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Train And Glacier Hike From Anchorage

Day Trip, Group Tour
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This full-day adventure will take you from Anchorage to the Spencer Glacier by rail, where you will kayak across an Alaskan lake and hike on a glacier.

Train and Glacier Hike from Anchorage

After making your way to the Alaska Railroad station in downtown Anchorage, you will check-in for your train ride to Spencer Whistle Stop on the Glacier Discovery Train. You will meet your guide on the train at the second Portage, Whittier stop (where you will have a chance to stretch your legs). While on the train, when not enjoying the beautiful scenery, all guests will fill out a hiking application and sign a waiver. A deli lunch of either a turkey or vegetarian sandwich is served on the train.

The Spencer Glacier is located just South of Portage Valley and the Turnagain Arm in the Kenai Mountains and the Chugach National Forest. It is entirely off the road system, so you will ride a train from Anchorage, Girdwood, or Portage with breathtaking views of glaciers and towering alpine peaks. The tour is operated under permit from the Chugach National Forest.

From the Spencer Whistle Stop, your group will board a bus for a short dirt road jaunt to the base camp at the lake edge. This saves 2 miles of walking and gets you past the crowds, directly to the most scenic spot. Your group of 5 or less will set off to cross the lake in tandem sea kayaks, enjoying outstanding views of the glacier and floating icebergs. The total distance to the edge of the glacier is about 1.5 miles (each way) of flat lake water, and takes approximately 1 hour.

Arriving at the glacier's edge, leave your kayak behind and gear up with helmets and crampons. After safety lessons and crampon practice, you will travel onto the glacier and have about 2 hours to explore the amazing ice features, such as blue ice, crevasses, ice caves, and moulins, with skilled and experienced glacier guides. The 6 hours you will spend in the Alaskan outdoors includes many photo and rest stops to learn about interesting local wildlife, history, and glaciology. Naturalist glacier guides will pace the trip and total mileage to your groups' fitness level and desires.

After the hike, you will board the Northbound Coastal Classic train, making a stop in Girdwood before returning to the downtown Anchorage train station at the end of an incredible day of travel and exploration.

Please Note: Participants must arrive prepared. Guests must dress in warm synthetic clothes in multiple layers, the top layer being waterproof. Cotton clothes, including blue jeans, are not recommended. Long synthetic pants, a fleece jacket or thin mid-layer, sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes, a warm hat, sunglasses, and gloves are required. Each guest should bring a backpack. Cameras and binoculars are strongly recommended.

All paddling gear, all glacier hiking gear, bear protection, bottled water, a snack, and deli lunch will be provided. Additional meals may be purchased on the train. The tour operates in all weather conditions, at the discretion of the guide.

About Shore Excursions Group
Shore Excursions Group logo
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.

We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.

Our Approach
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.

Our Tours
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.

Our People
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.

Our Owners
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.

Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.

Michael Bonner
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.
Starting At
$419.00 USD
Per Person
Tour Type
Group Size
Activity Type(s)
Active, Scenic
Tour Duration
13.25 Hours
Activity Level
Tour Leaves From
Downtown Anchorage
Food/Beverage Provided
A boxed deli lunch, bottled water, and a snack is included.
Special Instructions
Participants must arrive prepared. Guests must dress in warm synthetic clothes in multiple layers, the top layer being waterproof. Cotton clothes, including blue jeans, are not recommended. Long synthetic pants, a fleece jacket or thin mid layer, long wool socks, sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes, a warm hat, sunglasses, and gloves are required. Each guest should bring a backpack. Cameras and binoculars are strongly recommended.
This is a strenuous activity; previous sea kayaking and hiking experience is recommended, and participants should be prepared for several hours of moderate activity. The minimum age to participate is 13 years old. The Transportation Security Administration requires that any Alaska Railroad passenger 18 years of age or older present a government issued photo ID, or two other forms of ID, one of which must be issued by a government authority. Guests under the age of 18 must travel in the company of an adult 18 years or older.All participants must weigh between 90 and 250 pounds. The maximum height that can be accommodated is 6 feet 7 inches, and the maximum waist size is 44 inches. Guests must be able to keep a steady pace over gravel, ice and packed dirt surfaces, many of which are uneven, and may be on an incline. Participants should be in good condition, and all guests must sign a waiver before participating. The tour vehicles are not wheelchair accessible. As train tickets must be pre-purchased, this tour must be cancelled a minimum 18 days prior to tour departure to receive a partial refund.