Exit Glacier is a valley glacier that is part of the Kenai Fjords National Park. It's only a few miles outside of Seward. After an easy drive, we only had a hike of a mile or so to get up to the glacier. Here are Eileen, Tom and Dave setting off to see the wizard of glaciers:
The trail itself was interesting. Here, Dave ducks under a tree branch to cross a wooden bridge over a beautiful, grey-green glacial stream on the way to the glacier:
Kathy took her turn on a more substantial bridge crossing between two rock faces:
Closer to the glacier and its terminal moraine, the Exit River flows southeast through gravel terrain:
Looking the other way, we could get our first look at the glacier:
Finally, we got close enough to get a good look at the bottom of the glacier. You can see that striking blue ice peeping through the silt and gravel riding on the top of the ice:
Near the foot of the glacier, this is what the river basin looked like:
Again, we must have our selfies with the glaciers:
Further back up the Seward Highway toward Anchorage, we stopped in Girdwood, Alaska, a small town north of Portage, on Turnagain Arm. Girdwood had been virtually destroyed by the '64 Quaker, but a New Girdwood Town Center has grown up, and we had lunch at a very nice restaurant near the Alyeska Resort, where the tramway is located. During the winter, the resort is for skiers. During the warmer seasons, tourists and locals ride the tram to the top for a view of the surrounding area, or to hike down the mountain.
Here is a shot Kathy took of one of the tramcars:
As our tramcar left the base, we could look back down at the resort:
Tom and Eileen were armed with their best cameras for all the scenic action:
When we got to the top, we had the benefit of observation decks and a beautiful gift shop. We could walk out on the snow and imagine we were ready to start our schuss down the face of the mountain.
These are the views from the top, looking down at the resort --
-- and out to the south toward Turnagain Arm with the Kenai Peninsula in the distance:
Not a bad end to a 3-day adventure. We got back to the campground and kicked back, giving Eileen and Tom a day of R&R before their flight home to the Philadelphia area.
You can view our Flickr album with all of our photos from Exit Glacier and the Alyeska Tram.