If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure with remarkable views, we recommend visiting the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop. Here, you can enjoy a place that not many people get the chance to see. This area is home to Spencer Glacier, one of the most well-known marvels of Alaska. It stretches 3,500 feet from Spencer Lake. Simply seeing this massive glacier is worth the trip, but we’d like to mention everything you can do at this location for the best experience available.
Whether you are searching for outdoor attractions like the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop or other activities like shopping and visiting fascinating museums, you can find it here. For more information on the Palmer area, request your free Vacation Guide today! Discover everything you need to know about the best things to do, attractions to see, unique festivals to attend, and much more! Get a copy to save time on planning and ensure you see the best of what our great state has to offer.
Things to Do at Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop
Visit an Exclusive Area of Alaska
Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop is located in an area of the Alaskan backcountry that is only accessible by train. To get here, you will need to ride the Glacier Discovery Train, which is a treat in itself. Hop on the train as it leaves from Anchorage, then journey through a series of popular tourist spots. Stops include Girdwood, Portage, and Whittier before reaching the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop. Feel free to explore each of these places, but keep an eye on the train schedule. It may be wise to split these adventures up across multiple days.
Constructing and maintaining the Whistle Stop at Spencer Glacier was, and continues to be, a joint effort between the Alaska Railroad and the Chugach National Forest Service. It’s the first in a series of five planned whistle stops that provide visitors with unique views and experiences in Alaska. Stay tuned for additions!
Safety tip: Be careful of bear encounters in this area and prepare for the weather to change quickly at any point!
Hike Through Scenic Trails
When you arrive at the station, you will see restrooms, a sheltered area, and the beginning of the Spencer Glacier trail. Take a moment to stretch, use the bathroom, and speak with the National Forest Service Ranger. He can provide information as a local expert and will even guide you along the trail at no charge. The main trail to the Spencer Glacier overlook is a little over one mile and offers a truly breathtaking view of the ice structure. You can extend your hike further around Spencer Lake, but this is only recommended for fast hikers since you need to be back to the station before the train departs at 4:30 p.m.
Take a Tour on the Water
If you prefer, you can explore the lake on a sea kayak or canoe with Spencer Glacier Tours. These tours offer an up-close look at the glacier and icebergs. Be sure to reserve your tour ahead of time with Alaska Railroad. If you do want to spend some extra time on a tour or on a hiking trail, there are options to reserve a cabin or a campsite.
Stay Nearby at Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages
Camping at Spencer Glacier is not for everyone, and you will want a comfortable place to stay for the rest of your Alaskan adventures. We offer excellent accommodations for all types of travelers at Alaska Garden Gate in Palmer. Enjoy cozy rooms, great service, and beautiful views of the surrounding Chugach Mountains during your stay.
Our Forest Haven Guest Apartment is a great choice for group travelers. It can sleep up to five people with a queen bed and single bunk beds. There’s also a comfortable living area with a kitchen and private bathroom. Start planning your trip to the Spencer Glacier in Alaska today. Check our availability and book your stay now!