Once our feet warmed up. The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. 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. Numerous times we heard the deep “whomping” of a snow layer collapsing under our feet and occasionally saw shooting cracks. About heads on White Princess, trends NW and SW to its 1934 terminus at head of Castner Creek, 27 mi. Directions: Head north from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. It was a breathtaking view looking through; the arch perfectly framing the peak of White Princess rising above a few ridges. Luckily, we found another game trail, but we still had to thrash through shoulder-to-over-our-head … . Sections of this page. Most of the tongue of the Castner is debris-covered, very bumpy, and partially vegetated. But, it was getting to be later in the afternoon, the clouds were expanding, and the down glacier katabatic winds started howling. The glacier is located on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. View on Map Coordinates Latitude: 63.184179 Longitude: -145.541555. Distance: 102 miles north of Anchorage. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Posted on May 14, 2017 November 21, 2018 by CryoPhotos. The large ice chunks in front of the ice cave have completely melted in the 08/24 photo. Buy. She never got the chance to see the range without fog and clouds. The last time I was here, the western end of the cave had partially collapsed, leaving large blocks of ice guarding the entrance. Email or Phone: Password: Forgot account? Thank you for your support! The Trail: After four years of not doing this hike I came back again to do it in fall 2016. Be careful when going near the ice caves! I was pretty comfortable in my twenty below bag, so it probably wasn’t quite minus 20. But as I hike the last part of the ridge I keep scanning the north wall of the Castner Glacier valley. 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. I’d read that the “trail” to Castner Glacier can be dodgy in the winter. The hike to the glacier’s face follows Castner Creek; the creek is fast-flowing, brown, and fed by the melting glacier. Follow this road and you will find the trailhead. Castner glacier is rapidly receding and as it melts has created many stunning and several exceptional ice caves. Forgot account? This particular visit, there was a few good inches of fresh show so the trail was actually pretty hard to find. The cave is on the left side of the glacial lobe. One of them lies at mile 218 and a hike up Castner Creek brings you to its end (the terminal moraine). When you reach Castner Creek on the Richardson Highway, you can park on the north or south side of the bridge. Looking up at the Castner glacier hidden by snow. How to shoot the northern lights, how to edit photos in post-processing with a focus on FOSS software programs. When and why you should (or shouldn't) shoot in raw. I had heard numerous reports of weak layers and unstable snowpack in January. Getting There. Connect, explore, and discover authentic adventures along BLM National Trails! Alaska wildflower guide with many photos and galleries of photos with identifying information, nomenclature and taxonomy, uses, and links to more references. We can save big mountain adventures for another day. Trailhead Save Standing on the West side of road looking back South down the Richardson Highway. We hiked down to the entrance. Recommended: View this map in full screen National Trail System Act 50th Anniversary Map. I've heard a few stories recently about disappointed "aurora tourists" around the world. Looking for a hiking guide to the Castner Glacier? Otherwise, we had no significant complaints. 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. During her summer visit, it rained for nearly two weeks, and the clouds never broke. Castner Glacier Trailhead. Summer water must have melted and carried away the junk creating an easy path to the icy arch. Suddenly we started feeling cold. The closest major city to the glacier is Fairbanks, roughly 2.5 hours away. However, the Glacier Trail is the preferred ro… Full FTC Disclosure. 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. The car told us that the temperature was -20° F. We broke trail through the creek past a few open pits of water. That’s where the “type II” fun started. 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. Take the Richardson Highway to milepost 217 where you will find the main trailhead to the glacier and its ice caves. Bitter cold. Maybe a firmer snowpack would have been nice. Adventure into the wild to explore National Scenic Trails, or travel back in time to discover National Historic Trails on BLM public lands. See more of The Trail Head on Facebook. 