Byron Glacier is one of the easiest hikes you can undertake to get to a glacier in Alaska. On a relatively flat, one mile trail, viewing this glacier is a must for families. Located in the Portage, Alaska area, which is only about 40 minutes from Anchorage, this was one of our first Alaskan adventures.
Byron Glacier YouTube Video
On one of our many trips to Byron Glacier (we’ve truly been probably about a dozen times), we decided to do a quick trail recording for you so that you could know what to expect on the trail! Be sure to check it out, and subscribe to the channel while you are at it to be kept up to date on all the new Alaskan adventures we want to share with you!
Byron Glacier Trail
Byron Glacier trail is fairly flat, gravel packed, and 1.6 miles round trip. There is a small parking lot located at the trail head. Be aware that during the summer this trail head can be packed, especially on the weekends. Hiking on the weekdays or arriving early on a weekend is preferable in order to guarantee a parking spot.
This trail is accessible year round, but we’ve only ever hiked it between May and October. We do know from other local sources that if you go during the winter you should expect to deal with posthole conditions in the snow. Furthermore, the valley by which you access the glacier is prone to avalanches so please be avalanche aware.
During the summer the area is likely to have quite a bit of rain, and we’ve actually only been to this trail once when it did not rain! So be prepared for plenty of mosquitoes and rain.
Byron Glacier Snow Field
For our family, we have never actually accessed the glacier. To access the full glacier you have to climb up the hillside quite aways. However, the snowfield below the glacier is still fabulous and our family loves to play portions of it (more about this in the safety section). We FEEL like we are on the glacier and you can see the glacier directly above you and it’s a perfect family adventure. If you want to access Byron Glacier itself, be prepared for a climb up the hill.
Glaciers and snowfields are amazing places to play as a family. However, please be safety conscious. The snow fields can have caves and crevices cut into them…watch you kids and understand signs of weak snow and ice to be sure you don’t fall in. If you hike to an ice cave, it is truly best not to enter them. These caves are melting and can collapse, and unfortunately people have died doing so. I do not say this to scare anyone or to deter you from visiting. But we do want it to be known that there are risks and it is in your own hands to utilize that knowledge appropriately.
Byron Glacier is an awesome place to explore with your family and friends. So be sure to head out there the next chance you get. And if you do so, we’d love to hear how you liked it!