In recent years, Alaskan residents and visitors have been fortunate enough to regain sight of the Portage Glacier – a sight that had been lost for many years after it shied away behind the landscape in 1994. Despite this, the Portage Pass has remained a hiking hot spot that you can continue to visit in your Alaska car rentals.
A collection of natural giants
The Portage Pass is the perfect place to view a number of glaciers, a few of which are reminiscent of great writers: Shakespeare, Burns, and Byron, as well as Middle and Explorer. As mentioned, you may now also see Portage Glacier once more. If you’ve visited Alaska in the past and had the pleasure of seeing this awe-inspiring sight, you won’t be disappointed in the glacier’s beauty today.
A heritage site
The Portage Pass has a long and intriguing history. Used originally by Native American tribes, early settlers of the state, and fur traders around the area and from Russia. Today, while many different sorts hike the pass – all for their own reasons, we can still remember the original use of the pass. You’ll be walking along an important site, on the same path as so many significant historical persons.
Hike the pass
There are a couple of ways to explore the glacial sites of the Portage Pass. Many residents and visitors of Alaska love the state so much because of its varied and spectacular outdoor experiences. This is, in fact, one of the reasons that we love the Portage Pass so much.
The Portage Pass Trail makes for a glorious 2-mile hike, with only some moments of rough terrain. Generally, the Portage Pass Trail is rated as easy to medium in difficulty, which allows less experienced hikers to enjoy the trail, too. Make sure to bring proper hiking boots, clothes made for freezing temperatures, and extra dry clothes in your Alaska car rentals.
View the glaciers by boat
Of course, if you don’t want to see the glacier by foot, there are always other ways. One of the most gorgeous views of the glaciers and the pass are by boat. The M/V Ptarmigan will take you as close as 300 yards from the glacier’s base, offering a stunning and up close perspective of one of nature’s most exquisite and ever-changing formations. You’ll also gain a unique look inside the glacier’s rich history as you listen to the naturalists on board the M/V Ptarmigan.
A short drive outside the city
If you’re staying in Anchorage and have Alaska car rentals then a trip to the Portage Pass Trail is not a far jaunt. Take your Alaska car rentals down the Seward Highway and through the Whittier Tunnel for a quick hour-long drive. Along this route, you’ll get a peak at the Chugach National Forest.
To get to the trailhead of the pass, stick to the U.S. Forest Service signs. This will take you to the parking lot. Try to arrive early to find a place for your Alaska car rentals – though the pass certainly isn’t as busy in the winter as it is in the summer, there aren’t many spots available.
The glaciers and the pass are a nice getaway from the city. Though Anchorage isn’t exactly a New York City or Chicago, the hike around the glaciers is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of peopled streets. In fact, it’s possible to take the entire daytrip without seeing another person.
See it while you can
With so much of the artic landscape changing, there’s no knowing what will happen to the glaciers next. They are in constant flux, with pieces chipping off and drifting into the surrounding lake. Remember that this lake was created by the glacier itself – it didn’t exist until the glacier began to melt.
Walk among Alaska’s natural inhabitants
Alaska is home to a variety of natural inhabitants that thrive best in the cold climates. You’ll see a variety of birds and mammals along the path – it’s certainly worth visiting the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in Portage Valley before going on the hike. You can take the guided nature walks to learn a little more about your surroundings before setting off on your own hike. After all, the Portage Glacier Valley is far from barren – among living creatures, you’ll also find avalanche paths and rainforests.
You may also have the opportunity to see one of Alaska’s famous ice worms. These little worms have a legendary quality about them, shocking most who find it odd that these tiny creatures require cold to survive.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to see one of Alaska’s most incredible natural sites. Reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis to get your journey started today.