Roy Neese

Matanuska Valley

Glaciers in the Matanuska Valley and Knik River area are best experienced from the road, the seat of a bush plane, with a paddle in hand, or with crampons. Glaciers flow down from high in the mountains on the northern edge of the Chugach.

It’s hard to beat the mighty Matanuska for highway-accessible glacier views. The glacier is just off the Glenn Highway. A large, state-maintained overlook is just off the highway. Ready to stretch your legs? A short, 1-mile path through a forest of quaking aspens explores the natural phenomenon of glaciers, and gives trekkers other perspectives of the glacier, the Chugach Mountains above it, and the Matanuska River below it.

There is more here than just a scenic landscape. Glacier hiking, ice climbing and river rafting trips all make the most of Matanuska Glacier and the braided Matanuska River. Book a tour to get out on the river or even on the ice itself. You can also drive down to the glacier and explore on your own. The road to the toe of the glacier is across private land; but access is available for a modest fee.

Tucked farther back in the Chugach, Knik, Colony and Lake George glaciers offer other treats. Flightseeing tours circle the area for glacier views, and some even touch down on the ice or nearby lakes for more adventures. Dogsled, kayak, or just have a good old-fashioned summer snowball fight atop a glacier.

Scenic Drives

Ready to see the sights? Each of these scenic trip ideas starts the day in Anchorage, and could have you back in the city in time for dinner.