Portage and Girdwood, Alaska - Day Tour!

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Touring along Turnagain Arm to the Portage Glacier Valley

Our Girdwood and Portage Glacier tour begins with leaving Anchorage to journey down the scenic Turnagain Arm. You'll pass the beautiful waterfall created by McHugh Creek and travel on to Beluga Point. A rocky outcropping that looms over the inlet, the Point provides an excellent view of the entire Arm.

Beluga Point is named after the whales that swim past it. They come so close to the Point that you can sometimes hear them blowing as they surface. Beluga Point is also an wonderful vantage point for watching the bore tide as it sweeps down Turnagain Arm. Surfacing approximately two hours after low tide in Anchorage, the bore tide is a foaming wall of water that can reach up to six feet in height.

Next stop on the tour is the quaint town of Girdwood, which is home to the Alyeska Prince Hotel, Alaska's largest ski resort. Try riding the tram up Mt. Alyeska (world-famous for its excellent ski trails) and have lunch at the Glacier Express Restaurant on the mountaintop. Or maybe you'd like to go gold-panning at the Crow's Creek Gold Mine. A historical mine built in 1898, eight of the original buildings are still standing. And there is still gold in the creek.

As we head south again, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife. Eagles sweep through the skies and Dall sheep are frequently seen climbing the mountains that line the highway. If you are up early enough, you may even spot them by the roadside; they like to lick the salt off it.

A bit further south you find Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. A refuge for injured or orphaned animals, it is the only drive-through wildlife park in Alaska. Among the animals they harbor are moose, musk oxen, Sitka black-tailed deer, caribou, elk, grizzly bears, and eagles.

Finally, the trek ends at Portage Glacier - one of the most accessible and beautiful of Alaska's glaciers. It pours from a mountain valley down into a clear, blue lake. In the late spring, icebergs that break off the glacier can float right up to the shoreline.

Be sure to visit the Begich-Boggs Visitors Center to watch their award-winning film "Voices From the Ice" and learn about the glacier. Or get a close-up view of it yourself by taking the Portage Glacier Cruise Tour.

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