I was pretty comfortable in my twenty below bag, so it probably wasn’t quite minus 20. If you want to experience a fun glacier hike, the Gulkana Glacier trail near Paxson, Alaska, will take you across a cool suspension bridge. This trip was different, nearly endless clear skies the whole time. What makes this one special, even borderline famous is it’s massive ice caves; some of which runs 500 miles deep into the heart of the ice. Recommended: View this map in full screen National Trail System Act 50th Anniversary Map. My focus in photography is mainly landscape and wildlife. Joining Castner's path near Paxson Lake, they crossed the Alaska Range and proceeded down the Delta River. February 18, 2020 hike to the Castner Glacier Ice Cave in Alaska. The Castner Glacier is losing ice mass rapidly, literally collapsing in on itself, and much of the central glacier has become a deep trench with water flowing between icy, muddy banks. A collapsed wall or cave at the terminus. I may earn commissions if you shop through the affiliate links on this page. Trailhead. The drive from Anchorage takes 4 hours and 57 minutes and follows a paved road the entire time. The gravel toe of the glacier is visible across the river. A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. Castner Glacier Ice Cave 08/24/14. The Castner Glacier Trail begins at Castner Creek near Paxson, Alaska. or. How to shoot the northern lights, how to edit photos in post-processing with a focus on FOSS software programs. I forgot how hard of a hike this was and how much bushwhacking was involved so I have changed my rating for it to reflect more difficulty. Since much of the terminus of the Castner Glacier is covered in old moraine, there is quite a bit of vegetation on the surface. There is a parking area at the pack trail head that is located at Mile 1388.4 Alaska Highway and leads south towards the mountains and the Johnson River. Maybe a firmer snowpack would have been nice. The off-trail route climbs Castner to the Silvertip Icefield and, despite being almost entirely on the glacier, does not require crampons, ice axes, or ropes. Castner Glacier Trailhead. I’d read that the “trail” to Castner Glacier can be dodgy in the winter. View High-Resolution Image. But, it was getting to be later in the afternoon, the clouds were expanding, and the down glacier katabatic winds started howling. If you head to Seward there is Exit glacier, with two possibilities, the first is to take the long hike up to the trail to the top and wander around on the Harding Ice Field as much as you wish (google it! The Castner Glacier lies on the southern flank of the Delta Range, an eastern section of the Alaska Range.The glacier begins on the peak White Princess and continues to the head of Castner Creek, northwest of Paxson, Alaska.The glacier was named by Edwin Forbes Glenn in 1898 after Joseph Compton Castner.. I felt that our ambition for this trip should be purely the enjoyment of being outside, and our time spent exploring. All Rights Reserved - Copyright Lee Petersen 2020, Outside in the Interior: An Adventure Guide for Central Alaska, Second Edition, Intro To Darktable 1 – My Lightable Workflow, Arctic sweet coltsfoot – Petasites frigidus, Review: Gregory Alpinisto Pack (35 and 50). I’ve added my parents for reference size Extreme melting and degradation of the ice cave have occurred! It was time to head back. Sign Up. The car told us that the temperature was -20° F. We broke trail through the creek past a few open pits of water. It may have been 1/2 mile before but the glacier has since receded and it is now just barely over one mile to the caves. Allow exploring time for Castner… The cave is on the left side of the glacial lobe. My goal of this day was to get Aviva and Jud to a glacier, special request by Jud. Once you climb up onto the glacier you are standing on hundreds (or thousands) of years of snow and sediment trapped there. Snow came very late this year, and the snow conditions have been pretty poor. Create New Account. My trip to the Castner Glacier was unexpected and short, but provided an interesting perspective on something I had yet to witness in person. Buy. The closest major city to the glacier is Fairbanks, roughly 2.5 hours away. Tutorials on general and auorora photography. Connect, explore, and discover authentic adventures along BLM National Trails! Castner Glacier Ice Cave. The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. The glacier is located on Bureau of Land Management land. High today: 63 Low today: 35 My goal of this day was to get Aviva and Jud to a glacier, special request by Jud. Very sadly, there was already a death from an avalanche in the area earlier this winter. Nearing the glacier, we saw some overflow on the surface. Castner Glacier 04/14/14. On the north ridge near the valley mouth a rock outcrop stands out from the rest of the tundra on the ridge. The trail ahead got steep, signaling the face of the glacier (hidden under the snow), and this thing was at the bottom of the hill: Castner Glacier Cave! Mountains, glaciers, and moraines. Directions: Head north from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. The hike to the Castner Glacier is roughly 2.2 miles round trip and includes stunning mountain views. Posted on May 14, 2017 November 21, 2018 by CryoPhotos. