Heli Glacier Trek & Kayak Adventure


Join us on one of our most adventure-packed helicopter tours to Spencer Glacier- the Heli Glacier Trek & Kayak Adventure.

  • Private & Exclusive Tour for your party!
  • Unforgettable Alpine Air R44 Helicopter flight thru the glaciated Chugach & Kenai Mountains
  • 1.5 to 3-mile customized hike for your group
  • Kayak amongst icebergs on Spencer Glacier Lake
  • Glacier Trek onto Spencer Glacier’s ice, AND
  • Scenic return train trip from Spencer Glacier via the Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery Train.

Glacier Trek Access:  Access for 2020 and 2021 required utilizing a raft & so for all trips we utilized both kayaks & rafts for each group.  This trip is suitable for ages 10 and older.  Guests not comfortable paddling kayaks can go in a raft.  Rafts are powered by a guide rowing, whereas kayaks are paddled by guests.

This is our only Heli Tour that goes onto the glacier with crampons.  If you prefer a helicopter rafting trip instead of kayaking join us for the Comet Heli Hiking and Rafting Trip, using a raft to explore the lake instead of tandem kayaks!

Minimum of 4 Guests Required.

2022 Available Dates: June 5 – September 10, 2022

I have guided multiple kayak, raft and hiking tours throughout Alaska in the past 14 years. The Heli Kayak trip is hands down a culmination of the best parts of all those trips combined. The trip starts with a mind-blowing scenic flight from Girdwood, over Turnagain Arm, up Placer Valley and finishing with a landing in front of the majestic Spencer Glacier. Hiking around Spencer Glacier’s moraine lends itself to some of the most photogenic opportunities possible in Alaska with its giant towering blue ice walls and dramatic cracks and contours found in the glacial ice. After exploring the moraine, it’s a casual 1.5 mile hike on the lake to where we launch off on our kayak adventure. Paddling through the iceberg “ice maze” and up to the face of Spencer Glacier is another once in a lifetime experience with amazing photo ops!  

Corey Anderson- Chugach Adventures’ Lead Kayak Guide Since 2013.


Heli Glacier Trek Tour Itinerary:

(Total Time Kayaking & Glacier Trekking is determined the day of by your ambition,  the weather, and your guide’s recommendations)

  • 8:00 AM – Girdwood Arrival (If needing transportation from Anchorage, the cost is an additional $125 per person).
  • 8:45 AM –  Alpine Air Helicopter Departure from the Girdwood Airport for your Heli Glacier Trek and Kayak Adventure
  • 9:10 AM – Landing at Spencer Lake (Landing Zone dependent on your groups custom hiking desire & time of year)
  • 9:15 – 10:30 AM Hike at Spencer Lake (1.5 to 3 + Miles Hike to your kayaks).
  • 11:00-12:00 PM  Kayak 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 By Kayaks 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 required to book this Heli Glacier Trek Tour.
  • A 25-minute scenic flight of the surrounding Chugach 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 helicopter glacier landing.
  • 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 splash tops, spray skirts & Personal Flotation Device (life vest) for all kayak 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.
  • 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 dependent on your group’s experience and desires and can hike less than 1/2 mile or up to 3 miles.
  • The maximum weight for kayaks is 240 lbs.  The maximum height is 6’3″.   We can provide the same tour via raft for guests that don’t meet weight & height restrictions.  Please let us know ahead of time if you prefer rafting.
  • 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

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 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 kayaking approximately 4 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).
  • 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
  • Sunglasses
  • 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.

Additional Questions:

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 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 and Trip Adjustments Water levels, wind, and other natural environmental factors beyond our control may cause us to alter your trip.  We do not operate kayaks or canoes on whitecap days on the lake for your safety and enjoyment.  In this situation (which is very rare in the mornings) we would offer an extended raft tour.  We have other options with hiking, rafting, and a shortened kayak tour to provide a safe and enjoyable tour alternative under inclement weather.  It is up to the guide’s discretion and safety experience to determine what is the most appropriate decision for the day based on weather.

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.