The Matanuska is a valley glacier located right off the Glenn Highway in Sutton, AK. It is 27 miles deep and about 4 miles wide.
On the way to Glennallen we ate at the Long Rifle Restaurant and were seated right by the window where we could see the glacier. We decided to stop and hike on it on the way back. It’s on private property so there is a charge to walk on it, but that price ($125) includes a guide, a pole and hiking spikes for our shoes.
During the summer melt up to 172 million gallons of water an HOUR melt and drain into the Matanuska River.
Here we are with our hiking poles ready for the adventure
Tom is pulling the hiking spikes over his boats
The guide explained that a rock shades the ice underneath and a pedestal is formed. The pedestal grows higher and thinner until the ice breaks off and the rock rolls forward. It’s not unusual for a rock this size (about six feet across) to move 20’ during the melting season.
Crevices in the ice like this one can be 100’ deep.
It was a perfect day to be hiking on the glacier. The 3.2 miles were a little harder than walking on dry ground!