Earlier this year, I released my bucket list items with great hesitation. It seemed that I begin to fail almost as immediately as I started. Due to sustaining a minor knee injury, I missed the Reindeer run. My other plans to do the mud run didn’t work out because I couldn’t get enough people together to form the group like I had envisioned. In addition, I quickly realized my goals far exceeded my available funds and I wasn’t going to be able to do the Bahamas AND experience Denali park. First world budget problems, you know?
Instead of feeling completely defeated and giving up, I decided to set out to accomplish as much of the bucket list project as possible and stay focused on the main goal, to live life each day to the fullest extent possible.
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do since I moved to Alaska was hike a glacier. What’s this nonsense you ask? This is an adventure where instead of admiring this magnificent mass of historic ice from afar, you experience it like all the best things in life, from the feet up! Yes, it’s cold, it’s difficult and it’s absolutely one of the most magical things I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
Matanuska Glacier is between Palmer and Glennallen Alaska. It is approximately 26 miles long and 4 miles wide.
You may think a glacier is just a giant block of ice, but there is SO much more to it. Our tour guide described it best as a “block of swiss cheese”. For example, what may appear as a tiny puddle of glacier water is actually a very deep sink hole that you could drown and freeze to death in, all in a matter of seconds. This is the reason we hired a tour guide! You think you know, but you have NO IDEA. The image below is a picture of a “Moulin”, also known as a glacier mill. You can actually hear the water running through it. It was so peaceful and such an intricate part of the glacier itself. There are several of these throughout the glacier.
Every single inch of this glacier is magnificent.
If you are considering visiting Alaska near the Palmer or Anchorage area, check out Mica Guides for a similar ice trek tour. Their guidance was invaluable and we would not have had the same experience without the knowledge they shared. We hiked up to a high point of the glacier and actually tasted glacier water from a small water fall. Shortly after having lunch on the glacier, we did a little ice climbing practice too! No extra charge. How’s that for a bucket list worthy?