In my previous post I told you what there is to do in Anchorage but for this one it’s all about nature and going outside the city. It really depends how far you’re willing to travel as there are an umpteen amount of hikes and trails. One thing that was on our bucket list was to go glacier walking. I’ve done this twice before in New Zealand and Iceland (you can see the latter here) but it felt like a must do in Alaska. We opted for Matanuska Glacier as it was nearby and considered one of the most beautiful. You can go on this glacier without any equipment or guidance but we decided to go on a tour and get deeper. We went with a company called MICA Guides and they offer different options/activities – ice climbing, walks etc. The whole booking process was super easy and I’m sure you can read more about them online.
We showed up and the first thing you do is sign different waivers and finish paying if you haven’t. You then get given a check-list of things you might want to bring with you (they should probably email you this before you drive there as I don’t know how else you’re meant to get these things once you’re there haha). You can borrow hiking boots, jackets etc. and you get fitted for your cramps. They then drive you in their minibus down the hill and to the glacier. It’s around a ten minute walk until you reach the ‘bench station’ where you cramp up, and then the rest is ice walking. Our guide was very enthusiastic and loved ice (he said so every time we stopped), admittedly his passion did rub off on me a little. There were plenty of photo ops, group walks, solo walks, up hill and down hill etc. The weather was gorgeous and getting to walk on a natural wonder is always adrenaline pumping. I really enjoyed myself and would recommend MICA for a relaxing, safe and learning experience.
All around Anchorage are great places to go on hikes. The most famous/touristy is Flattop and is something you can google and see if you’re interested. I want to talk about a different option which is about a half hour of the city – Lake Eklutna. The lake is this beautiful blue turquoise colour and appears endless. I went on a pretty moody day but that only added to the ambience. There are bike and kayak rentals available but I opted to hike up the mountain. It was a pretty gruelling experience with it being all up-hill. Once you get to the top though the view is incredible and you feel very proud of yourself haha (just remember to pack water and some snacks). There were people who were having picnics by the lake and making a real day of it, so that’s something to consider for sure.
If you feel like going further afield from Anchorage and checking out a smaller town I would recommend Whittier. On Monday there will be a whole post on things to do there and it is such a cute, quaint little place – possibly one of my favourites!