A glacier tour is one of the best ways to experience Alaska. Where else in the world can you step back in time to the Ice Age and explore the millions of years old rivers of ice? Alaska glacier tours will take you to visit the glaciers by car, train, boat, or even air. You can soar above them on a helicopter, take in the views on a boat, walk up to them on a land tour, or even go on an exciting dog sledding ride.
This list of our favourite Alaska glacier tours offers something unique while making sure you get to witness the most majestic glaciers in Alaska!
1. Juneau Icefield Helicopter Tour
Explore the Juneau Icefield and Herbert Glacier on a helicopter tour! You’ll come across breathtaking views of spectacular rock formations, rainforests, glaciers, icefalls and ice spires. Keep your eyes open for wildlife such as mountain goats, bears and deer while descending on Herbert Glacier.
After you’ve landed, your pilot will take you on an informative, relaxing walk along the glacier’s surface while sharing about the magnificent area that surrounds you. If you’re up for it, take a drink from the freshwater streams that run along the surface!
2. Juneau Dog Sledding & Glacier Helicopter Tour
Imagine riding in a dog sled with a team of huskies pulling you across a snow-covered valley in between picturesque mountains. This thrilling adventure provides the best of both worlds: a helicopter ride over the glaciers and dog sledding on snow!
Your adventure begins with a helicopter ride to a dog sled camp on Herbert Glacier. Get ready your cameras, because you’ll be seeing magnificent views of Mendenhall Glacier and Juneau Icefields! At the dog sled camp, you’ll meet 160 Alaskan huskies who live on the glacier. Their trainers will be more than happy to share about them, and about Alaska’s unique form of transportation.
3. Glacier Point Wilderness Safari
Travel through Alaskan rainforests and fjords on a sightseeing boat. The outstanding sights will range from wildflowers to majestic mountains, and eventually open up to stunning views of the Davidson Glacier. All along the journey through the deepest fjord in North America, you may also spot seals and whales!
Get into a canoe for the next part of your adventure, where you will paddle in a crystal clear lake. Treat yourself to some up close glacial views and take in the Alaskan wilderness. Your knowledgeable guide will share about the surrounding landscape, and you will enjoy a picnic lunch to wrap it all up!
4. Seward Harding Icefield Hike Tour
This 13km day hike which loops along the Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most arduous Alaska glacier tours. It winds through the valley floor, passing through a forest of alder and cottonwood, over meadows and an ascent above the tree line to the Harding Icefield. The vista offers guests a view that has remained unchanged for thousands of years – snow and ice as far as the eyes can see.
Those looking for an adventurous trek will not be disappointed. Expect about six to eight hours of hiking, with 300m in elevation gain for every 1.5km. You’ll need to be fit for this, but you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a view that you find anywhere else in the world.
5. Taku Glacier Lodge Flight & Feast
This tour will take you on a journey to the remote Taku Glacier Lodge. The trip begins with a narrated seaplane flight, taking off from the Gastineau Channel and landing in the Taku River. During the flight, you’ll get views of waterfalls, glaciers, icefields, ocean waterfalls and maybe some animal sightings.
Once you arrive at the Taku Lodge, you can enjoy a hot cup of tea or a glass of wine or beer. Take a short break before you explore on the walking paths through the rainforest or within the lodge. After your adventure, enjoy a fresh wild Alaskan King Salmon feast, before cozying up next to the fireplace. When it’s time to return back to town, you will re-board the seaplane for another flightseeing trip back to Juneau.
6. Seward Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise
This cruise tour will take you through the protected waters of Resurrection Bay, around Cape Aialik and into Aialik Bay. Here you will get the chance to view Holgate Glacier, an actively calving glacier. The cruise will stop in front of the glacier to watch for calving, where giant chunks of glacial ice break off and crash into the water.
Depending on the time of year, the cruise may also take you to Chiswell Islands or Cape Resurrection, home to thousands of nesting seabirds. It will also visit Steller sea lion colonies, where Steller sea lions gather on the rugged, rocky coastline. Sea otters, bald eagles, and mountain goats are also commonly seen along the route!
7. Anchorage to Whittier via Glacier Discovery Train
This 2.25-hour train ride will take you from Anchorage to Whittier. From Anchorage, the train stops briefly at the resort town of Girdwood. It then continues on to Portage Glacier where you’ll have a few minutes to snap some photos of the cascading glacier.
The train then travels through a mountain tunnel to reach Whittier, a city with just over 200 residents who all live in the same building! If you want to do some water sports and marine wildlife spotting, Whittier is a perfect basecamp with its calmer waters and numerous glaciers.