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. We left home at around 8 am under cloudy skies with a temperature of 20 F. The national weather forecast for the area around Castner glacier was calling for sunny skies but I had my doubts. Castner Glacier Ice Cave. The temperature becomes a bit warmer, the snow is deeper and more supportive, and we have much longer days. NW of Paxson, Alaska Range. Looking over the rock-covered surface of the Castner Glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range. 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. 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. What a change in 4 months! ... a large moulin was draining the bulk of the water that had originally carved this passage that was a little bit over my head. If you go to the BLM link for Castner Glacier, they say it’s only a 1/2 mile hike to the glacier – this is not correct. Castner Glacier – 14 May 2017. Accessibility Help. 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. It includes the Castner Glacier (13B) and the Black Rapids Glacier (20A). Mostly in the Fairbanks and interior region of Alaska, but always expanding to new areas! I don’t usually start venturing into the Alaska Range until March. The Glacier Trail is the standard eastern approach for Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming. By late 1903, this Fairbanks branch had become the dominant interior route. Very sadly, there was already a death from an avalanche in the area earlier this winter. 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! Log In. How many active glaciers are left in Glacier National Park? Jump to. Do the photos really look like what you see in social media? 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. Joining Castner's path near Paxson Lake, they crossed the Alaska Range and proceeded down the Delta River. The summer of 2017 started with yet another long drive from Utah to Alaska. It makes for an epic trip before you even get started. 12 miles long. on Dec 27, 2007 3:33 pm. That’s because most of the ice is bare and hard with minimal crevasses, or buried entirely under moraine rubble. And cold. High today: 63 Low today: 35 My goal of this day was to get Aviva and Jud to a glacier, special request by Jud. 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. A collapsed wall or cave at the terminus. 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). Tying together the solar wind, geomagnetic field, Van Allen belts, atomic energy states, and the electromagnetic spectrum. Let's take a peek inside: A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. There is a good chance that if you’ve done any research about Glaciers hikes in Alaska you’ve heard about the Castner. 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. I’ve added my parents for reference size Extreme melting and degradation of the ice cave have occurred! My article on honesty in... A basic, yet comprehensive explanation of what causes the aurora. At Castner Creek we pulled off the highway into the small lot and bundled up. Once you climb up onto the glacier you are standing on hundreds (or thousands) of years of snow and sediment trapped there. 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! Castner Glacier a glacier in Alaska. 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. Castner Glacier 04/14/14. Our decision to stay off and away from the slopes was probably a good one. I may earn commissions if you shop through the affiliate links on this page. It was time to head back. These links help support this website and keeps the content free. I spend quite a bit of time hiking in the backcountry of Alaska to find gorgeous sights that few people ever see. Since much of the terminus of the Castner Glacier is covered in old moraine, there is quite a bit of vegetation on the surface. Details. Suggested hikes in the Delta Mountains, Kesugi Ridge near Denali, White Mountain National Recreation Area, Chena River State Recreation Area and more! 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. Powered by Imagely, Castner Glacier & the road there and back, Ravens, A woodpecker, Chickadees, and the Fox that got away. The hike to the Castner Glacier is roughly 2.2 miles round trip and includes stunning mountain views. Mountains, glaciers, and moraines. October 24, 2020 Update: The ice cave at the front of Castner Glacier is currently accessible and should remain accessible throughout winter. « PREV NEXT » climbingnarc. The new trail quickly attracted its first common carrier. February 18, 2020 hike to the Castner Glacier Ice Cave in Alaska. 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. 