Looking at the Matanuska Glacier from the parking lot (not always accessible to light cars in the break-up wet season.)

Matanuska Glacier


Matanuska Glacier a glacier in Alaska

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  • Location: 61 ° 39' 21" N, 147 ° 34' 52" W
  • Borough: Matanuska-Susitna
  • Elevation: 3,350 ft / 1,021 m
  • Length: 27 mi
  • Description

    Trends northwest to its terminus at a stream which drains into Matanuska River, 46 miles northeast of Palmer, Chugach Mountains.

    Getting There

    From Anchorage head west till you cross the Knik and Matanuska River, then head north on the Glen Highway (AK-1). There will be a small not so well marked road to the right, after the scenic lookout. It's about an hour and a half drive from Anchorage.

    Once you turn down the road and cross the bridge there will be a gift shop with a gate across the road. The road is private easement. You can park there and walk the mile or so out to the glacier, or you can pay about $15 per person to drive out to the glacier. Alaska residents are eligible for a discount.

    Even if you pay to drive out to the glacier there's about a quarter-mile hike from the parking lot out to the glacier. The walk can be difficult to anyone with walking disabilities.


    The Matanuska Glacier is a large valley glacier and popular tourist destination. Local outfits offer guided hikes and ice climbing if you're looking for assistance, or gear. The glacier is open for exploration to your hearts content, just be sure to use caution and common sense.

    Named in 1898 by Mendenhall (1900, p299 and 327), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) derived from the Matanuska River.

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