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. That’s where the “type II” fun started. Most of the tongue of the Castner is debris-covered, very bumpy, and partially vegetated. Getting There. Do the photos really look like what you see in social media? Looking over the rock-covered surface of the Castner Glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range. The Trail: After four years of not doing this hike I came back again to do it in fall 2016. The new trail quickly attracted its first common carrier. Keep an eye out for summertime ice-climbers at this most impressive roadside glacier. I was going to take them to the Gulkana glacier, since I am familiar with that one, but decided to try to get to the ice cave at the Castner glacier, mentioned to me by Dea, since it was on the way south.She skiied it with a few others about a month ago. That’s because most of the ice is bare and hard with minimal crevasses, or buried entirely under moraine rubble. The western approach via Titcomb Basin and Bonney Pass is a slightly shorter route, at 20 miles from trailhead to summit. Our decision to stay off and away from the slopes was probably a good one. Tying together the solar wind, geomagnetic field, Van Allen belts, atomic energy states, and the electromagnetic spectrum. We plowed and trudged our way southward on the glacier. From trailhead to summit, the route is a grueling 25 miles each way, making it one of the longest standard routes, if not the longest standard route, for a State Highpoint. This glacier hike takes you across one of the longest suspension bridges in Alaska. When and why you should (or shouldn't) shoot in raw. Suggested hikes in the Delta Mountains, Kesugi Ridge near Denali, White Mountain National Recreation Area, Chena River State Recreation Area and more! This trail is not maintained and not marked. It makes for an epic trip before you even get started. The large ice chunks in front of the ice cave have completely melted in the 08/24 photo. Jump to. Luckily, we found another game trail, but we still had to thrash through shoulder-to-over-our-head … October 24, 2020 Update: The ice cave at the front of Castner Glacier is currently accessible and should remain accessible throughout winter. She never got the chance to see the range without fog and clouds. This page is for summer hiking tours of Castner Glacier (available May through September); if you are interested in visiting Castner Glacier between October and April, see the Castner Glacier Winter tour page. I was going to take them to the Gulkana glacier, since I am familiar with that one, but decided to try to get to the ice cave at the Castner glacier, mentioned to me by Dea, since it was on the way south. . Follow this road and you will find the trailhead. 12 miles long. It includes the Castner Glacier (13B) and the Black Rapids Glacier (20A). There is a good chance that if you’ve done any research about Glaciers hikes in Alaska you’ve heard about the Castner. Every glacier I visit in my travels is unique and intriguing in it’s own way. I love getting views like this en route to any destination. Pushing our way out of the drainage to stay dry, we followed a gentle moraine to the top of the northern terminus of the Castner. There were live bands and fair booths to enjoy before we headed to the Carter Lake trail head nearby. At Castner Creek we pulled off the highway into the small lot and bundled up. A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. I had heard numerous reports of weak layers and unstable snowpack in January. There were no other cars in the Castner Creek pull-off, and the only tracks were that of a meandering moose in the drainage. That’s where the “type II” fun started. Popular Charitable Galleries Abstract Landscapes Wildlife Glaciers Aurora Forest Water, All material Copyright Lee Petersen 2010-2020 For usage please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org 603-748-1057, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Castner Glacier – 14 May 2017. The summer of 2017 started with yet another long drive from Utah to Alaska. Along the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. Hiking and travel guide to Alaska. Accessibility Help. Be careful when going near the ice caves! After walking 0.8 miles down the gravel bar, we had to find a game trail that headed up and over a low ridge and down to a lake. We can save big mountain adventures for another day. The large ice chunks in front of the ice cave have completely melted in the 08/24 photo. Mostly in the Fairbanks and interior region of Alaska, but always expanding to new areas! Forgot account? on Dec 27, 2007 3:33 pm. Adventure into the wild to explore National Scenic Trails, or travel back in time to discover National Historic Trails on BLM public lands. Looking up at the Castner glacier hidden by snow. The last time I was here, the western end of the cave had partially collapsed, leaving large blocks of ice guarding the entrance. I spend quite a bit of time hiking in the backcountry of Alaska to find gorgeous sights that few people ever see. Travel upon the glacier is not recommended. The Castner glacier starts up the East side of the road. One of them lies at mile 218 and a hike up Castner Creek brings you to its end (the terminal moraine). Herbert Glacier Trail is a 9.