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Seeing the Taku Glacier by Hovercraft

The otherworldly landscape of Juneau's healthiest glacier.

By: Erin Armstrong + Save to a List

Unlike other tidewater glaciers you can't take a boat to the face of Taku Glacier, you won't watch it calve chunks as large as cars into the sea or hear the crash like thunder when the ice hits the water. 

The Taku Glacier is the healthiest glacier near Juneau, Alaska and finds it's source at the Juneau Icefields about 36 miles away. It's advancing, slowly pushing silt and stone ahead of the river of ice. The face dives into the silt and pushes more stone up into the river in front of it. The Taku River is so choked with silt that during low tide you can stand in only an inch of water in the middle of it. 

The tidal changes so rapidly you couldn't trust a kayak, motorboat, or even the lightest catamaran to take you safely there and back. Allen Marine Tours uses hovercrafts to float 8 people on a balloon of air above the thinnest layer of water to experience the moonlike terminus of the Taku Glacier.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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