What To Do On A Trip To Matanuska Glacier

For many people, visiting Alaska is a trip of a lifetime. Those who forgo the cruise ship experience in favor of a more flexible vacation, flying into Anchorage is the first stop. Alaska has only four highways, one of which is the Glenn Highway connecting Anchorage with Glennallen. Driving the Glenn Highway alone offers multiple sightseeing opportunities such as multiple viewing points of the Matanuska Glacier, which is the largest car-accessible glacier in the Unites States. Driving from Anchorage to Glacier Park, the jump-off point for those who wish to explore the Glacier on foot takes about three hours. The privately-owned park is at mile 102, and it provides access to the glacier for a daily fee. Fortunately, the 100-mile drive offers several sight-seeing opportunities for those who wish to have the real Alaska experience. Here are some more things to experience on a trip to Matanuska Glacier.

Eklutna Village
The Dena’ina Alaska Native village of Eklutna is situated directly off the Glenn Highway at mile 26.5. Due to early Russian colonization, many Alaska Native people are Russian Orthodox today. Eklutna village is famous for the local Russian Orthodox cemetery, where the graves are marked with both crosses and traditional Spirit Houses that are painted with a variety of colors. It is also the location of the St. Nicholas Church, one of the oldest buildings in the Anchorage area.

Musk Ox Farm
Spotting moose and bear along the highway is an everyday occurrence. To see a musk ox, visiting the Musk Ox farm, just north of Palmer, is a must. These Ice Age mammals are well-known for their wool that is both extremely warm and light. The farm offers guided tours and has a gift store where you can buy your very own musk ox yarn.

Palmer is a farming community 40 miles north of Anchorage. Its main street could be anywhere in the Midwest, except for the spectacular views of the Talkeetna and the Chugach mountains that surround the town. It is an excellent place to stop for lunch before you head over to Matanuska Glacier. You can also stay at the Alaska Garden Gate B&B And Cottages in Palmer if you’re planning on staying for a while.

Matanuska Glacier Activities
Parking in Glacier Park and taking the 15-minute hike to reach the ice is only the beginning of the adventure. Local guides also offer zip lining through the Glacier’s valley, glacier trekking, ice climbing, whitewater rafting, and ATV tours. The tours can be booked in advance, and the guides provide all the necessary gear and training. The vicinity of the Glacier also provides excellent photo opportunities, gold panning, berry-picking, and wildlife watching.

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