Heli Glacier Trek Tour Itinerary:
(Total Time On the Water & Glacier Trekking is determined on the day of by your ambition, the weather, and your guide’s discretion)
- 8:00 AM – Girdwood Arrival (If needing transportation from Anchorage, the cost is an additional $125 per person by Coastal Classic AK Railroad train).
- 8:40 AM – Alpine Air Helicopter Departure from the Girdwood Airport for your Heli Glacier Trek Adventure
- 9:05 AM – Landing at Spencer Lake (Landing Zone dependent on your group’s custom hiking desire & time of year)
- 9:15 – 10:30 AM Hike at Spencer Lake (1.5 to 3 + Miles Hike to your Raft).
- 11:00-12:00 PM Raft around Icebergs at Spencer Lake and up close to the Spencer Glacier Terminus Face
- 12:30-3:30 Glacier Trek onto Spencer Glacier.
- 3:30- 4:30 Return Across Spencer Lake to our basecamp
- 4:45 PM Board the AK Railroad Glacier Discovery Train to Portage Station
- 5:15 PM De-board Train at Portage Station for Chugach Adventures’ Shuttle to Girdwood
- 5:45 PM Return Arrival to Girdwood
- Minimum of 4 guests is required to book this Heli Glacier Trek Tour.
- A 25-minute scenic flight of the surrounding glaciated Chugach & Kenai Mountains to Spencer Glacier.
- Additional Scenic Flight Time is available for an additional cost. Please let us know if you’d like a longer scenic helicopter ride or a helicopter glacier landing for an Additional cost.
- A catered sack lunch is provided (sandwich, fruit, dessert & bottled water). Veggie or other dietary requests are welcome, please notify us ahead of time.
- We provide Personal Flotation Devices (life vests) for all water tours. Life Vests & rain ponchos if needed for all raft trips.
- We will provide ice crampons or ice cleats for your glacier walk depending on glacier conditions & your footwear, and trekking poles if requested ahead of time.
- Bring warm clothes & layers, plus warm socks to wear.
- Most guests bring their cameras, we can’t guarantee that they won’t get wet, but you should get amazing photos.
- We require all guests to sign a release of liability on rafting/canoe/kayak/glacier tours.
- Spencer Glacier trek and hike distances: We will tailor the glacier trek distance depending on your group’s experience and desires and can hike less than 1/2 mile or up to 3 miles.
- This trip is suitable for ages 10 and older.
- There are restrooms on the train and at the Spencer Whistle Stop. There are no restrooms once we are on the glacier or river, backcountry options only
Starting in 2022 – We no longer operate this tour with Kayaks as the Rafts enable us to get onto the ice more quickly.
Weight & Size Considerations for KAYAKS:
The approximate maximum weight is 240 lbs.
The approximate maximum height is 6’3”.
Ultimately it is up to the guide’s discretion and the comfort level of the guest if our kayaks will work for a kayak trip. Guests with large foot sizes and guests that don’t like to sit for up to 1-hour in a touring (sit-inside) kayak may also have difficulty fitting and/or being comfortable in kayaks. Thankfully, we can provide the same lake tour in a Raft for guests that don’t meet height/weight limits and/or don’t feel comfortable in kayaks. Please let us know ASAP if you think you may opt for a Raft instead of a Kayak for this trip. If you are close to the maximum size considerations, please be advised that we can not guarantee that a kayak trip will work until in the field, and any guide decisions are ultimately made with your safety being the utmost priority.
Alpine Air Helicopter Charter Weight Policy Information: The max weight limit for a helicopter seat is 290 lbs. If a guest does not meet this weight seat limit and the Helicopter company is unable to fly, the Helicopter charter cost for the trip will still be incurred by the guest. If an R66 Helicopter is utilized for a guest or guests in which the total guest weight + a guide is unable to stay below 600 lbs (total maximum weight limit for an R44), there will also be an additional charge of $200 for the party to cover the cost of the more expensive R66 Helicopter Charter.
Chugach Adventures’ GLACIER TREK Screening & Preparedness Information:
Trekking on Spencer Glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but requires a certain level of fitness and preparedness for the active traveler. This is one of the most full-day adventure tours in Alaska with approximately 7 hours of activity, both hiking 2- 3 Miles, and glacier trekking with crampons up to 3 miles on Spencer Glacier. Guests are required to come prepared for this trip. This trip operates in all inclement weather and guests are required to be prepared for a full-day AK adventure in the elements.
Recommended GEAR LIST for each guest:
- Good hiking boots with ankle support or a Good High-Quality Trail Running Shoe (THIS IS REQUIRED for Strap-on BD Crampons).
- A thin insulating base layer next to the skin
- Puffy mid-layer jacket or fleece
- Hardshell waterproof outer layer jacket and pants
- Small personal backpack 30L or less
- Personal water bottle
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- A Baseball cap or visor will fit under your helmet
- A warm hat without a ball on top will fit under your helmet
- Warm gloves
Your guides will have some supplemental gear, but if you do not intend to provide some/if not all of the recommended gear above, then we recommend other adventure trips. While not technically difficult, this is our most adventurous & rigorous trip, and so your preparedness & understanding is essential for your safety & the success of the trip.
Have you had any surgeries in the last year that might affect your abilities trekking on the glacier ice or kayaking?
Do you currently have any medical conditions that May affect your ability to trek on the ice?
Can you sit in a Raft/Kayak for 1hr at a time 2hrs total?
Can you walk on bouldery and uneven surfaces?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, please reach out to us directly, so that we can determine what the best adventure trip would be for you.
Weather – Trip Adjustments:
Water levels, wind, and other natural factors beyond our control may cause us to alter your trip for your safety & enjoyment. For example on windy days, if you have booked a Kayak trip, we reserve the right to have you join us on a rafting trip.
Landing zone locations and the extent of our glacier hiking & moraine treks are dictated mostly by the weather of the day and the group’s activity level & speed.
Chugach Adventures does not cancel trips due to inclement weather, nor provide refunds when adventures are adjusted based on weather.
If Alpine Air Alaska Helicopter Charter Company cancels the Helicopter for the day due to extreme weather then you will be provided a Refund, and the option to change to an alternate adventure trip for the day to visit Spencer Glacier. Flight delays are also possible up to 12 Noon with Helicopter flights.
Cancellation Policy for Day Tour Bookings:
Cancellations made 10 days or more in advance are 90% refundable.
Cancellations within 10 days are non-refundable.
AK RAILROAD Cancellation Policy & Change Fee Information: All paid bookings are subject to a 10% change fee for the Railroad portion of the trip cost, if a date change is requested within 30 days.
Gratuity / Tip:
Our guides are expected to go above and beyond for this trip and greatly appreciate any & all gratuities.