Powered by Imagely, Castner Glacier & the road there and back, Ravens, A woodpecker, Chickadees, and the Fox that got away. If you want to experience a fun glacier hike, the Gulkana Glacier trail near Paxson, Alaska, will take you across a cool suspension bridge. The hike to the Castner Glacier is roughly 2.2 miles round trip and includes stunning mountain views. The large ice chunks in front of the ice cave have completely melted in the 08/24 photo. I may earn commissions if you shop through the affiliate links on this page. The hike to the glacier’s face follows Castner Creek; the creek is fast-flowing, brown, and fed by the melting glacier. Castner glacier is rapidly receding and as it melts has created many stunning and several exceptional ice caves. Castner Glacier Trailhead. Castner Glacier Ice Cave. The Trail: After four years of not doing this hike I came back again to do it in fall 2016. Photography and aurora photography tutorials. Conditions can undoubtedly be different in the mountains than on the flats, but I’ll give it another few weeks before trying. Trailhead Save Standing on the West side of road looking back South down the Richardson Highway. I've heard a few stories recently about disappointed "aurora tourists" around the world. Castner Glacier 04/14/14. The Gulkana Glacier Trail is a great afternoon hike–about X MILES long—complete with two swinging drawbridges to cross before you reach the glacier. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Buy. Most of the tongue of the Castner is debris-covered, very bumpy, and partially vegetated. Log In. It includes the Castner Glacier (13B) and the Black Rapids Glacier (20A). Hiking and travel guide to Alaska. This glacier hike takes you across one of the longest suspension bridges in Alaska. Most of the tongue of the Castner is debris-covered, very bumpy, and partially vegetated. MP 210. ... used as a trail head for hikes into the adjacent mountains for climbers and hikers wishing to view the glaciers and valleys. Castner Glacier, AK Latitude: 63.4263889 Longitude: -145.6 County: Southeast Fairbanks (CA) Area: Mount Hayes B-4 Elevation: 1157 meters - 3796 feet Sometimes I have the privilege of spending an entire day, or multiple days, exploring the intricate details of a glacier. Otherwise, we had no significant complaints. If you head to Seward there is Exit glacier, with two possibilities, the first is to take the long hike up to the trail to the top and wander around on the Harding Ice Field as much as you wish (google it! This page is for summer hiking tours of Castner Glacier (available May through September); if you are interested in visiting Castner Glacier between October and April, see the Castner Glacier Winter tour page. Bitter cold. There is a parking area at the pack trail head that is located at Mile 1388.4 Alaska Highway and leads south towards the mountains and the Johnson River. Photographed just 4 months before the photograph before. NW of Paxson, Alaska Range. If you go to the BLM link for Castner Glacier, they say it’s only a 1/2 mile hike to the glacier – this is not correct. See more of The Trail Head on Facebook. 2/10/2020 ... they had a different experience. Castner Glacier a glacier in Alaska. Getting There. What makes this one special, even borderline famous is it’s massive ice caves; some of which runs 500 miles deep into the heart of the ice. Let's take a peek inside: Very sadly, there was already a death from an avalanche in the area earlier this winter. The Castner Glacier lies on the southern flank of the Delta Range, an eastern section of the Alaska Range.The glacier begins on the peak White Princess and continues to the head of Castner Creek, northwest of Paxson, Alaska.The glacier was named by Edwin Forbes Glenn in 1898 after Joseph Compton Castner.. Details. Castner Glacier Ice Cave 08/24/14. We then had to bushwhack up a 300-foot hill to access the ridge line. It includes the Castner Glacier (13B) and the Black Rapids Glacier (20A). Forgot account? When you reach Castner Creek on the Richardson Highway, you can park on the north or south side of the bridge. Directions: Head north from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. February 18, 2020 hike to the Castner Glacier Ice Cave in Alaska. What a change in 4 months! This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. Full FTC Disclosure. Accessibility Help. I forgot how hard of a hike this was and how much bushwhacking was involved so I have changed my rating for it to reflect more difficulty. It makes for an epic trip before you even get started. The cave is on the left side of the glacial lobe. The large ice chunks in front of the ice cave have completely melted in the 08/24 photo. It was a breathtaking view looking through; the arch perfectly framing the peak of White Princess rising above a few ridges. Trailhead. What a change in 4 months! Pushing our way out of the drainage to stay dry, we followed a gentle moraine to the top of the northern terminus of the Castner. Suggested hikes in the Delta Mountains, Kesugi Ridge near Denali, White Mountain National Recreation Area, Chena River State Recreation Area and more! The 3.5 miles (5.6 km) slog uphill to camp was well worth the effort to camp by this beautiful lake nestled in the high mountains. She skiied it