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The two RV Gypsies hiked on
Matanuska Glacier in Glacier View, Alaska

June 10, 2009

Note: Many pages on this website, including this one, have lots of photos and although they have been pre-loaded, they make take a minute to load. They are worth the short wait. Many pages also contain history and/or important information about the area.

Below: Matanuska Glacier as seen from the main road
Matanuska Glacier as seen from the main road
Matanuska Glacier as seen from the main road
Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier accessible by car in Alaska. The Matanuska Glacier is a large ice flow, 24 miles long and 4 miles wide at the terminus, averaging approximately 2 miles in width. This glacier is a valley glacier; it exists on a valley floor. The rocky dirt part at the beginning of the glacier has 600 feet of ice below the surface. Upon arriving at the ice part of the glacier, there is 900 feet of ice below the surface.
 
The two RV Gypsies drove to the parking lot closest to the Matanuska Glacier and hiked over the gravel, sand and large boulders that have been deposited by the glacier as it advances. The two RV Gypsies stopped at the office to pay the fee required to walk on the glacier.
gravel, sand and large boulders that has been deposited by the glacier,
gravel, sand and large boulders that has been deposited by the glacier,
gravel, sand and large boulders that has been deposited by the glacier,
gravel, sand and large boulders that has been deposited by the glacier,
Lee Duquette walked the trail beside beautiful wildflowers growing on the glacier.
Lee walking the trail through the beautiful wildflowers
Lee walking the trail through the beautiful wildflowers
beautiful wildflowers
beautiful wildflowers
Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Lee and Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Lee and Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
The majority of glaciers in Alaska today are smaller alpine glaciers which hang off mountain slopes. The Matanuska is an active glacier which advances at one foot per day. It takes approximately 250 years for the ice to form up glacier and advance to the terminus. The ice of an active glacier always moves forward due to gravity; like water in a river, the ice will flow down valley. When ice melts at a higher rate than snow accumulates the glacier margin 'recedes'. (The term 'receding' does not refer to the ice actually traveling back up the valley.)
Lee Duquette hiking on Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette hiking on Matanuska Glacier
Don't fall in ..........
Lee Duquette hiking on Matanuska Glacier
the water dripping has caused this big hole
Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette hiking on Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette hiking on Matanuska Glacier
The two RV Gypsies approached the ice part of the glacier and encountered two signs. They proceeded past this point even though they did not have a guide, because they had permission from the office where they paid a fee to enter the glacier area.
sign - no trail beyond this point
sign - proceed at your own risk
Frozen "blue" ice that looks like water
frozen "blue" ice that looks like water
frozen "blue" ice that looks like water
importantA frequently asked question is "Why does the ice appear to be blue?" The Answer: The density of glacier ice allows the entire spectrum of light to be absorbed with the exception of the blue light which is reflected, and therefore blue is the color your eyes see.
water melting and traveling down the glacier
water melting and traveling down the glacie
The two RV Gypsies met up with a fellow hiker on the glacier. They were the only 3 people on the glacier. They crossed several small streams of water and went all the way to the lake in the middle of the glacier. They spent about two hours exploring this wonderful glacier.
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette liked this big boulder that was in the middle of the glacier. He pointed to the top of the boulder, which had a triangle filled with water - see the photo on the right, below.
Lee and a big boulder
the top of the boulder filled with water
A very cool looking Karen Duquette
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Lee and Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette
Lee
Lee
crystal clear water
clear water flowing
Lee Duquette
clear water flowing
Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette thought this looked like "butt cheeks" - LOL
butt cheeks
butt cheeks
butt cheeks
Lee Duquette on Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
 Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette on Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette at the lake in the middle of Matanuska Glacier

Lee Duquette reached the lake in the middle of the glacier and took a photo of Karen Duquette

Lee Duquette at the lake in the middle of Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette at the lake in the middle of Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette at the lake in the middle of Matanuska Glacier
the lake in the middle of Matanuska Glacier
the lake in the middle of Matanuska Glacier
the lake in the middle of Matanuska Glacier
the lake in the middle of Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Karen Duquette on  Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier

The two RV Gypsies hiked on this glacier June 10, 2009 - these photos - and again on July 22, 2009 - only to find it looked entirely different - and they were unable to reach to the lake. Only tours with crampons could get there. (Crampons are outdoor footwear that include pointed metal parts and are worn on boots to provide traction on snow and ice.) In 2016, the two RV Gypsies did a guided crampon tour on this glacier and again, it was totally different.

You can get to the second tour from the Alaska button above and choose item 18, OR just continue the journey in order by viewing the photos of Palmer below. Don't worry because you would still see the second glacier hike if you continue these pages in order. All glaciers can also be reached from the TOC button at the top of any page, and choosing the letter G.

go to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies in Alaska Palmer, Alaska

see a travelling mailbox, and road conditions in Alaska, a moose in the campground, ATV adventure and more