Byron Glacier Trail
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
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.
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Route Description for Byron Glacier Trail
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.
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 for Byron Glacier Trail
- 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
Getting to the Byron Glacier Trail Trailhead
To get to the trailhead of Byron Glacier, from Anchorage, take Seward Highway heading east and turn onto Portage Highway on your left (around 17.7 km after Girdwood). After 8.7 km, take the exit on your right towards Portage Lake Loop Road and then take the second right turn on Byron Glacier Road (0.6 km from exit to Portage Lake Loop). After driving 1.1 km further, you will find the parking on your right. The trailhead is at the far south end of the parking lot.
Byron Glacier Trail Elevation Graph
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Byron Glacier Trail Reviews
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