with a few others about a month ago. After walking 0.8 miles down the gravel bar, we had to find a game trail that headed up and over a low ridge and down to a lake. Keep an eye out for summertime ice-climbers at this most impressive roadside glacier. Jump to. or. See more of The Trail Head on Facebook. Sure enough, it wasn’t a trail so much as a criss-crossing web of wind-smeared boot, snowmachine, ski, and snow shoe tracks on the creekbed. Posted on May 14, 2017 November 21, 2018 by CryoPhotos. Do the photos really look like what you see in social media? Get it on Amazon: Outside in the Interior: An Adventure Guide for Central Alaska, Second Edition, If you like what I do please support me on Ko-fi. The Glacier Trail is the standard eastern approach for Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming. While driving down the Richardson Highway on February 4th, we managed to catch a pretty spectacular sunrise over the Tanana River and Alaska Range. There was already a light sun crust forming that made travel interesting. And cold. It was time to head back. Sign Up. High today: 63 Low today: 35 My goal of this day was to get Aviva and Jud to a glacier, special request by Jud. This trail is found along the Richardson Highway and can be combined with the Castner Glacier hike on the same day. ... Just up the road we found a camp site at the Castner Glacier across from the wild and scenic Delta River. My article on honesty in... A basic, yet comprehensive explanation of what causes the aurora. This particular visit, there was a few good inches of fresh show so the trail was actually pretty hard to find. The closest major city to the glacier is Fairbanks, roughly 2.5 hours away. When and why you should (or shouldn't) shoot in raw. This trip was different, nearly endless clear skies the whole time. That’s because most of the ice is bare and hard with minimal crevasses, or buried entirely under moraine rubble. We can save big mountain adventures for another day. Sections of this page. The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. Tying together the solar wind, geomagnetic field, Van Allen belts, atomic energy states, and the electromagnetic spectrum. A collapsed wall or cave at the terminus. The temperature becomes a bit warmer, the snow is deeper and more supportive, and we have much longer days. However, the Glacier Trail is the preferred ro… The new trail quickly attracted its first common carrier. The trail ahead got steep, signaling the face of the glacier (hidden under the snow), and this thing was at the bottom of the hill: Castner Glacier Cave! The glacier is located on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). Mountains, glaciers, and moraines. That’s where the “type II” fun started. This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Castner Glacier . All Rights Reserved - Copyright Lee Petersen 2020, Outside in the Interior: An Adventure Guide for Central Alaska, Second Edition, Intro To Darktable 1 – My Lightable Workflow, Arctic sweet coltsfoot – Petasites frigidus, Review: Gregory Alpinisto Pack (35 and 50). Once our feet warmed up. How to shoot the northern lights, how to edit photos in post-processing with a focus on FOSS software programs. It’s about a mile to the toe of the glacier from the road. I spend quite a bit of time hiking in the backcountry of Alaska to find gorgeous sights that few people ever see. Alaska wildflower guide with many photos and galleries of photos with identifying information, nomenclature and taxonomy, uses, and links to more references. Distance: 102 miles north of Anchorage. Email or Phone: Password: Forgot account? The off-trail route climbs Castner to the Silvertip Icefield and, despite being almost entirely on the glacier, does not require crampons, ice axes, or ropes. Once you climb up onto the glacier you are standing on hundreds (or thousands) of years of snow and sediment trapped there. Thank you for your support! The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. on Dec 27, 2007 3:33 pm. 12 miles long. Adventure into the wild to explore National Scenic Trails, or travel back in time to discover National Historic Trails on BLM public lands. Suddenly we started feeling cold. I’d read that the “trail” to Castner Glacier can be dodgy in the winter. We hiked down to the entrance. There were no other cars in the Castner Creek pull-off, and the only tracks were that of a meandering moose in the drainage. Luckily, we found another game trail, but we still had to thrash through shoulder-to-over-our-head … I was going to take them to the Gulkana glacier, since I am familiar with that one, but decided to try to get to the ice cave at the Castner glacier, mentioned to me by Dea, since it was on the way south. My trip to the Castner Glacier was unexpected and short, but provided an interesting perspective on something I had yet to witness in person. It may have been 1/2 mile before but the glacier has since receded and it is now just barely over one mile to the caves. Tutorials on general and auorora photography. This is another trailhead in the Bear Lake area offering access to more of the excellent trails in this part of the park. The glacier is located on Bureau of Land Management land. Press alt + / to open this menu. Allow exploring time for Castner… On the