Iceberg & Glacier Kayaking

In partnership with Alaska Railroad, Ascending Path offers Guided Iceberg Kayaking on the Spencer lake. This is an amazing Glacier location to experience and learn about blue ice, up close and personal, on this 1/2 day kayaking excursion! Operating under 10 year permit with the Chugach National Forest.

The Spencer Glacier is located just South of Portage Valley and the Turnagain Arm in the Kenai Mountains and the Chugach National Forest. It is entirely off the road system, so we ride a train from Anchorage, Girdwood or Portage with breathtaking views of glaciers and towering alpine peaks.

From the Spencer Whistle Stop, groups of 7 or less board a van for a short ride on the gravel road to our kayak cove overlooking outstanding views of the glacier and Icebergs floating in Spencer lake. Guides outfit kayakers in all paddling gear and give a kayaking and paddle talk. The paddle includes outstanding views of the glacier and Icebergs floating in Spencer lake. The one-way distance of Kayaking to the glacier is 1 Mile of lake water with Icebergs aplenty. The 1.5 hour kayak experience includes photo and rest stops to learn about interesting local wildlife, icebergs, history and glaciology.

Inclusions:

  • Round trip train ticket to Spencer Whistle Stop from Girdwood or Anchorage
  • Deli boxed lunch, bottled waters, granola bars and snacks
  • 2 mile shuttle at Spencer Whistle Stop to Spencer Lake
  • All paddling gear: Necky Looksha Tandem Sea Kayaks, spray skirts, PFD’s, gloves, rain jacket and pants, dry bags, kayak safety equipment
  • All glacier hiking gear: crampons, helmets, harnesses, etc
  • Paddling and Glacier Hiking instruction and briefings
  • Small Ratios (min: 2:1 max: 7:1/client:guide)
  • Guides pace the trip and mileage to the groups’ fitness level, interests and water conditions
  • Bear Protection and satellite tracking and communication devices
  • Interpretative glaciology, ecology and natural history discussions
Ad: $294 Ch: $235

Half Day Kayak & Train Ride

Season: May 27-Sept 15 Ages: 10-70

Location

Departs: Anchorage & Girdwood Daily

Group Size

Min: 2 People, Max: 20 People Ratio: 7/1

Activity Level

No Experience Necessary Moderate
Reserve Now

PRICES

Adult: $294
Child: $235 Ages: 10-18

DEPARTURE TIMES

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

MILEAGE

  • Up to 3 miles paddling round trip.
  • Up to 1.5 hours on the water paddling

EXPERIENCE LEVEL

No experience is necessary, but previous paddling experience is highly recommended. This paddle should be considered a "moderate activity". We recommend that you are capable of a few hours of easy to moderate upper body and cardio exercise each day. See our Pre-Trip Fitness recommendations.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • Trips operate in most weather conditions- travel insurance is recommended
  • The lake water temperature is very cold: 34*-37*F, but no tides and the icebergs are very reliable!
  • Boxed Lunch contains: Turkey or Vegetarian sandwich, chips, cookie, fruit and water.
  • Restroom facilities are located on trains and outhouses at Spencer Whistle Stop
  • All guests are required to fill out our online Adventure Application and Waiver when booking
  • After reserving your spot- you can easily login to our reservation system and make any changes or add cool Add-Ons.
  • Minimum weight: 50 lbs; Maximum weight: 250lbs, Max height is 6’7” and/or Max waist size is 44”

AWESOME ADD-ONS

Morning train options are now available on specific 2017 Dates (highly recommended!)
Departing Anchorage at 6:30am or Girdwood at 7:20am. Returning to Portage at 5:15p or Anchorage by 6:30p via motorcoach.
May: 30
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

Evening Train Upgrades are offered daily- get 3 more hours out there!

Dinner: While regular 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 buyout 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.

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
  • 2:30pm finish gearing up/safety briefings
  • 2:30pm-4pm- Iceberg paddling
  • 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 courtesy Sprinter shuttle from AP yurt at Alyeska to Portage train depot and evening 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
  • 2:30pm finish gearing up/safety briefings
  • 2:30pm-4pm- Iceberg paddling
  • 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.

DO YOU MAKE EXCEPTIONS?

On a case-by-case basis we consider exceptions, usually we recommend buying out a trip as a private with your own guide. This is only available with advanced reservations and as space and staffing is available. Please email or call to make your request, we are more than happy to think of solutions- just to make it happen for you. 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.

IS IT WORTH IT?

Yes...! just read our Trip Advisor Reviews! Tours include top of the line paddling gear, world-class kayaking naturalist guide, round trip train ticket to Spencer Whistle Stop, small ratios: (min: 2:1 max: 7:1) (client to guide) and paddling instruction, 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!