It’s not easy determining which Alaskan glacier is the must-see stop for Alaskan travelers, but most travel agencies are in agreement: it’s the Matanuska Glacier. Chosen year after year as the #2 destination of the 49 must-see places in the 49th State, the Matanuska Glacier is without a doubt the largest and most spectacular sight between the cities of Palmer and Glennallen,
What makes the Matanuska Glacier so special is its sheer size and walkability. The Matanuska Glacier, originating from within the Chugach mountain range of South Central Alaska, is a 27-mile long and 4-mile wide chunk of ice that greets visitors traveling on the Glenn Highway. If you get the chance to take a tour, you’ll have an opportunity to set foot on the ice and return home with some spectacular photos.
Conveniently located off of the Glenn Highway, the glacier is accessible by vehicle.
History of the Matanuska Glacier
Classified as a valley glacier, the Matanuska Glacier is a body of solid ice that flows like a river through the valley. It was formed 10,000 years ago and has been retreating to its present day location. The mass has not been significantly altered in the past two decades despite climate changes.
Most impressively, due to the the size of the glacier, it is able to create its own local weather. Since the glacier is a weather hole, it forces warm air upward towards the surrounding mountain peaks. This climate cycle therefore results in sunny skies and more favorable weather than nearby areas, making it an ideal travel destination.
Two hours northeast of Anchorage, the Matanuska Glacier is a must-see Alaskan spectacle. To get there, ride with our safe and reliable SUV and truck rentals.