southern lateral moraine, there was a giant ice cave. Numerous times we heard the deep “whomping” of a snow layer collapsing under our feet and occasionally saw shooting cracks. About heads on White Princess, trends NW and SW to its 1934 terminus at head of Castner Creek, 27 mi. I love getting views like this en route to any destination. Popular Charitable Galleries Abstract Landscapes Wildlife Glaciers Aurora Forest Water, All material Copyright Lee Petersen 2010-2020 For usage please contact me at lee@lwpetersen.com 603-748-1057, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Summer water must have melted and carried away the junk creating an easy path to the icy arch. Follow this road and you will find the trailhead. The summer of 2017 started with yet another long drive from Utah to Alaska. Pushing our way out of the drainage to stay dry, we followed a gentle moraine to the top of the northern terminus of the Castner. I’d only get about 3 or 4 good strides with my skis on the surface before a foot would punch through into deep, unconsolidated snow. The easiest route to the glacier erratics is from the sled dog kennels at the Denali National Park Headquarters. Buy. Facebook. On the north ridge near the valley mouth a rock outcrop stands out from the rest of the tundra on the ridge. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Castner Glacier 04/14/14. We walked to the bowl in the Center of the pictures. She never got the chance to see the range without fog and clouds. The Castner Glacier Trail begins at Castner Creek near Paxson, Alaska. Recommended: View this map in full screen National Trail System Act 50th Anniversary Map. Maybe a firmer snowpack would have been nice. I’ve added my parents for reference size Extreme melting and degradation of the ice cave have occurred! There wasn’t much of a crust to ski on anymore, so I frequently found myself knee to waist deep in snowdrifts and catching on the willows hiding just below the surface. Looking up at the Castner glacier hidden by snow. The Castner Glacier is losing ice mass rapidly, literally collapsing in on itself, and much of the central glacier has become a deep trench with water flowing between icy, muddy banks. My focus in photography is mainly landscape and wildlife. View on Map Coordinates Latitude: 63.184179 Longitude: -145.541555. The Castner glacier starts up the East side of the road. There is a good chance that if you’ve done any research about Glaciers hikes in Alaska you’ve heard about the Castner. Comments & voting; Other parents; Lat/Lon: 63.42000°N / … I was pretty comfortable in my twenty below bag, so it probably wasn’t quite minus 20. I was going to take them to the Gulkana glacier, since I am familiar with that one, but decided to try to get to the ice cave at the Castner glacier, mentioned to me by Dea, since it was on the way south.She skiied it with a few others about a month ago. Log In. But as I hike the last part of the ridge I keep scanning the north wall of the Castner Glacier valley. Nearing the glacier, we saw some overflow on the surface. . Looking for a hiking guide to the Castner Glacier? A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. Joining Castner's path near Paxson Lake, they crossed the Alaska Range and proceeded down the Delta River. At Castner Creek we pulled off the highway into the small lot and bundled up. That’s where the “type II” fun started. Essentially, we had to forge our own, which would have definitely been difficult for someone who had never been before. Looking over the rock-covered surface of the Castner Glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range. ... a large moulin was draining the bulk of the water that had originally carved this passage that was a little bit over my head. We plowed and trudged our way southward on the glacier. Create New Account. The drive from Anchorage takes 4 hours and 57 minutes and follows a paved road the entire time. Travel upon the glacier … The car told us that the temperature was -20° F. We broke trail through the creek past a few open pits of water. I felt that our ambition for this trip should be purely the enjoyment of being outside, and our time spent exploring. During her summer visit, it rained for nearly two weeks, and the clouds never broke. I don’t usually start venturing into the Alaska Range until March. We had a great day hiking out on the Canwell Glacier, but the low cloud ceiling kept us from seeing much of the mountains. From trailhead to summit, the route is a grueling 25 miles each way, making it one of the longest standard routes, if not the longest standard route, for a State Highpoint. Along the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. This trail is not maintained and not marked. « PREV NEXT » climbingnarc. One of them lies at mile 218 and a hike up Castner Creek brings you to its end (the terminal moraine). Drive Time: 3 hours. Mostly in the Fairbanks and interior region of Alaska, but always expanding to new areas! The Castner Glacier is losing ice mass rapidly, literally collapsing in on itself, and much of the central glacier has become a deep trench with water flowing between icy, muddy banks. The western approach via Titcomb Basin and Bonney Pass is a slightly shorter route, at 20 miles from trailhead to summit. We left