Byron Glacier
Byron Glacier

Byron Glacier Trail

Around Anchorage
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Beautiful ice formations below the Byron Glacier near Anchorage AlaskaByron Glacier is surrounded by stunning natural ice sculpturesHiker and ice formation comparison on Byron Glacier Trail in AlaskaGlacial creek running out of Byron Glacier near Anchorage AlaskaLooking down to Portage Valley from Byron Glacier Trail near AnchoragePortage Lake and Alaskan Mountains as seen from Byron Glacier Trail in AlaskaHiker on a rocky part of Byron Glacier Trail in Kenai Peninsula AlaskaHiker posing near Byron Glacier on a hike in Kenai Peninsula AlaskaHiker on Byron Glacier Trail Chugach State Park AlaskaBeautiful walls of ice on Byron Glacier Hike near Anchorage AlaskaHuge pieces of ice on Byron Glacier Trail AlaskaNoisy creek running from Byron Glacier towards Portage Lake in Kenai AlaskaTourists near Portage Lake near Byron Glacier Trail in Alaska

Byron Glacier Trail

Distance: 2.7mi
Elevation: 272ft
Time: 1-1.5h

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The Byron Glacier Trail is a great hike located near Anchorage. This hike is an easy, fun, fully accessible family-friendly trail that leads to an overlook of Byron Glacier through lush forest. Adventurous hikers can extend this trail a bit to approach this stunning glacier and get a closer look by scrambling higher to explore the natural ice caves and beautiful permanent snowfield.

Byron Glacier Trail Map

Getting there

To get to the trailhead of Byron Glacier, from Anchorage, take Seward Highway heading east and turn onto Portage Highway on your left (around 11.0mi after Girdwood). After 5.4mi, take the exit on your right towards Portage Lake Loop Road and then take the second right turn on Byron Glacier Road (0.4mi from exit to Portage Lake Loop). After driving 0.7mi further, you will find the parking on your right. The trailhead is at the far south end of the parking lot.

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About

When to do

June - October

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly

Older Children only

Route Signage

Good

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Byron Glacier Trail
Elevation Graph


Byron Glacier Trail Guide

The Byron Glacier Trail is a great hike and the trail up to the overlook is very easy, however, if you choose to reach the glacier itself, some precautions need to be taken. The last bit to approach the snowfield takes bouldering and might not be for everyone – take this to consideration if there are small children with you or people with lesser physical capabilities. Also, due to the shifting nature of glaciers, we strongly discourage climbing on top of glaciers and exploring ice caves from the inside as this has been known to cause fatalities. Also, early June still has mild possibility of avalanches. Don’t forget to bring your raincoat with you as the rain in Portage valley is very common!

This hike starts at Byron Glacier Trail car parkand and takes you through the lush forest along the road which shortly turns south where it meets Byron Creek.

Most of the time you will be going along upstream beside Byron Creek. The forest will thin out bit by bit as you are approaching the glacier. The views here are amazing: you will see the beautiful glacier of Byron and permanent snowfield in front of you, and behind you the view towards Portage Valley will open up as well.

Once you reach the end of the Byron Glacier Trail, you have two options – either observe the beautiful surroundings and turn back or scramble a bit closer to the glacier. If you choose the latter, take one of the unmarked trails through the rock field to reach the glacier.

Return the same way you came.

Trail highlights

Byron Glacier

The Byron Glacier is a favourite among locals and tourists because of the easy accessibility that it possesses from Anchorage as well as being one of the easier areas to walk along. This glacier is family friendly so children are able to catch a glimpse of it as well.

It is located along the Kenai Peninsula and has some of the most beautiful ice caves. You must be very careful while exploring these ice caves as they have been known to drop ice from the ceilings as well as rocks that have become trapped and have now melted.

Find other amazing hikes around Anchorage:

Insider Hints

  • People say that the glacier is most beautiful during the dusk!

  • There are plenty of spots for picnic along the Byron Creek

  • Visit Begich, Boggs Visitor Center

Comments

Katrine Ford 1 year ago

If you like taking pictures well this is the place to be. A freak of nature! There are some elevation but the trail isn't so bad.

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Suzy TQ 1 year ago

The hike up to this place is easy , kids can do it. We both enjoyed the easy path that was maintained

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Rowan Sanders 1 year ago

This gem is about an hour's drive from Anchorage and on a gorgeous sunny day in July was a good hike.

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Ada Wright 1 year ago

I cannot think of any reason why you shouldn't do this hike. Views are great and it's very easy and accessible. People of all ages can definitely do it!

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athena1985 1 year ago

This is an easy hike that does not require that much stamina. We truly enjoyed our short trip here.

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Red Otter 2 years ago

Enjoyed this glorious hike. The natural attractions in this area may not last forever, so glad I was able to experience them while they were here.

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Jedi Fox 2 years ago

Breathtaking view of the glacier. The area was so spacious you can take a decent landscape shot even though it's quite packed.

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Petre H. 2 years ago

It was an epic hike. It's definitely fun and accessible.

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sushilover77 2 years ago

We had a memorable exprience exploring the ice caves. It rained a couple of times while we were doing the hike, bring raincoats!

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Grimes W. 2 years ago

Trekking here was so much fun. It was nice exploring the natural caves but be careful as they can get super slippery.

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10 Comments

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