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Iceberg Viewing Hike

Ride the scenic Glacier Discovery train along the Turnagain Arm to the Spencer Whistle Stop. Then at Spencer you will disembark the train to experience the wilderness and get away from the crowds by starting your hike where most people turn around. Enjoy a two-mile hike along a well maintained USFS trail to the face of Spencer Glacier. One goal is to touch an iceberg!

From the Spencer Whistle Stop, hikers load onto a shuttle for a 1 mile drive to the edge of Spencer Lake. The Iceberg Hike begins there, where the rest turn around... Naturalist hiking guides lead groups 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 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
  • $294

    Half Day Hike & Train Ride

    Season: May 26-Sept 17, 2018 Ages: 7-70

    Location

    Departs: Anchorage & Girdwood

    Group Size

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

    Activity Level

    No Experience Necessary Moderate
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    ICEBERG VIEWING HIKE

    PRICES

    Adult: $294

    DEPARTURE TIMES

    Girdwood: Check in: Noon...........Return: 6pm
    Anchorage: Check in: 9:00am............Return: 6:45pm

    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 Girdwood
    • Ages: 7-70
    • 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

    • A custom/private buy-out guarantees your own personal guide. Whether 1 person or a family of 10- the buy-out rate is the same. You can reserve this exclusive, custom request here.

    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:

    • 9:00am Check-in Anchorage Train Depot for the Glacier Discovery Train (tickets at will-call). 
    • 9:45am Glacier Discovery Train departs from Anchorage Train Depot. 
    • 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.

    Where trips MEET

    Trips start and finish at the Tramway Circle at the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska at trip meeting time. 

    Tramway Circle at the 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 Hikers receive a courtesy Sprinter shuttle from the Hotel Alyeska to Portage train depot and shuttle from Portage train depot back to the Hotel Alyeska

    • Noon- Check-in at the Tramway Circle at the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood.
    • 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 

    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 comfortable warm synthetic clothes dressing in layers (long sleeved shirt, long pants, fleece jacket, rain jacket, rain pants, gloves, wool/fleece hat, sunglasses, ball cap) hiking boots or trail shoes with a rugged sole. 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.