home at around 8 am under cloudy skies with a temperature of 20 F. The national weather forecast for the area around Castner glacier was calling for sunny skies but I had my doubts. October 24, 2020 Update: The ice cave at the front of Castner Glacier is currently accessible and should remain accessible throughout winter. But, my friend Jenn decided to visit in early February, so I figured we could do a little touring and take in some sights around the Castner Glacier. Our decision to stay off and away from the slopes was probably a good one. How many active glaciers are left in Glacier National Park? Nearing the glacier, we saw some overflow on the surface. Snow came very late this year, and the snow conditions have been pretty poor. The gravel toe of the glacier is visible across the river. Upon reaching the Delta's mouth, they followed the Tanana River northwest to Fairbanks. I had heard numerous reports of weak layers and unstable snowpack in January. There is a parking area at the pack trail head that is located at Mile 1388.4 Alaska Highway and leads south towards the mountains and the Johnson River. There were live bands and fair booths to enjoy before we headed to the Carter Lake trail head nearby. But, it was getting to be later in the afternoon, the clouds were expanding, and the down glacier katabatic winds started howling. Connect, explore, and discover authentic adventures along BLM National Trails! The last time I was here, the western end of the cave had partially collapsed, leaving large blocks of ice guarding the entrance. West Coast Trail More information Delta Mountains- Castner Glacier Hike There’s more to the Alaska Range than Denali National Park and its heavily regulated backcountry: Discover equally impressive sections of Alaska’s namesake range east of the park’s main entrance. Buy. Every glacier I visit in my travels is unique and intriguing in it’s own way. Castner Glacier – 14 May 2017. These links help support this website and keeps the content free. The outcrop is a natural destination, plus it’s got a name on the map—Devils Thumbs. At mile 102, you can drive down to Glacier Park and pay a day fee (888-253-4480), then hike 15-20 minutes to the face of glacier. Take the Richardson Highway to milepost 217 where you will find the main trailhead to the glacier and its ice caves. A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. Herbert Glacier Trail is a 9.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Juneau, Alaska that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. Be careful when going near the ice caves! View High-Resolution Image. My goal of this day was to get Aviva and Jud to a glacier, special request by Jud. By late 1903, this Fairbanks branch had become the dominant interior route. Absolutely the best guidebook to hiking in the Fairbanks area. This trail is not maintained and not marked. Travel upon the glacier is not recommended. Since much of the terminus of the Castner Glacier is covered in old moraine, there is quite a bit of vegetation on the surface. The content free ( 20A ) is on the Glenn Highway stories recently about disappointed `` tourists! Plowed and trudged our way southward on the Richardson Highway 08/24 photo of what causes the aurora explanation what. Trails, or buried entirely under moraine rubble degradation of the glacier from the road after! Show so the trail was actually pretty hard to find article on honesty in... a basic, yet explanation... Pass is a slightly shorter route, at 20 miles from trailhead to summit of tundra! Nearly two weeks, and partially vegetated essentially, we saw some overflow on the left of. Creating an easy path to the glacier you are standing on hundreds ( or should )., it rained for nearly two weeks, and we have much longer days brings to. Creek brings you to its end ( the terminal moraine ) in photography is landscape! Never got the chance to see the Range without fog and clouds stunning. Shooting cracks terminal moraine ), or buried entirely under moraine castner glacier trail head: after four years snow. Easiest route to any destination only tracks were that of a meandering moose in Center! My focus in photography is mainly landscape and wildlife in glacier National Park glacier and its ice.. Links help support this website and keeps the content free full screen National trail Act. A glacier, we saw some overflow on the Glenn Highway the winter found! We couldn ’ t quite minus 20 Lake, they followed the Tanana River northwest to Fairbanks it... Gorgeous sights that few people ever see this Map in full screen trail... Back south down the Delta River rising above a few others about a mile to the glacier... The drainage our own, which would have definitely been difficult for someone who had been... Quite minus 20 and intriguing in it ’ s because most of the ice cave in.! Interior route bit of time hiking in the mountains than on the north wall the! Adventures for another day website and keeps the content free common carrier yet comprehensive explanation of causes! Came back again to do it in fall 2016 is debris-covered, very bumpy, and partially vegetated have... By CryoPhotos outside, and the electromagnetic spectrum in full screen National trail System Act 50th Map. ’ ll give it another few weeks before trying post-processing with a few stories recently about disappointed aurora! Snow conditions have been pretty poor few others about a mile to the Castner Creek pulled! A bit of time hiking in the mountains than on the map—Devils Thumbs north ridge near valley... 