A leisurely drive at your own pace through some of the world’s most beautiful scenery? That is why driving tops many peoples’ lists of favorite Alaskan activities. Wherever you go, wilderness surrounds you: mountains loom large, animals show themselves, and natural wonders are around every corner. While driving down the Alaskan highway, you can explore a side road, make discoveries, and linger for as long as you like.
Anchorage is a great base for scenic drives—it’s easy to rent a caror RV, and beautiful sites are easily accessible. The spectacular Matanuska Glacier is just a short drive away, so take the wheel and create some stories of your own.
Driving north from Anchorage may not be as instantly dramatic as going south, but within an hour you will be immersed in stunning stop-and-shoot scenery. The Glenn Highway runs northeast to agricultural Palmer, then twists east along the Matanuska River Valley, sandwiched between coastal and interior mountains. The Matanuska Glacier makes for a great day trip from Anchorage, because there’s lots to see and do in the area and it was voted as the #2 attraction to see in Alaska Magazine's "49 Places to Go in the 49th State".
The Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier in Alaska reachable by car. It is approximately 26 miles long and 4 miles wide at the terminus. It is classified as a valley glacier; a body of solid ice that flows like a river under its own weight through an existing valley. Because the Matanuska Glacier is a weather hole, cold air from the glacier forces warm air upward towards the mountain peaks. This results in sunny skies and more favorable weather than its surrounding areas, making this a perfect destination for the Alaskan traveler.
Only two hours north east of Anchorage by way of the Glenn Highway, the Matanuska Glacier can be seen for miles before reaching some of its ideal viewing locations. Large pull outs along the highway provide a safe place to take advantage of its magnificent views and marvelous photo ops.
At milepost marker 101, you will find the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area that encompasses approximately 229 acres. There is not direct access to the glacier from this recreational area, however; this is a popular location to stop and take advantage of the easy walking trail that parallels the glacier and the Matanuska River. A pavilion provides shelter and a resting spot for those who wish to simply sit and enjoy the view.
If you want to experience the ice up-close, visit Matanuska Glacier Park at milepost marker 102. This privately owned park is the glaciers only access point. An entrance fee is collected at the office which then allows travelers to drive up to and park next to the glacier. Those seeking adventure can continue on foot onto the ice in about fifteen minutes. They then can explore the glacier on their own or choose to take advantage of one of the several local guide companies who have appropriate gear to get to some of the glacier’s most spectacular sites.
Don't miss your opportunity to see one of Alaska's best natural attractions, book your RV rental now. ABC Motorhome & Car Rentals can cater to all your motorhome, truck, or camper rentals. We've been serving Alaska and its visitors with top-notch customer service since 1985. Contact us at 907-279 or 800-421-7456 for details, or make a reservation online.