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