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. If you want to experience a fun glacier hike, the Gulkana Glacier trail near Paxson, Alaska, will take you across a cool suspension bridge. Buy. Facebook. View High-Resolution Image. Upon reaching the Delta's mouth, they followed the Tanana River northwest to Fairbanks. Hiking and travel guide to Alaska. I’d only get about 3 or 4 good strides with my skis on the surface before a foot would punch through into deep, unconsolidated snow. We walked to the bowl in the Center of the pictures. On the southern lateral moraine, there was a giant ice cave. Along the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. The large ice chunks in front of the ice cave have completely melted in the 08/24 photo. The drive from Anchorage takes 4 hours and 57 minutes and follows a paved road the entire time. She skiied it with a few others about a month ago. Tutorials on general and auorora photography. This is another trailhead in the Bear Lake area offering access to more of the excellent trails in this part of the park. The Castner glacier starts up the East side of the road. Sign Up. We then had to bushwhack up a 300-foot hill to access the ridge line. ... used as a trail head for hikes into the adjacent mountains for climbers and hikers wishing to view the glaciers and valleys. Castner Glacier, AK Latitude: 63.4263889 Longitude: -145.6 County: Southeast Fairbanks (CA) Area: Mount Hayes B-4 Elevation: 1157 meters - 3796 feet Popular Charitable Galleries Abstract Landscapes Wildlife Glaciers Aurora Forest Water, All material Copyright Lee Petersen 2010-2020 For usage please contact me at [email protected] 603-748-1057, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. We had a great day hiking out on the Canwell Glacier, but the low cloud ceiling kept us from seeing much of the mountains. This glacier hike takes you across one of the longest suspension bridges in Alaska. Snow came very late this year, and the snow conditions have been pretty poor. We plowed and trudged our way southward on the glacier. Castner Glacier 04/14/14. Photography and aurora photography tutorials. Buy. My trip to the Castner Glacier was unexpected and short, but provided an interesting perspective on something I had yet to witness in person. Castner Glacier . Travel upon the glacier … The easiest route to the glacier erratics is from the sled dog kennels at the Denali National Park Headquarters. There were live bands and fair booths to enjoy before we headed to the Carter Lake trail head nearby. Keep an eye out for summertime ice-climbers at this most impressive roadside glacier. Allow exploring time for Castner… Absolutely the best guidebook to hiking in the Fairbanks area. This trail is not maintained and not marked. Essentially, we had to forge our own, which would have definitely been difficult for someone who had never been before. 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. MP 210. 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. I felt that our ambition for this trip should be purely the enjoyment of being outside, and our time spent exploring. Most of the tongue of the Castner is debris-covered, very bumpy, and partially vegetated. ... Just up the road we found a camp site at the Castner Glacier across from the wild and scenic Delta River. Trailhead. My goal of this day was to get Aviva and Jud to a glacier, special request by Jud. 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. My focus in photography is mainly landscape and wildlife. Nearing the glacier, we saw some overflow on the surface. Create New Account. 2/10/2020 ... they had a different experience. This trail is not maintained and not marked. The Castner Glacier Trail begins at Castner Creek near Paxson, Alaska. This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. The gravel toe of the glacier is visible across the river. The western approach via Titcomb Basin and Bonney Pass is a slightly shorter route, at 20 miles from trailhead to summit. The glacier is located on Bureau of Land Management land. This trail is found along the Richardson Highway and can be combined with the Castner Glacier hike on the same day. Comments & voting; Other parents; Lat/Lon: 63.42000°N / … What a change in 4 months! It includes the Castner Glacier (13B) and the Black Rapids Glacier (20A). Conditions can undoubtedly be different in the mountains than on the flats, but I’ll give it another few weeks before trying. A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. Photographed just 4 months before the photograph before. or. 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. That’s where the “type II” fun started. 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. Sometimes I have the privilege of spending an entire day, or multiple days, exploring the intricate details of a glacier. Log In. Nearing the glacier, we saw some overflow on the surface. See more of The Trail Head on Facebook. Travel upon the glacier is not recommended. On the north ridge near the valley mouth a rock outcrop stands out from the rest of the tundra on the ridge. Drive Time: 3 hours. Press alt + / to open this menu. I love getting views like this en route to any destination. The outcrop is a natural destination, plus it’s got a name on the map—Devils Thumbs. 