I think it’s proper to start this article with a quote from Lord Byron (English Nobleman, poet, politician and pervert). There actually isn’t any relation to Lord Byron and the Byron Glacier Trail located in Prince William Sound, Alaska. However, I have made it a relationship thus by utilizing his prose on nature as this article’s title and since this article is of a nature trail…well, my practical genius astounds me! 😉
Byron Glacier Trail is located about an hour from Anchorage, Alaska. An easy and beautiful drive south on the Seward Highway and a nice pit-stop on your way to Whittier. This little gem is frequently overlooked as the initial draw to this area is Portage Valley with it’s beautiful lake and amazing views of glaciers. This easy-moderate trail, which is nestled in the Chugach National Forest, is less than a mile to get a breathtaking view of Byron Glacier. During the winter, you can trek another half mile over a rock field (this is the moderate part) to see ice caves. Due to the glacier runoff, ice caves sometimes form and they are breathtaking. At least from the photos I’ve seen, for I trekked with my trusty bear-deterrer (a Boston Terrier) in order to covet the beauty of these caves with my own ocular orifices, but nature was naught of a cooperative mood. In other words, it was being a little bitch by covering the ice caves with a recent avalanche. Boooooo, nature! The chances of avalanches happening are very high (seriously), so proceed with caution. I would also recommend taking snowshoes because even though it was May when I went, I was sinking through in about 2-3 feet of snow in some spots. Year round, bring raingear. This area is in a valley where clouds get trapped and pop-up rain/hail storms are common.
How to get to Byron Glacier: Drive south from Anchorage on the Seward Highway. You will pass Girdwood and about mile 79 you will see signs to Portage Valley Road. Turn left onto this road and travel towards Begich Boggs Visitor Center (about 6 miles). You will see the sign for Byron Glacier Trail pointing to your right. Soon after turning right, look for a parking lot to your right and the trailhead begins there. Happy trails!
Have you been here?
Much love and aloha,
your seeker of ice caves clueless wanderer