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Juneau, Alaska that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. Let's take a peek inside: The temperature becomes a bit warmer, the snow is deeper and more supportive, and we have much longer days. At mile 102, you can drive down to Glacier Park and pay a day fee (888-253-4480), then hike 15-20 minutes to the face of glacier. We then had to bushwhack up a 300-foot hill to access the ridge line. The Glacier Trail is the standard eastern approach for Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming. Summer water must have melted and carried away the junk creating an easy path to the icy arch. Otherwise, we had no significant complaints. Details. The easiest route to the glacier erratics is from the sled dog kennels at the Denali National Park Headquarters. What a change in 4 months! My article on honesty in... A basic, yet comprehensive explanation of what causes the aurora. Absolutely the best guidebook to hiking in the Fairbanks area. Full FTC Disclosure. By late 1903, this Fairbanks branch had become the dominant interior route. Suddenly we started feeling cold. NW of Paxson, Alaska Range. What a change in 4 months! Log In. Thank you for your support! Castner Glacier a glacier in Alaska. Log In. Email or Phone: Password: Forgot account? Looking for a hiking guide to the Castner Glacier? Nearing the glacier, we saw some overflow on the surface. The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. Castner Glacier, AK Latitude: 63.4263889 Longitude: -145.6 County: Southeast Fairbanks (CA) Area: Mount Hayes B-4 Elevation: 1157 meters - 3796 feet It includes the Castner Glacier (13B) and the Black Rapids Glacier (20A). There wasn’t much of a crust to ski on anymore, so I frequently found myself knee to waist deep in snowdrifts and catching on the willows hiding just below the surface. See more of The Trail Head on Facebook. This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. While driving down the Richardson Highway on February 4th, we managed to catch a pretty spectacular sunrise over the Tanana River and Alaska Range. ... Just up the road we found a camp site at the Castner Glacier across from the wild and scenic Delta River. Castner glacier is rapidly receding and as it melts has created many stunning and several exceptional ice caves. Sections of this page. This trail is found along the Richardson Highway and can be combined with the Castner Glacier hike on the same day. This trail is not maintained and not marked. View on Map Coordinates Latitude: 63.184179 Longitude: -145.541555. MP 210. Pushing our way out of the drainage to stay dry, we followed a gentle moraine to the top of the northern terminus of the Castner. How many active glaciers are left in Glacier National Park? On the southern lateral moraine, there was a giant ice cave. However, the Glacier Trail is the preferred ro… Castner Glacier . We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Sure enough, it wasn’t a trail so much as a criss-crossing web of wind-smeared boot, snowmachine, ski, and snow shoe tracks on the creekbed. We walked to the bowl in the Center of the pictures. The outcrop is a natural destination, plus it’s got a name on the map—Devils Thumbs. But as I hike the last part of the ridge I keep scanning the north wall of the Castner Glacier valley. ... used as a trail head for hikes into the adjacent mountains for climbers and hikers wishing to view the glaciers and valleys. Alaska wildflower guide with many photos and galleries of photos with identifying information, nomenclature and taxonomy, uses, and links to more references. And cold. Get it on Amazon: Outside in the Interior: An Adventure Guide for Central Alaska, Second Edition, If you like what I do please support me on Ko-fi. But, my friend Jenn decided to visit in early February, so I figured we could do a little touring and take in some sights around the Castner Glacier. Upon reaching the Delta's mouth, they followed the Tanana River northwest to Fairbanks. Bitter cold. Trailhead Save Standing on the West side of road looking back South down the Richardson Highway. We hiked down to the entrance. The Castner Glacier is losing ice mass rapidly, literally collapsing in on itself, and much of the central glacier has become a deep trench with water flowing between icy, muddy banks. The Gulkana Glacier Trail is a great afternoon hike–about X MILES long—complete with two swinging drawbridges to cross before you reach the glacier. This is another trailhead in the Bear Lake area offering access to more of the excellent trails in this part of the park. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. 2/10/2020 ... they had a different experience. The hike to the glacier’s face follows Castner Creek; the creek is fast-flowing, brown, and fed by the melting glacier. West Coast Trail More information Delta Mountains- Castner Glacier Hike There’s more to the Alaska Range than Denali National Park and its heavily regulated backcountry: Discover equally impressive sections of Alaska’s namesake range east of the park’s main entrance. Press alt + / to open this menu. The glacier is located on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). We had a great day hiking out on the Canwell Glacier, but the low cloud ceiling kept us from seeing much of the mountains. Take the Richardson Highway to milepost 217 where you will find the main trailhead to the glacier and its ice caves. Castner Glacier 04/14/14. ... a large moulin was draining the bulk of the water that had originally carved this passage that was a little bit over my head. When you reach Castner Creek on the Richardson Highway, you can park on the north or south side of the bridge. There was already a light sun crust forming that made travel interesting. Travel upon the glacier … It’s about a mile to the toe of the glacier from the road.