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Matanuska glacier – What to expect in Winters

Have you ever seen a glacier?  What if I say the glacier is accessible by car? What if I say we can walk or hike on the glacier? The place I am referring here is Matanuska Glacier!

Matanuska glacier is the biggest glacier in Alaska that can be accessed by car. It is about two and a half hours from Anchorage, AK on the most popular scenic road – the Glenn Highway. It is a valley glacier which means it rests on the floor of the valley unlike other alpine glaciers in Alaska which are found on the mountain slopes. Palmer is the nearest town to Matanuska Glacier which is around an hour away. 

Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier

Matanuska Glacier is open year around. In summer, the visitor can access the glacier either by their own or with guided tours. However, in winters, the glacier can only be accessed with guided tours. We visited in winters and signed up with Matanuska Glacier Adventure for walking tour.

Note : If you are not comfortable driving on snow, there are tours which operate from Anchorage.

As we arrived at the entrance, we stopped at the gift shop where we paid the fees for the tour. After that, we drove further to the point where we parked our car and met our guides. They also provided us with the equipments helpful to walk over the glacier land.

After that, We boarded the wooden sled which was attached to snow machine. Our guide drove us to the glacier terminus from where we started our epic walk exploring the glacier around us.

Before heading to any particular point our guides used to check if the area was walkable for us. It was such an extraordinary experience to be able to touch the ice age remnant. We were awestruck looking around the spectacular view and hearing the cracking sound of the glacier. We were very happy walking on such extreme cold and enjoying the white wonderland around us.

Are you planning to visit Alaska in Winters? 

You can refer to our blog –  The complete Alaska guide to travel in winters. Also, you can check our blog on what to pack when you are visiting Alaska in Winters. We have some helpful tips there!

Matanuska Glacier makes a perfect day trip from Anchorage. If you are exploring Glen Highway, do include this place in your  itinerary. Hope this short blog inspired you to include Matanuska glacier in your Alaska itinerary. 

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