Dozens of people on skis, fat bikes and on foot crossed Portage Lake to the Portage Glacier on Tuesday as temperatures hovered around 40 degrees.
The snow on top of the ice covered lake was starting to soften, but a hard base meant the roughly 6 mile round trip from the Begich-Boggs Visitor Center was doable for many.
Portage Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in south-central Alaska, about an hour’s drive southeast of Anchorage, and it receives visitors year-round.
The lake and glacier are within the Chugach National Forest, but the lake is not regularly patrolled by rangers and ice conditions are not monitored. Visitors should therefore exercise caution when venturing onto the lake, particularly in the spring when conditions can change rapidly.
The glacier has retreated about 3 miles over the past century, but remains active and steadily calf, sending waves rippling across the ice, so caution is advised when approaching the face.