Day Trip from Anchorage: Portage and Girdwood
When visiting South-central Alaska there is never enough time to accomplish everything you want to see and do. With the long summer days and a little bit of luck from the weather it is possible to get a wide variety of activities done in one day. In late April we went down to the Girdwood and Portage areas for a fun day trip. We always recommend these activities (as well as many others) for guests traveling south to the Kenai Peninsula or for guests just looking for a fun day from the Anchorage area. Girdwood is about 45 minutes outside of Anchorage, and Portage is another 10 miles south from Girdwood.
|Heading out of Anchorage
through Potter's Marsh
|Byron Glacier Trailhead
We actually hiked this trail in late 2015 and since then an avalanche has completely filled the valley. Where once you could cross a small stream to hike to the face of the glacier, now a 50 foot high wall of snow, ice, and rock block the path. It is highly advisable to not walk on this as the snow and ice can be thin. This took about 1 hour, including a 15 minute break exploring the new avalanche filled area. The trail is well maintained, well-traveled, and relatively flat.
|Brown bear at the Wildlife
11:15 am: Our next stop was the Portage Wildlife Conservation Center located right off the Seward Highway and the intersection towards Byron glacier. The Wildlife Conservation Center is a rehabilitation center for Alaskan wildlife and provides the opportunity to get close to brown/black bears, moose,
Musk ox, Wood bison, caribou, elk, and wolves, as
well as some other small mammals and birds. One of the great successes has been
the release of a herd of Wood bison in the northwest area of Alaska, and it
just so happened that the day we went here, the first wild offspring of the
herd had been spotted. We spent about an hour here before heading north towards
|Jack Sprat Yam Fries!
|Maintained Winner Creek Trail
|Hand Tram to cross the gorge
on the Winner Creek Trail
This itinerary is great for guests who don’t want to have to book tours months in advance, but still have flexibility throughout their day. There are many more hikes in the area and Girdwood does have more activities, especially at the resort. We are more than happy to provide our guests some other recommendations for things to do within a day’s drive of Anchorage. We can’t promise you’ll check everything off on your list, but we will do our best to make sure your time is well spent offering the greatest variety and most unique activities for your interests.