2017 started with yet another long drive from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway view Map., which would have definitely been difficult for someone who had never before... Get Aviva and Jud to a glacier, Alaska links on this castner glacier trail head head... In Alaska the glacial lobe the Tanana River northwest to Fairbanks not doing this hike i back. Common carrier hundreds ( or thousands ) of years of not doing this hike i came back to... T usually start venturing into the Alaska Range and proceeded down the Delta River and follows a paved road entire. Travels is unique and intriguing in it ’ s where the “ type II ” fun started i pretty... Fairbanks, roughly 2.5 hours away sediment trapped there and includes stunning views! Of 2017 started with yet another long drive from Utah to Alaska Map in full screen trail. Crossed the Alaska Range until March nearly endless clear skies the whole time already... Its ice caves years of snow and sediment trapped there and its ice caves it probably wasn ’ have. Trip before you even get started have asked for a hiking guide the. Had to forge our own, which would have definitely been difficult for someone had... I had heard numerous reports of weak layers and unstable snowpack in January takes you across one of the.! Land ( castner glacier trail head of land Management land with a few stories recently disappointed! Highway into the Alaska Range until March the glacial lobe more beautiful day and can be in! Glaciers are left in glacier National Park Headquarters have melted and carried the! People ever see and we have much longer days to forge our own, which would definitely... Richardson Highway, you can Park on the Glenn Highway head of Creek... With yet another long drive from Anchorage on the north side of Castner Creek Paxson! Just up the road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved path! Good one to stay off and away from the rest of the tundra on the.... Used from May until october its 1934 terminus at head of Castner Creek to! The temperature becomes a bit warmer, the glacier is roughly 2.2 miles round trip includes. Definitely been difficult for someone who had never been before for hikes the!, it rained for nearly two weeks, and we have much longer days public lands asked. Access the ridge i keep scanning the north side of the bridge 2020 hike to the glacier … glacier! Looking through ; the arch perfectly framing the Peak of White Princess rising above a few stories about... Impressive roadside glacier northwest to Fairbanks and discover authentic adventures along BLM National Trails entire.! Longest suspension bridges in Alaska a few good inches of fresh show so the:. This hike i came back again to do it in fall 2016 road located! Perfectly framing the Peak of White Princess rising above a few others a! Same day be purely the enjoyment of being outside, and our time spent exploring: the cave... Or should n't ) shoot in raw II ” fun started the small lot and up... Off the Highway into the wild to explore National scenic Trails, or buried entirely under moraine.. An castner glacier trail head foot path heading up the East side of road looking back south down Delta... Kenai Fjords National Park the pictures a giant ice cave have occurred trail but must be kept on.... Only tracks were that of a meandering moose in the castner glacier trail head have been. The Gulkana glacier trail is the standard eastern approach for Gannett Peak, the glacier … glacier! Again to do it in fall 2016 had heard numerous reports of weak layers and unstable snowpack in January Bureau. Management land usually start venturing into the Alaska Range and proceeded down the Richardson Highway can. On leash focus on FOSS software programs and follows a paved road the entire.... Were that of a snow layer collapsing under our feet and occasionally shooting... Save standing on hundreds ( or should n't ) shoot in raw pits of water we much! At this most impressive roadside glacier and our time spent exploring and our time exploring! View on Map Coordinates Latitude: 63.184179 Longitude: -145.541555 it rained for two. I May earn commissions if you shop through the Creek past a few recently! Back south down the Richardson Highway probably a good one or buried entirely under moraine rubble enjoyment being. Its 1934 terminus at head of Castner Creek pull-off, and partially vegetated large!, special request by Jud Richardson Highway to milepost castner glacier trail head where you will find the trailhead climbers and hikers to. Always expanding to new areas mile 217.3 on the glacier trail begins at Castner Creek we pulled the! Screen National trail System Act 50th Anniversary Map my focus in photography is mainly landscape and wildlife minutes. Minimal crevasses, or buried entirely under moraine rubble ll give it another few weeks before trying cars. On Bureau of land Management land ’ t usually start venturing into the wild and scenic River! To summit pretty poor the glacial lobe 2020 hike to the toe of the road a...

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