Portage Glacier Tours

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Situated in Chugach National Forest about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Anchorage, Portage Glacier ranks as one of Alaska’s most visited attractions. Icebergs from the glacier bob in the waters of Portage Lake, while at the visitor center, travelers can see live ice worms, explore a simulated ice cave, and touch an iceberg.

The Basics
Due to dramatic recession over the past years, this still-impressive ice flow is no longer visible from the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center. To get up close to the ice, travelers need to head out on the ice-filled waters with a boat tour on Portage Lake or hike one of several trails that lead to the glacier. 

Full-day tours to the glacier from Anchorage might also include a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a tram ride to the top of Mt. Alyeska, wildlife spotting along the scenic Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet, or a photo stop at Beluga Point.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Portage Glacier is a must-see for any first-time visitor to Anchorage.
  • Be sure to dress in layers; it can get chilly out on the water.
  • Tours to the Portage Glacier typically include a one-hour cruise.
  • Most tours include round-trip transportation from Anchorage. 

How to Get There
To reach the glacier, take Seward Highway south of Anchorage to the Portage Glacier Road, which winds its way to the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in Whittier, the departure point for Portage Glacier cruises. If you don’t want to rent a car, you can visit as part of a guided tour from Anchorage.

When to Get There
The best season to visit Alaska’s outdoor attractions, including this Ice Age relic, is between mid-May and mid-September. August brings the highest chance of rainfall, and mid-June to mid-August is considered peak tourist season.

Chugach National Forest
This national forest is the second largest in the National Forest Service and an outdoor playground for more than a million visitors each year. In an area roughly the size of New Hampshire, visitors will find some of the world’s largest tidewater glaciers, diverse wildlife (including 214 species of birds), and some 200 miles (322 kilometers) of trails for hikers and mountain bikers.
Location
Address: USA
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4 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Turnagain Arm and Portage Valley Private Tour

Explore the natural beauty of the Turnagain Arm, Portage Valley and city of Anchorage on a customized full-day private tour with an informative guide. Ride a tram to the top of Mt Alyeska, explore the town of Girdwood, and gaze at the Portage Glacier during a cruise on Portage Lake. View Alaska's majestic wildlife during stops at scenic viewpoints and a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Then discover the best spots for restaurants and cultural attractions in Anchorage on a comprehensive city tour.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$845.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$845.00

Glaciers and Wildlife: Super Scenic Day Tour from Anchorage

Be awed by supersized glaciers and the hardy wildlife of the tundra on this full-day tour through the rugged Alaskan wilderness. Departing from Anchorage, drive along a scenic byway to the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet, framed by the dramatic Chugach and Kenai mountain ranges. Cruise on the lake that laps against the ancient blue ice of Portage Glacier, stop for lunch at a cozy lodge, and get an up-close look at Alaskan wildlife such as caribou, musk ox, and lynk at a conservation center.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$199.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$199.00

Glacier Discovery Tour

See the Portage Glacier on a 6-hour small-group tour from Anchorage. Follow the scenic Seward Parkway through the breathtaking landscape of the Turnagain Arm waterway, stopping at Beluga Point, Bird Point and the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge to look for wildlife. Take a cruise on Portage Lake to observe the Portage Glacier up close, then check out wild animals that are being rehabilitated at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Stop for light snacks in the town of Girdwood near Mt Alyeska and take in the Chugach Mountains before returning to Anchorage.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$199.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$199.00

Portage Glacier Cruise and Wildlife Explorer Tour

The Turnagain Arm boasts abundant Alaskan wildlife within easy access of the city of Anchorage. Learn about the local ecosystem from a guide with extensive knowledge about the area as you drive down the peninsula, with opportunities to spot wild animals in their natural environment as you go. A visit to the animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and a cruise to Portage Glacier are also included on this 5.5-hour tour.
  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
From
US$169.00
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  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
From
US$169.00


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