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Phone: (800) 580-3494

Alaska Experts for over 25 years

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Discover Adventure On a Knik Glacier Airboat Tour!

April 30th, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Knik Glacier Airboat TourYou’ll have the time of your life on a Knik Glacier Airboat Tour on Lake George in Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley. At 28 miles long, 6 miles wide, and over 1000 feet thick, Knik Glacier is one of Alaska’s grandest natural attractions!

Knik Glacier is one of the largest accessible glaciers in south central Alaska! A visit to Knik Glacier is always an Alaska vacation highlight, making it a real pleasure to share with visitors.

Knik Glacier is located 50 miles east of Anchorage on the northern edge of Alaska’s Chugach Mountains. This huge river of ice was born 600,000 years ago at the beginning of the Ice Age. At its peak, it covered the entirety of the Anchorage bowl and all of Cook Inlet.

There are no roads through the wilderness, here. Access to the glacier is up the Knik River and across the iceberg-studded lake at the glacier’s base. Knik Glacier at this angle is an impressive sight. Imagine seeing that 400-foot high, nearly 6 mile wide face of ice rising up out of the lake! The glacier calves new icebergs daily filling the lake with floating, turning, and crumbling icebergs.

Before the mid 1960’s, Knik Glacier was advancing and part of a dangerous annual dance in the Mat-Su Valley. Every winter, the glacier would grow to block the flow of water from Lake George. The lake would swell from 5 miles to over 20 miles in girth,  its water levels rising 180 feet before the annual breakout.

A breakout is caused by the water from the lake finally overtopping and eroding the ice dam that holds it back. When this occurred, millions of gallons of water loaded with silt, debris, and ice would surge down the valley, disrupting the lives of everything downstream. Every year the phenomenon blocked roads between Anchorage and Palmer for two weeks.

Now that Knik Glacier is retreating instead of expanding, the lake of interest is the one in the glacier, itself. This new lake is over 3 miles long, over 400 feet deep, and gets bigger every year.

Knik Glacier has been in a number of film and television productions. Both “Star Trek IV” and “Avalanche” had scenes filmed here, along with many others. Documentaries, commercials, music videos, and reality shows have all taken advantage of its awesome, otherworldly beauty.

A Knik Glacier Airboat Tour

A Knik Glacier airboat tour is one of the best ways to get up close and personal with a glacier. The thrill of an enclosed airboat ride into the Alaskan wilderness coupled with a visit to a massive and majestic force of nature.

You’ll clamber aboard the fully-enclosed airboat and be whisked up the river to the glacier. The journey upriver always provides lots of photo opportunities with waterfalls, occasional stray icebergs, and wildlife.

Due to the area’s microclimate, Knik Glacier is known as Alaska’s “sunny glacier.” Despite this, you’ll feel the temperature drop as you approach the massive and sometimes seemingly translucent blue walls of ice rising up from the water.

The airboat will cruise the lake and give everyone a chance to inspect and photograph the calved icebergs. Maybe you’ll even see one or more tumble from the face of the glacier! Then it’s onshore for a one hour visit to Glacier Camp.

Hot drinks and snacks from the camp kitchen will rejuvenate you as you gaze at one of nature’s bigger natural wonders. Take a hike around the lake at the foot of the glacier and keep an eye out for unique minerals dredged up by the action of the glacier. You’ll also get the chance to search the surrounding mountains for wildlife with a spotting scope. Moose, black bear, grizzly bear, Dall sheep, and more are often seen in the area.

This unforgettable experience can easily be yours when you book one of Alaska Adventure Unlimited’s Guided Tour Packages. Let us take you on the adventure of your lifetime!

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