Glacier Hiking and Ice Climbing

Most Alaskan visitors will see a glacier, but here in Kennicott, you can actually hike onto the Root Glacier and explore the fascinating world of moulons, pressure ridges, fathomless blue water pools, and exquisite and mysterious ice formations.

The Root Glacier is just a 2 mile hike from Kennicott.  Local guiding companies, located right across the street from our lodge, offer safe, fully-supervised day hikes to the glacier.

Half-day hikes begin with a walk down the old wagon road to the glacier. When you reach the glacier, you will strap on mountaineering crampons so you can safely walk out onto the ice. The focus of the tour is on enjoying the beauty of the glacial streams and blue glacier ice as well as exploring the ice cliffs and awe inspiring waterfalls and blue pools along the way. Be sure to bring your camera for spectacular photos of your up close view of an Alaskan glacier!

Full day glacier hikes are similar to half day hikes but give you more time to explore the unique world of the glacier.

More adventurous hikers may want to try a full day introductory ice climbing trip where you will learn the basics of ice climbing. No experience is necessary and all of the gear is provided.

Hiking Guiding Companies

There are two guiding companies in Kennicott that offer hikes onto the Root Glacier.

St. Elias Alpine Guides
St. Elias Alpine Guides has been operating hiking and climbing adventures in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park since 1978. They offer half day and full day glacier hikes and full day ice climbing trips on the Root Glacier. Group tours and custom options are available. In 2012, St. Elias Alpine Guides also started offering a new ice cave exploration trip to a large ice cave near the Root Glacier.

Kennicott Wilderness Guides
Kennicott Wilderness Guides has been guiding tours in the Kennicott area since 1995. They offer group half day and full day glacier hikes, group ice climbing trips, as well as private half day hikes, full day hikes, and ice climbing trips.

McCarthy River Tours and Outfitters
One of the newest guiding companies in Kennicott, McCarthy River Tours and Outfitters offers private, custom half day glacier hikes to the Root Glacier.