Matanuska Glacier

Coordinates: 61°39′21″N 147°34′52″W / 61.65583°N 147.58111°W / 61.65583; -147.58111
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Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Map showing the location of Matanuska Glacier
Map showing the location of Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
TypeMountain glacier
LocationMatanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, U.S.
Coordinates61°39′21″N 147°34′52″W / 61.65583°N 147.58111°W / 61.65583; -147.58111
Length27 miles (43 km) [1]
TerminusMatanuska River

Matanuska Glacier is a valley glacier in the US state of Alaska. At 27 miles (43 km) long by 4 miles (6.4 km) wide, it is the largest glacier accessible by car in the United States. Its terminus feeds the Matanuska River.[2] It lies near the Glenn Highway about 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Anchorage in Glacier View. The glacier flows about 1 foot (30 cm) per day. Due to ablation of the lower glacier, as of 2007, the location of the glacier terminus has changed little over the previous three decades.[3]

Nearby state park: An Alaska State Parks facility, the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site, is a 229-acre (93 ha) park with trails and a small campground.[4]

Vehicle and walking access: As the largest glacier in Alaska accessible by car, travelers have options for up-close viewing or walking on the ice. Matanuska Glacier is accessible by a single road, S Glacier Park Road found at mile 102 of the Glenn Highway. This gravel road with small bridge crossing comes to an electronic gate operated by Glacier Tours on the Matanuska. Glacier Tours also maintains the remainder of the drive to the glacier, as well as parking, a shelter, paths, and picnic tables. Visitors may pay a fee for tours with a local guide; these are operated year-round. Additional tours depart from downtown Anchorage and include a guide with shuttle service to Matanuska Glacier.[5]

Fun fact: The glacier is the eponym of the Alaska Marine Highway ferry MV Matanuska.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matanuska Glacier
  2. ^ Matanuska River
  3. ^ "Alaska Glaciers Case Study".
  4. ^ Matanuska Glacie SRS, Alaska Department of Natural Resources
  5. ^ Justin, Matley (Jan 1, 2010). "Glacier Access". Glacier Tours. Archived from the original on Nov 11, 2020. Retrieved Feb 8, 2021.