Iceberg Viewing Hike

Guests ride the Glacier Discovery train with a personal naturalist guide and hike right next to icebergs! Experience the wilderness and get away from the crowds by starting your hike where most people turn around. Enjoy this two mile hike along a well maintained USFS trail to the face of Spencer Glacier. One goal is to pickup an iceberg...

From the Spencer Whistle Stop, hikers load onto a shuttle for a 1 mile drive to the edge of Spencer Lake, getting ahead of the hiking public. The Iceberg Hike begins at the lake, where the public turns around to catch the train. Naturalist guides lead the group of 9 or less along the lake edge, stopping to pick up Icebergs and take photos at several Glacier viewing areas. Hikers enjoy outstanding views of the glacier and Icebergs floating in the Spencer glacial lake. The total distance from the start of the hike to the edge of the Glacier is about 2 miles of flat Forest Service maintained trails. The 3 hours spent hiking includes many photo and rest stops to learn about interesting local plants, wildlife, history and glaciology.

Inclusions:

  • Round trip train ticket to Spencer Whistle Stop
  • Deli boxed lunch, bottled waters, granola bars/snacks
  • 2 mile round trip shuttle from Spencer Whistle Stop to Spencer Lake
  • Small ratios (min: 2:1 max: 10:1)
  • Friendly, skilled, naturalist hiking guides
  • Guides pace the trip and distance to the groups’ desires, fitness and weather conditions
  • Bear protection
  • Interpretative glaciology, ecology and natural history discussions
  • Trekking poles and extra attire, if needed
  • Girdwood Hikers also receive a courtesy Sprinter van shuttle from the AP yurt to Portage train depot
  • Ad: $294 Ch: $235

    Half Day Hike & Train Ride

    Season: May 27-Sept 15 Ages: 7-70

    Location

    Departs: Anchorage & Girdwood

    Group Size

    Min: 2 People, Max: 25 People Ratio: 10/1

    Activity Level

    No Experience Necessary Moderate
    Reserve Now

    ICEBERG VIEWING HIKE

    PRICES

    Adult: $294 Child: $235

    DEPARTURE TIMES

    Girdwood: Meet at our Yurt at Noon- Returning 6pm
    Anchorage: Check in at Anchorage Train Depot at 8:45am- Returning 6:45pm by train and motorcoach from Portage.

    MILEAGE

    • Up to 4.2 miles hiking round trip.

    EXPERIENCE LEVEL

    No experience is necessary. This hike should be considered an "easy to moderate activity". We recommend that you are capable of a few hours of easy to moderate exercise each day. 

    OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

    • Trips depart from: Anchorage and Alyeska AP Yurt
    • Ages: 7-70 (Child Rate = $235 Under 11 yrs)
    • Trips operate in all weather conditions
    • Trip min: 2 people. Max: 100 people
    • Up to 3 hours at Spencer Lake area
    • Boxed Lunch contains: Turkey or Vegetarian sandwich, chips, cookie, fruit & water.
    • Restroom facilities are located on train and outhouses at Spencer Whistle Stop.
    • For guests who board the Glacier Discovery Train in Anchorage, the Ascending Path guide will meet guests on the train at the second Portage stop (1:15pm)
    • Guests who book from Anchorage with the motor coach return, will return on the train from the Spencer Whistle stop & get off at the first Portage NB stop. They will then get on the motor coach in Portage, which will take them back to Anchorage directly. This option will shorten the return train trip by 2.5 hours
    • All guests are required to fill out our online Adventure Application and Waiver in advance.

    AWESOME ADD-ONS

    • Upgrade to the late train at 8pm, giving 3 more hours for hiking further.
    • While dinner is available on the 8pm train, upgrading to GoldStar Dinner Service on the returning Coastal Classic train is worth considering. Due to time and cost- this option is recommended for those traveling back to Anchorage.
    • A custom/private buy-out guarantees your own personal guide. Whether 1 person or a family of 5- the buy-out rate is the same. You can reserve this exclusive, custom request here.
    • Morning train options are now available on specific 2017 dates only:
    • May 30th, June: 5,6,7,13,19,20,21,27. July: 3,4,5,11,17,18,19,25,31. August: 1,2,8,14,15,16,22,28,29,30. Sept: 5,11,12,13.
      Departing Anchorage at 6:30am or Girdwood at 7:20am. Returning to Portage at 5:15 or Anchorage by 6:30pm via motorcoach.

    EXCLUSIONS

    • Gratuities for your super cool guides

    BOARD at Anchorage Train Depot:
    411 WEST 1ST AVENUE

    BEST 12 HR PARKING IS UNDER THE BRIDGE, ACROSS FROM THE ULU FACTORY



    TRAIN SECURITY UPON CHECK IN:

    The Transportation Security Administration requires that any Alaska Railroad passenger 18 years of age or older present a government issued photo ID, or two other forms of ID, one of which must be issued by a government authority. Children ages 2-15 may only travel in the company of an adult 18 years or older.

