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Hike to Kennecott's Ice Caves

Chitina, Alaska

4.0/5
based on 1 reviews

Details

Distance

4 miles

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Lucas Pols

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.

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Reviews

We paid for a cave exploration from a local, the price was super affordable and we felt safe the entire time. The glowing blue walls of ice was unbelievably beautiful with light seeping through cracks and holes, and the rushing and dripping water and loose rock and mud shifting underfoot was wicked. Would recommend for sure.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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