Challenging hike that leads you to untouched and pristine ice caves.

Disclaimer: We do not recommend entering the caves as the ice can become unstable, especially in the warmer months.

If you are in Kennicott and have the physical ability to get to these caves, make this the top of your priority list.

You'll walk down the path heading north out of the town towards the root glacier. The path is a mile and a half long but to get to the ice caves you'll jump off the path (to the left towards the glacier) after about a mile and start heading through the trees.

You will come to where the glacier meets the valley, but be wary as the entire side of the mountain to get down to the glacier is shale and dangerous to walk down.

Walk along the edge of the glacier, up or down, and eventually you will find one of the many ice caves that appear in summer.

These ice caves change every year as they melt and reform, which means you’ll never see the same one again.

If you do not want to waste time looking for the cave or are not experienced in doing this type of activity you set up a tour in town to go see it. Keep in mind that you will have to do a full day glacial hike to show them you are physically fit enough to do this activity.

The trip can last anywhere from 2-3 hours but plan on making it a half day. If you come late in summer be extremely careful as these caves become more and more unstable the longer that they have been exposed to the heat.

Pack List

  • Helmet
  • Warm clothes and rain gear as the weather changes quickly
  • Flashlight
  • Camera & Tripod
  • Water
  • Food
  • Hiking Boots
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RT Distance 4 Miles
Elevation Gain 500 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Spring, Summer
Trail Type Loop
Features
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Summit Bonanza Peak, Wrangell-St. Elias NP

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Mountaineering on the Root Glacier

Starting in the town of Kennicott you'll hike on the trail leading north outside of the town for a mile and a half.

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Hike to the Bonanza Mine in the Wrangell St-Elias National Park

This 9 mile strenuous hike will reward the intrepid hiker with a serene setting and in-tact mining ruins for any and all to explore at will.

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