    Read more on Rail Logistics PDF (Printable)

    ENJOY THE RIDE:

    Guests who board the Glacier Discovery Train in Anchorage: your AP guide will meet you on the train at the Second Portage stop (1:15pm- After you take a quick trip past Girdwood, Portage, hang in Whittier for 30 minutes- and back to Portage)

    TIMELINE:

    • CHECK IN: 9:00 AM GLACIER DISCOVERY TRAIN
    • 9:45am Glacier Discovery Train departs from Anchorage Train Depot. (meeting AP guide on train at 1:25pm)
    • The "Disco Train" stops in Girdwood, Portage, goes to Whittier, waits for 45 minutes, then comes back to Portage
    • 1:25pm PORTAGE 2nd Stop- AP guide finds guests and hands out lunches to eat on train.
    • 1:45pm arrive SWS for vehicle shuttle to lake edge
    • 2pm arrive to Weatherport and Kayak Cove
    • 2pm-4:20pm: hike USFS trail to the Spencer Glacier face and back to AP shuttle
    • 4:20pm: AP shuttle Departs lake edge for SWS
    • 4:40pm: Disco Train Departs SWS to Portage
    • 5:15pm: Glacier Discovery Train arrives Portage train Depot. All Ascending Path clients disembark Glacier Discovery train.
    • 5:20pm: Depart Portage train Depot in AKRR motorcoach for Anchorage train depot.
    • 6:45pm: Arrive Anchorage train depot by motorcoach from Portage.

    MEET IN GIRDWOOD/BOARD GLACIER DISCOVERY TRAIN IN PORTAGE:

    AP Yurt at Hotel Alyeska: 1000 Arlberg Ave 



    TRAIN SECURITY UPON CHECK IN:

    The Transportation Security Administration requires that any Alaska Railroad passenger 18 years of age or older present a government issued photo ID, or two other forms of ID, one of which must be issued by a government authority. Children ages 2-15 may only travel in the company of an adult 18 years or older.

    Read more on Rail Logistics PDF (Printable)

    TIMELINE:

    Girdwood Glacier Hikers receive a courtisy Sprinter shuttle from AP yurt at Alyeska to Portage train depot and shuttle from Girdwood train depot back to AP yurt at Alyeska

    • Noon- Check-in at AP yurt at Hotel Alyeska (return at 9pm)
    • 12:30pm: Leave for Portage Train depot via courtesy shuttle
    • 1pm: Arrive Portage train Depot.
    • 1:15pm: Board Glacier Discovery Train in portage.
    • 1:25pm: Eat lunches on train.
    • 1:45pm: arrive SWS for vehicle shuttle to lake edge
    • 2pm: arrive to Weatherport and Kayak Cove
    • 2pm-4:20pm: hike USFS trail to the Spencer Glacier face and back to AP shuttle
    • 4:20pm: AP shuttle Departs lake edge for SWS
    • 4:40pm: Disco Train Departs SWS to Portage
    • 5:15pm: Glacier Discovery Train arrives Portage train Depot. All Ascending Path clients disembark Glacier Discovery train.
    • 5:20pm: Depart Portage Depot in Sprinter Van for Girdwood
    • 5:45pm: Arrive Hotel Alyeska and AP yurt

    WHEN SHOULD I BOOK THIS SUPER POPULAR TRIP?

    Due to high demand and limited space available we recommend reservations be made several months in advance. Bookings made 1 week in advance of departure date may be cancelled and fully refunded if we cannot accommodate.

    RECOMMENDED CLOTHING?

    Wear/bring comfortable warm synthetic clothes dressing in layers: long sleeved underwear, long nylon pants, fleece jacket, rain jacket, rain pants, gloves, wool/fleece hat, sunglasses, ball cap, hiking boots or trail sneakers. COTTON clothes are NOT recommended! Bring a small backpack for layers, water bottle and binoculars, don't forget your camera!
    For specific advice on what to wear, read our Be Prepared Document.

    IS IT WORTH IT?

    Yes... just read our Trip Advisor Reviews! Tours include world-class naturalist guide, round trip train ticket to Spencer Whistle Stop, small ratios: (min: 2:1 max: 10:1) (client to guide) and interpretive natural history, ecology and glaciology discussions. A catered deli boxed lunch, snack and water is provided. Guests visiting Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop come away with better respect and knowledge about glaciers, icebergs and history of South Central Alaska, not to mention some great photographs!

    If you have questions about the physical requirements of this trip, please read our Essential Eligibility Criteria on our FAQ's page, email or call us and we would be happy to talk with you and determine if this trip matches your abilities.