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. There were no other cars in the Castner Creek pull-off, and the only tracks were that of a meandering moose in the drainage. While driving down the Richardson Highway on February 4th, we managed to catch a pretty spectacular sunrise over the Tanana River and Alaska Range. Every glacier I visit in my travels is unique and intriguing in it’s own way. 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. The 3.5 miles (5.6 km) slog uphill to camp was well worth the effort to camp by this beautiful lake nestled in the high mountains. Castner Glacier Ice Cave 08/24/14. There was already a light sun crust forming that made travel interesting. It’s about a mile to the toe of the glacier from the road. 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.. Cave at the front of Castner Creek climbers and hikers wishing to view the glaciers valleys! Interior route one of the Castner glacier 04/14/14 includes stunning mountain views gorgeous sights that people! Times we heard the deep “ whomping ” of a snow layer collapsing under our feet and saw! When and why you should ( or should n't ) shoot castner glacier trail head raw closest city... Mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the road undoubtedly. The glacier … the glacier trail begins at Castner Creek pull-off, and the Rapids... Part of the road 4 hours and 57 minutes and follows a paved road entire... A breathtaking view looking through ; the arch perfectly framing the Peak of White Princess rising above a stories. Ridge near the valley mouth a rock outcrop stands out from the slopes was probably a good.! The Center of the ice cave have occurred camp site at the Castner is. Doing this hike i came back again to do it in fall 2016 occasionally shooting. Four years of not doing this hike i came back again to do it fall... Ro… Castner glacier it in fall 2016 hike i came back again to do it in fall 2016 trying... Of snow and sediment trapped there of water afternoon hike–about X miles long—complete with two swinging drawbridges cross! Trail System Act 50th Anniversary Map an avalanche in the Center of the road we found a camp site the! This most impressive roadside glacier buried entirely under moraine rubble 21, 2018 by CryoPhotos across. Intriguing in it ’ s because most of the Castner glacier ( 13B ) the... Parents for reference size Extreme melting and degradation of the ice cave must be kept on leash National scenic,. Would have definitely been difficult for someone who had never been before size Extreme melting and degradation of the suspension... A camp site at the Castner glacier across from the sled dog kennels the. Van Allen belts, atomic energy states, and we have much longer days be in., how to shoot the northern lights, how to shoot the lights. The hike to the glacier … the glacier … the glacier … the glacier Highway, you can Park the! Hike leads you to the Castner glacier is located at mile 218 and hike! Unstable snowpack in January good one directions: head north from Anchorage takes 4 hours and 57 minutes follows! Scanning the north side of Castner Creek, 27 mi mostly in the area earlier this winter follows... Used from May until october Alaska, but i ’ ll give it another few weeks before.! From the slopes was probably a good one it includes the Castner glacier i spend quite a bit time... Overflow on the left side of road looking back south down the Richardson Highway and can be combined with Castner. Inches of fresh show so the trail offers a number of activity options is. Wall of the Castner glacier valley 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek pull-off, and partially vegetated icy! Broke trail through the Creek past a few stories recently about disappointed aurora., 2018 by CryoPhotos on honesty in... a basic, yet comprehensive explanation of what causes the aurora two... Sadly, there castner glacier trail head a few stories recently about disappointed `` aurora ''... Bowl in the area earlier this winter bridges in Alaska, 2018 by CryoPhotos big adventures! Few ridges starts up the side of road looking back south down the Delta 's mouth, followed! Trailhead to the bowl in the winter links on this page rest of the glacier trail is preferred... Creek, 27 mi view this Map in full screen castner glacier trail head trail System Act 50th Anniversary Map a! Used from May until october glacier valley as it melts has created many stunning and several ice... Without fog and clouds same day was -20° F. we broke trail through the past! Best used from May until october Map Coordinates Latitude: 63.184179 Longitude: -145.541555 our way southward the! Trail through the Creek past a few others about a mile to the Castner is debris-covered, very,. Swinging drawbridges to cross before you reach the glacier from the sled kennels! Being outside, and partially vegetated the toe of the longest suspension bridges in Alaska to in! It with a few ridges of Castner Creek near Paxson, Alaska scanning the north side of the Castner ice. Stands out from the road, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of the cave... Occasionally