Custom Root Glacier Hikes
Join us for an exciting half-day Glacier Hike on the Root Glacier in Kennecott, Alaska. Explore the blue pools, moulins, crevasses, and rolling Ice of the Root Glacier, accompanied by one of our local, knowledgeable guides. Well-studied in glaciology and geology, our guides will bring you on a glacier hike adventure in one of the earth’s most dynamic landscapes. Outfitted with a pair of crampons and a pre-trip orientation, we’ll shuttle you from our shop in McCarthy 5 miles up the road up to historic Kennecott. Already staying in Kennecott? Let our office know your guide will meet you outside the Park Service Visitors Center.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Our Custom Root Glacier Hikes are considered Moderate hike trips for those interested in a 4-6 hour hike. The Root Glacier hike ranges from 5-6 miles. These private reservations are tailored to your group’s needs and interest levels.
- Interpretive walking tour through a Historic Mining Town
- Soaring glacial and mountain vistas along the Glacier Moraine
- Hike on the white ice of the Root Glacier
- Explore unique glacial features
- Drink from a glacial stream
- Unbeatable views of the mile-high stairway ice-fall
Root Glacier in Kennicott
- Expert guide
- Trekking poles (by request)
- Local lodging pickup by request – must reserve in advance
- Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
- Sunglasses & sunscreen (even if it’s cloudy)
- Rain gear (top and bottom)
- Lightweight gloves
- Water bottle
- Snacks/sack lunch
- Gratuity for your guide (10-20% of the trip cost is recommended)
May 20th to September 5th: 7:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, Noon & 1:00 pm
- Raft and Hike Package
- Fly in/fly out from Glennallen 1-day package
Glacier Hike - Total time between 5 and 8 hours
Trips launch on the hour between 7am and 1pm
Meet up 15 minutes prior to departure
- Please include hotel accommodations in booking details, we can arrange meet up at your hotel if it is between our office and Kennicott
Crampon Fitting & Shuttle to Kennicott
Hike through the historic townsite of Kennicott
- Your guide provides a in depth interpretive tour of the townsite and mill operations as you stroll past the historic buildings
Kennicott to the Glacier - ~2 miles
- Stroll alongside the glacier while learning about glaciation, moraines, erratics and plants along the trail
- The glacier trail is gently sloping with some loose cobble, the final ¼ mile to the white ice is mildly more strenuous with steeper downhill and traverse to the ice.
On the glacier - 1 mile to 4 miles depending on your groups preference
- Take a minute to put on the crampons that your guide has fitted for you
- Your guide will guide you through an introductory to walking with crampons, including safety and comfort considerations.
- Explore, Ice Walls, Blue Pools and Moulins
- Take in unrivaled 360 degree views of the Stairway Icefall, Mount Blackburn, and the surrounding Wrangell and Chugach mountain ranges
- Fill your water bottle with ice cold glacial water
The Glacier back to Kennicott 2 miles
- The steepest part of the trail is ascending the path back up to the main trail.
- Enjoy the sweeping views of the Root and Kennicott Glacier with all of the new information that you just learned about on your tour
- Get some great group shots by the waterfall at jumbo creek
- Take one last shot to get the best angle on a picture of the iconic Kennicott Mill building
Kennicott back to hotel or shop
- Your guide will bring you back to your hotel if it is along the way
- You are welcome to stay in Kennicott to explore more at this time
- If you met at our office, we will bring you back to the office!
Amazing 1/2-Day Root Glacier Tour!
My husband and I recently joined Diego’s half-day tour of Root Glacier. Our small group of 4 first strolled through the boom town of Kennecott and listened as Diego described different buildings and the town’s history. Next, we hiked about 1.5 miles along a gorgeous easy trail that passed a waterfall and gorgeous views of Mt. Blackburn, two glaciers, and other surrounding mountains. We approached Root Glacier, and Diego continued to inform us about the area. Then we strapped on crampons, got a quick tutorial on how to use them, and set out on the glacier. It seemed like we got going quicker than other groups because of our small intimate group size. Walking on the glacier was easy (we had never used crampons before) and beautiful! We saw bright blue pools and streams cutting through the glacier, the Stairway Ice Fall, a blue lake, ice caves, and other glacial features. We were on the glacier for about 2 1/2 hours in all. The whole experience was amazing and so unique. It added to our trip to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park.
Wonderful Half Day Glacier Hike on Root Glacier!
It was just my mom and me on the hike with Ethan (our guide), and it was great! My mom was nervous about hiking and going on the glacier, but Ethan was patient and supportive. We had a lot of fun! Ethan showed my mom how to walk in the crampons and was a great guide who told us a bunch of neat facts about the glaciers. If I can ever get back to McCarthy and Kennecott (I hope to), I’ll use McCarthy River Tours and Outfitters again for another trip.
Ann Marie G
Amazing Glacial Hike
The Root Glacier hike was an incredible experience, and our guide Violet was delightful. It takes a lot to get out to Wrangell – St. Elias park, but after those difficulties, we’re behind us this hike made it all worth it. It was strenuous, but we could decide how much adventure we were willing to take. Violet was knowledgeable, personable, and positive- just what you want in a guide. It was a great experience for us and our teenage children. I highly recommend this trip.