Girdwood, Alaska – a.k.a. Glacier City

by Karen

The Seward Highway has to offer one of the most breathtaking views in the world, running through the Kenai Peninsula and Turnagain Arm. We didn’t get to complete all 127 miles of the drive but we were able to see incredible scenery (mountains, water, and glaciers – oh my) on our drive from Anchorage to Girdwood.

We pulled off the highway at Beluga Point, named after the Beluga Whales that apparently frequent the Turnagain Arm. Sadly, we didn’t see any Belugas this trip. The weather was overcast and drizzly that day so the mountains weren’t as pronounced as they would be in bright sunshine but we didn’t care. In fact, I loved the cozy feeling that enveloped me during our time in Alaska so I welcomed the clouds with open arms. Literally.

I think I could stare at a glacier all day. There is something about the aqua color and tranquil nature that hypnotizes me. The clouds made it difficult to capture just how majestic Portage Glacier truly is but I managed to get a little somethin’ somethin’ through the haze.

Girdwood is nestled among seven permanent glaciers, which is why it was originally called Glacier City. We went to the Alyeska Resort, a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. Seeing as how we were visiting in the summer, the winter sports weren’t calling our name, but we didn’t let that stop us.

We took this tram up to the top of Mount Alyeska (2,300 ft).

Weston loved it.

Upon getting off the tram, we were treated with fantastic views of the Chugach Mountain Range.

The Turnagain Arm is in the background and the lodge on top of the mountain to the right. Interestingly, the Turnagain Arm has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world and an abundance of silt, which makes walking on the ‘sand’ during low-tide near impossible, due to quicksand-like characteristics.

We hiked up to the very top of Mount Alyeska, at Weston’s insistence.

Don’t worry, we were careful to avoid unexploded artillery shells.

After our hike we went to the lookout at the lodge on top of Mount Alyeska.

After our time at Girdwood, we drove back to Anchorage, being sure to stop and take more pictures along the Seward Highway. Seriously, the pictures do not do the scenery justice.  Aren’t those clouds gorgeous? The mountains aren’t half bad either.

And with that, I will leave you with this serene picture of the Turnagain Arm. Stay tuned for more adventures, including Anchorage, the Alaska State Fair, a Reindeer Farm, and Talkeetna. And yes, we did get to (barely) see Mount McKinley.

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