train and Iceberg Hike from Girdwood
After checking in with the local representative at the Alyeska Resort, you will have a quick gear-up, before driving to Train Depot. ALL ABOARD as you ride to Spencer Whistle Stop on the Glacier Discovery Train. While on the train, when not enjoying the beautiful scenery, all guests will fill out a hiking application and sign a waiver. A deli lunch of either a turkey or vegetarian sandwich is served on the train.
The Spencer Glacier is located just South of Portage Valley and the Turnagain Arm in the Kenai Mountains and the Chugach National Forest. It is entirely off the road system, so you will ride a train from Anchorage, Girdwood or Portage with breathtaking views of glaciers and towering alpine peaks. The tour is operated under permit from the Chugach National Forest.
From the Spencer Whistle Stop, your group of a maximum of 9 per guide will board a bus for a short dirt road jaunt to the base camp at the lake edge. This saves 2 miles of walking, and will get you past the crowds, directly to the most scenic spot. From base camp, the hike will take you along the lake edge, stopping at overlooks to enjoy outstanding views of the glacier and icebergs floating in the Spencer terminal lake. The total distance from the edge of the lake to the glacier is just over 2 miles (each way) of flat Forest Service-maintained trails. You will not walk on the glacier for this hike, but you will get right up to it! The total hiking time is approximately 3 hours, and is a total of up to 4.2 miles round trip. Your guide will set the pace based on the group's fitness level and desires. About 1 hour of the tour is riding the scenic Glacier Discovery Train.
Your hike includes many photo and rest stops to learn about interesting local wildlife, history and glaciology. Guests visiting Spencer Glacier will surely come away with great photographs and memories, and better respect and knowledge about glaciers, mountain weather, and the history of Alaska.
After the hike, you will board the Northbound Glacier Discovery train, making several stops before returning to the Train Depot. From here, you will be transferred back to the Hotel Alyeska at the end of an incredible day of travel and exploration.
Please Note: Participants must arrive prepared. Guests must dress in warm synthetic clothes in multiple layers, the top layer being waterproof. Cotton clothes, including blue jeans, are not recommended. Long synthetic pants, a fleece jacket or thin mid layer, long wool socks, and sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes are required. Each guest should bring a backpack, a warm hat, light weight gloves, and sunglasses. Cameras and binoculars are strongly recommended.
Bear protection, trekking poles, bottled water, a snack, and a boxed lunch will be provided. Additional meals may be purchased on the train. The tour operates in all weather conditions, at the discretion of the guide.
Guests must be able to keep a steady pace over gravel and packed dirt surfaces, many of which are uneven, and may be on an incline. Participants should be in good condition, and all guests must sign a waiver before participating. The tour vehicles are not wheelchair accessible. As train tickets must be pre-purchased, this tour must be cancelled a minimum 18 days prior to tour departure to receive a partial refund.