Best Glacier Hiking in Alaska!
Explore the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and walk on the Root Glacier with a knowledgeable guide, taking in sights of glacial waterfalls, canyons of ice, and magnificent blue pools. A guide makes anything possible, and they know the glacier like the back of their hand.
This ever-changing glacier is full of dramatic features and surrounded by an equally dramatic landscape! Start your day with an interpretive 2-mile hike over a maintained trail. Once at the glacier’s edge, you’ll strap on your crampons and step foot on the ice for the first time! Get ready to hear the crunch of ice under your feet as you make your way onto the glacier to behold the stunning 7,000 ft Stairway Icefall!
Want the full itinerary? See our Half-Day Glacier Hike Itinerary for more information.
Adult (13+) $110
Child (12-) $90
Uneven trail surfaces, loose rock, uneven glacial travel
Daily from May 26th – September 10th, 2023
Tour Start Times
9 am in Kennecott
Additional 1 pm start time from July 1st to August 15th
All ages welcome! Private trip recommended for those traveling with small children.
8 guests to 1 guide, multiple tours can go out at once.
Private Options available!
- Hiking on the Root Glacier in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska!
- Exploring glacial features – blue pools, waterfalls, canyons, crevasses, and moulins
- A 5-6 mile round trip hike with a knowledgeable guide
- Views of the 7,000 ft Stairway Icefall and 16,390 ft Mt. Blackburn
- Memories & photos that will last a lifetime!
- Experienced and knowledgeable guide
- Roundtrip transportation to and from Kennecott!
(Pick-up time and location vary depending on your lodging location. Please reference your confirmation for specific details.)
What’s Not Included?
- Personal gear (see equipment list)
- Lunch or snacks
Once you book your trip, you’ll receive a confirmation with all the information you need!
Come prepared with the following:
- Rain Gear – Both jacket and pants!
- Extra Layers – Warm sweater and/or jacket
- Hat and Light Gloves – Gloves are used to protect your hands from the jagged ice!
- Sunglasses and Sunscreen – The reflective nature of the glacier makes these an absolute necessity!
- Hiking Boots or Other Sturdy Walking Shoes
- Lunch, Snacks, and a Water Bottle
- Camera/Phone to Take Pictures!
- Backpack – Please make sure it is big enough to carry your extra layers, lunch, water, and the crampons we lend you
Yes, it’s one of our most popular Day Trip options! Our Half-Day Glacier Hike starts at 9 am and usually ends between 2-3 pm, just in time to catch the 3:30 pm Kennecott Mill Town Tour.
We get asked this question a lot – and it’s a good one!
Both Glacier Hikes take the same 2.5 mile trail to the Root Glacier. However, on our Half-Day Glacier Hike you’ll hike an average of 5 miles over the course of 5-6 hours, while on the Full Day Hike you’ll hike closer to 8-11 miles over the course of 8-9 hours.
In general the Full-Day Glacier Hike is much more strenuous. You’ll get to go further out on the glacier, where the terrain can be more challenging and varied. Because you get further out on the glacier there is a chance you won’t see another group for hours! We consider our Full-Day Glacier Hike more exploratory and there is no set route.
We recommend that you join us for a Full-Day Glacier Hike if you’d like to jump into a Blue Pool, as the pools are not always accessible on a Half-Day Glacier Hike.
On both hikes you get to see incredible glacial features, learn about our local environment (including some glaciology), and interact with a surreal landscape that you’ll remember forever! You can’t go wrong no matter which hike you choose!
Absolutely! We recommend joining us for a Full-Day Glacier Hike if you’d like to jump into a Blue Pool, as the pools are not always accessible on a Half-Day Glacier Hike. If you’re interested in jumping into a Blue Pool, you may want to bring a bathing suit, change of clothes, and towel. But don’t worry, if you forget a suit or change of clothes, you can always jump in the buff!
Wondering what a Blue Pool is? It’s an area on a glacier where water collects. The water in the pool emits a beautiful turquoise color! These pools can often be very deep – perfect for diving into or doing a big old-fashioned cannonball!
We do not recommend trekking poles for the glacier portion of your trek. Trekking poles can be helpful for the 2-mile hike to the glacier, but are not required or necessary for all hikers. If you decide to bring trekking poles with you for your trek, please make sure they can easily break down so that you can store them on/in your pack while exploring the glacier.
Meet the incredible guides that are the heart of our trips!
Who are the guides that make up the St. Elias Alpine Guides team? They are a diverse and competent group of people from all across the country. Their extensive outdoor experience, wilderness medical training, and great personalities make them stand out from the crowd. We put them through a thorough training program unique to our area – glaciology lessons, backcountry navigation, and training trips on the slopes of the Wrangell Mountains add to our guides’ abilities to adapt and dominate in the diverse terrain of WSENP. From a glacier hike to an 8-day expedition, they’ll be sure to make it a trip of a lifetime!
Because our schedule is as dynamic as the environment we live in, we usually assign guides the night before for our Day Trips. And while we can’t guarantee who your guide will be – we love and trust every one of them and we know you will too!