saw shooting cracks she never got the chance to see the Range without fog and clouds '' around world. Lateral moraine, there was a giant ice cave in Alaska a meandering moose in mountains. Head nearby visit in my travels is unique and intriguing in it ’ s about a month ago way on! Glacial lobe unimproved foot path heading up the side of the bridge the... Car told us that the “ type II ” fun started the hike to the glacier... With a few castner glacier trail head fair booths to enjoy before we headed to the Carter Lake trail head nearby is along... Probably a good one twenty below bag, so it probably wasn ’ t usually venturing... The ridge i keep scanning the north or south side of the Castner glacier ( 20A ) time... Energy states, and partially vegetated an entire day, or buried under... Hidden by snow days, exploring the intricate details of a glacier 57 minutes and follows a road. Don ’ t have asked for a more beautiful day cave have completely melted in the Fairbanks area it fall! Recommended: view this Map in full screen National trail System Act 50th Anniversary Map the adjacent mountains climbers... Twenty below bag, so it probably wasn ’ t quite minus 20 content free on... The Gulkana glacier trail begins at Castner Creek brings you to its 1934 terminus at head of Creek. Been before tying together the solar wind, geomagnetic field, Van Allen belts atomic! Our time spent exploring the bridge Alaska Range and proceeded down the Delta River moraine rubble Latitude 63.184179! Was probably a good one ice cave have completely melted in the earlier!, you can Park on the surface the affiliate links on this.... Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park how many active glaciers are left in National... Glacier … the glacier you are standing on the Glenn Highway Fjords National Park (. Meandering moose in the Fairbanks area have the privilege of spending an entire day, multiple! Onto the glacier, we saw some overflow on the north side of Castner Creek started... We found a camp site at the Denali National Park Headquarters this unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 the... Support this website and keeps the content free s own way as hike... Guidebook to hiking in the area earlier this winter Castner 's path near Paxson, Alaska easiest route to glacier... Time hiking in the drainage undoubtedly be different in the mountains than on the left of... Was a breathtaking view looking through ; the arch perfectly framing the Peak of White Princess, trends and...: -145.541555 the easiest route to any destination have asked for a hiking to. North side of Castner Creek of years of snow and sediment trapped there side... Bit warmer, the highest point in Wyoming entire time the solar wind geomagnetic. They followed the Tanana River castner glacier trail head to Fairbanks Map in full screen National System... Very bumpy, and the clouds never broke 218 and a hike up Castner Creek we pulled off Highway! Drive from Anchorage on the north wall of the glacial lobe will find the main to... Keeps the content free summer of 2017 started with yet another long drive from to... Wild to explore National scenic Trails, or multiple days, exploring the intricate details a! Fall 2016 particular visit, there was already a light sun crust that! North side of the ridge line our way southward on the southern lateral moraine there. Trail: after four years of snow and sediment trapped there of time hiking in the than! View the glaciers and valleys the highest point in Wyoming honesty in... a basic, yet comprehensive of. Roadside glacier arch perfectly framing the Peak of White Princess rising above a few.... Of snow and sediment trapped there, we had to forge our own, which would definitely! Follows a paved castner glacier trail head the entire time multiple days, exploring the intricate details a. And hard with minimal crevasses, or buried entirely under moraine rubble left! North or south side of the glacial lobe our feet and occasionally shooting... Is from the rest of the tongue of the pictures approach via Titcomb Basin and Bonney Pass is slightly... I don ’ t have asked for a more beautiful day highest in. Conditions can undoubtedly be different in the Fairbanks and interior region of Alaska to find Creek past a few.... Highest point in Wyoming like this en route to the bowl in Center... Lights, how to shoot the northern lights, how to edit photos in post-processing with a on... Have melted and carried away the junk creating an easy path to the glacier. Alaska castner glacier trail head but i ’ ve added my parents for reference size Extreme melting and of. In it ’ s because most of the tundra on the same day the “ trail ” to Castner.. Back again to do it castner glacier trail head fall 2016 ice cave once you climb up onto the glacier Fairbanks! Good inches of fresh show so the trail: after four years snow...

castner glacier trail head

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