Matanuska Travel Guide

  • Matanuska
    by Matyas
  • Before the fun began...
    Before the fun began...
    by jjkent
  • Open Rapids on Frozen River
    Open Rapids on Frozen River
    by mcpangie

Matanuska Things to Do

  • From the Glenn Highway 1 more image

    by tia77 Updated Jun 10, 2006

    Eight bucks to walk out to and on a glacier? Definitely worth it! This hike out to the glacier and back took about 45 min (tons of picture taking included). It was quite muddy, as we went soon after "break up", but we were dressed for a hike, so it really didn't matter. The view was awesome (you really get to use this word a lot in regards to all places in Alaska). We had a great time. We did not take the guided hike, but in walking behind them on the way back, we could hear them giving their group a lot of interesting information that we didn't have in our brochures. Not sure what the price difference is for the guided tour. If you get a chance for a day trip out of Anchorage, make this a must do!

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Matanuska Restaurants

  • 1 more image

    by tia77 Updated May 23, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Long Rifle Lodge is located on the Glenn Highway, just up from the Matanuska Glacier turnoff. The lodge was a pleasant surprise for my family as we had heard nothing of it in our extensive research of places to visit in Alaska. The food was great, the serivce was friendly, and the view is unrivaled. I highly recommend it.

    Favorite Dish: There was something for everyone. (My picky nephew declared that the hot dog was "the best ever.")

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking

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Matanuska Sports & Outdoors

  • jjkent's Profile Photo
    Kissin' the carabiner!

    by jjkent Updated Feb 5, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After the beginner face, we took a short walk on the fractured glacier to our next site. The glacier walk was half the fun - glaciers are very dynamic features that can change from day to day. There were many runoff rivulets - recently melted water flowing on top of ice - that dumped into ice ponds. Those are ponds you wouldn't want to go swimming in!

    We had lunch and climbed the short (~60') intermediate face. This time we belayed on with our guide spotting us. This face was much more vertical, just about 90 degrees. My two friends and I all made it to the top. Our guide said about 1/4 of his "students" make it to the top on the intermediate face - we then proceeded to pat ourselves on the back!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park

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  • jjkent's Profile Photo
    Climbing the advanced face - yikes!

    by jjkent Updated Feb 5, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    OK, this one kicked my butt. I do have to admit it was the most striking scene though. The glacier was jointed and layered with streaks of dark rock dust, probably volcanic ash from centuries ago. On our walk over from the intermediate face, we had a gorgeous view of the Matanuska River valley and the glacier laid out below us. It was a gorgeous day.

    Our climbing abilities on this one were not so gorgeous. The height of the wall was not the problem - it was only 60-80', not much taller than the intermediate face. It was, however, 90 degrees vertical, with a bit of an outcropping that you had to climb up and backwards. I was able to make it up about two thirds of the way to where the outcropping was, then just ran out of gas. I didn't have the muscle strength to reach up and behind me and climb over the outcropping. My friends didn't either, so I didn't feel so bad - until our guide got up the whole face in what seemed like 2.5 seconds. What a hot dog.

    We hiked back to our cars in high spirits and with some great memories...and some great pictures! I hope you enjoyed them.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Adventure Travel

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  • jjkent's Profile Photo
    Climbing the beginner face, no ropes

    by jjkent Updated Feb 5, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We selected the 6-hour Intro To Ice Climbing trip. It was kind of in the middle when it comes to cost and time - there are shorter ice climbing trips, and longer (overnight) trips as well. For the less adventurous, there are glacier hiking trips that don't include hiking, but include crampon rental and a good interpretative guide!

    We started out with a short (~20 min.) hike to the glacier (with your regular boots on) and on the glacier (with your crampons). The first stop was the beginner's face - the ice climbing equivalent of the bunny hill! Here, the guide taught us the fundamentals of ice climbing - arms bent, knees bent, butt in, and kick your toe perpendicular to the ice face, but not too hard.

    This hill was fairly easy - we did not need ropes and the greatest danger of falling really was sliding slowly on our bellies to a soft landing at the bottom - and it gave us a chance to practice our new skills on a relatively doable face.

    Equipment: MICA Guides will ask you to bring your own cold weather gear - even if you go in the summer like we did. (Alaskan summers, while incredibly beautiful, aren't all that hot.) You will want to bring:
    Hiking boots,
    a day pack,
    sunglasses,
    sunscreen,
    gloves,
    rain gear,
    warm fleece clothing,
    boots,
    lunch.

    MICA will provide for you:
    All technical ice climbing gear, including helmets,
    boots if you don't have a good pair.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Mountain Climbing

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