Spencer Glacier

One of the most spectacular and visible glaciers along the rail belt, this glacier is named after Bill Spencer, a railroad employee who mysteriously disappeared “out there somewhere” in 1914. While at Spencer, you may enjoy a float tour, hiking, or even camping. Spencer Glacier is the first of several Whistle Stops planned by the Forest Service and is only accessible by train.

Trains: Glacier Discovery - Chugach Explorer
Hotels: None
Activities: Spencer Glacier Float Tour, Glacier Explorer Tour, Ranger Hike, Camping
Arrival time: From Portage to Grandview: 1:45 PM, From Grandview to Portage: 4:30 PM
Departure time: To Grandview: 1:55 PM, To Portage: 4:40 PM
Distance from:
  • Anchorage: 60 miles, 3.75 hours by train
  • Fairbanks: 420 miles, 15.75 hours by train over two days with an overnight in Anchorage
  • Denali: 297 miles, 11.25 hours by train over two days with an overnight in Anchorage
  • Seward: 70 miles, 3.25 hours by train

Recommended Gear List for All Visitors

  • Hiking boots
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Polypropylene, nylon or wool clothing (avoid cotton)
  • Emergency gear such as:
    • a first aid kit
    • knife
    • signaling device such as a whistle
  • Map of the Spencer Glacier area
  • Insect repellent and/or head net

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