I've always been fascinated by glaciers. From the moment I stepped onto the first glacier I’ve ever seen, I knew we had a special bond. Subconsciously, maybe that’s one of the reasons why I was so drawn to Alaska. We are surrounded by glaciers here. There are more than 100,000 glaciers in Alaska (only 616 of them are named) and roughly 60 glaciers that you can reach within a day’s travel from Anchorage. It’s hard to comprehend the size of this ancient ice, and the best way to get a glimpse of it is from up in the air.
The Grand Knik Tour with Alaska Helicopter Tours provides the best ways to view the glaciers: on a glacial lake, on the mountain top, and in front of a massive ice wall.
Knik Glacier is literally right around the corner
As soon as we started flying, the massive Knik Glacier was in front of us. If you're looking to maximize your time during the Alaska glacier tours, this is what you need. The forest below was covered with hoarfrost and we spotted a few different groups of moose sitting in clearings. They didn’t seem much bothered by us flying above them. We flew close to the glacial lake and found our first landing spot. We got the full force of the sunlight shining through the glacier and frozen moisture particles in the air. Then it was time to fly to our second landing spot.
We flew over the glacier to the top of a mountain. Flying over a glacier of this size, seeing all the cracks of blue, patterns, and shapes, I will never get bored of this. Glaciers never look the same because they are constantly moving, as if they were living beings.
We landed on a narrow peak on a mountain, looking over a very active icefall and Colony Glacier. For a moment I forgot that we were just a short ride away from civilization. Every trip here in Alaska, I’m reminded how fortunate we are to live in this pristine wilderness, so accessible from our home. It was perfectly peaceful and calm, just us four and the slowly moving glacial ice below us.
Feeling small in front of an ice wall of Knik Glacier
Onto the next landing, in front of an ice wall of Knik Glacier. It didn’t look that big when we landed but my eyes weren’t adjusted to seeing it yet. It was so tall and so blue. So many different shades of blue! When you’re near a glacier of this size, you can hear it sing. It’s like a low humming sound. And that’s a great reminder that glaciers are living beings.
Just like that, two hours quickly went by. It was already time to head back to the lodge. Once again we saw fascinating shapes and patterns of glaciers on the way back, and many different animal tracks on the snow. Flying over the whitened forest covered in hoarfrost, we landed back to where we started.
Our most popular Grand Knik Tour is available year-round and each season offers a different perspective of glaciers and mountains. Looking for a perfect Alaska glacier tour? This is it!