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Your glacial journey begins at our shop in “downtown” McCarthy, our guides will outfit you with a pair of crampons and a pre-trip orientation before we shuttle up to Kennecott.  From the bus depot at the beginning of the Kennecott Historic Town Site, take a trek through the historic copper town while your guide explains the buildings and history of the Worlds purest copper.  The 14 story Concentration Mill and the towering stacks of the old Powerhouse dominate the townscape, but there are many smaller buildings as well, your guides “insider” knowledge will help to illuminate the stories that once unfolded here.  Well preserved as a National Heritage site, Kennecott is truly a unique place to begin your hike to the Root Glacier.

After the brief walk through town, our trail begins out to the glacier, trekking along the well-marked trail, check out wild-flowers alongside, maybe taste a few of the Alaska Berries along the way.  The roughly 2 mile hike from bus depot to white ice provides for great photo ops and stops along the way to learn more about the glacier in front of us and the alpine mountains and the creatures that roam there.

Once at the glacier, pause briefly while we put on our crampons and your guide gives some key advice on walking in crampons safely and effectively.  We’ll admit, walking on ice with the sharp spikes of the crampons on the bottom can be a little awkward at first, but after a little bit of “break in “ time and the sage knowledge the professional, you’ll find yourself immersed in an unbelievable, unique landscape.  You’ll spend a few hours circling Moulin’s, traversing fields of ice, basking in the beauty of blue pools and truly getting a sense of the vastness and wildness of the Alaskan landscape.

From start to finish, the half day glacier hike can take between 4 & 6 hours and approximately 5-6 miles depending on your crew, motivation levels, and comfort.  What makes our trips different?  All of our full price trips are private tours(groups of 2 or more), that means we travel at your pace, we explore at your pace, and best of all, you get a private guide that you can ask far more questions and have them customize your trip to your needs.

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McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters - Day Tours
Join us for an exciting half day Glacier Hike adventure of the Root Glacier in Kennecott, Alaska.  Explore the Blue Pools, Moulin’s, Crevasses and rolling Ice of the Root Glacier accompanied by one of our world class guides.  Well studied in glaciology and geology, your guide will bring you on an adventure that is much more than just hiking.  The cascading alpine and glacial moonscape provide for some of the best, easily immersive flora, fauna and vistas of the Kennicott Valley.
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Reviewed 2 days ago

Emily was fantastic. Very knowledgeable,caring, and social skills 2nd to none. Thanks Emily and good luck with your future endeavors.

Thank Jim E
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
A wonderful private hike experience on a glacier

Everything from the booking to the actual day of hike was very smooth with McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters. A big shout-out to our guide for the day, Emily, who made our experience even more memorable. She was very well versed with the history of...More

Thank Malvika B
Reviewed 8 July 2018 via mobile
Glacier hike

My wife and myself took the 1/2 day root glacier hike with our guide Emily. She was amazing. She was very knowledgeable about the geology, mining, glaciers and the local flora. She was always pleasant and helpful with us two old retirees.We both highly recommend...More

Thank jonathan s
Reviewed 6 July 2018
Amazing Root Glacier hike with Emily!

We just concluded a 2 week trip to Alaska and this was one of the two best highlights of our trip. Although my wife & I do a lot of hiking, we'd never hiked on a glacier before and hence decided to do a guided...More

Thank scorpionz
NikMerlino, Owner at McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2018

I am so glad to hear you had a great time with Emily! She has put a lot of time in to expanding her knowledge of the area and it shows in her work! Also, thank you for pointing out the great information and added...More

Reviewed 1 July 2018
Excellent experience

We hiked Root Glacier and it was a great experience. Beautiful place, and a reasonably easy hike (about 1.5h hike to get there, plus 2h on the ice, plus another 1.5h to get back). We booked using the toursaver discount and even though it is...More

Thank Chufina
NikMerlino, Owner at McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2018

Hi Chufina, thank you for taking the time to leave us a review! I am glad we were able to accommodate your group, arriving earlier in the season gives us a little more wiggle room than when it gets busier! So glad that you enjoyed...More

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