Best time to visit Alaska

Ice Caves in Alaska

A new unknown world is hidden under the majestic Alaskan glaciers

Best time: July–mid-September

Ice Caves
Ice Caves
Ice Caves
Ice Caves
Ice cave under the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, Alaska
See accommodations nearby

It is hard to believe that such places exist on Earth. Here you can find tons of crystal clear ice, artistic shapes made by nature through millions of years, and soft sunbeams that barely pierce frozen walls… Looking at this miracle, only one thing may come to mind: it truly is a palace for a Snow Queen. The crystal ceilings look like the underside of a river frozen by a magician. These caves are probably the only one place in the world where you can see so many shades of natural blue.

The most famous Alaskan ice caves are located under Mendenhall, Root, Spencer, Matanuska, and Kennicott Glaciers. Many people from all around the world come to Alaska to see this natural phenom​enon. It’s better to order a tour with an experienced guide (usually offered from July till September). Because of the greenhouse effect, ice caves tend to melt, therefore they may be dangerous for those who don’t know safe paths.

Practical info

Where are the most famous Alaskan ice caves located?

Several Alaskan ice caves, including those under Mendenhall, Root, Spencer, Matanuska, and Kennicott Glaciers, are must-visit destinations for travelers to Alaska. These caves offer breathtaking experiences in a constantly changing environment. As the glaciers melt and shift, the size and shape of the ice caves are also rearranged. Therefore it is advisable to book a guide who has experience in exploring these caves to enjoy a safe and fantastic experience. Show more

What is the best time of year to visit Alaskan ice caves?

The perfect time to visit Alaskan ice caves is between July and mid-September. This period offers ideal weather and environmental conditions to explore these natural wonders to the fullest. Additionally, there is a minimal chance of a sudden change in the weather which makes it safer for travelers to visit the ice caves and enjoy the picturesque scenery of Alaska. Show more

What modes of transportation are available to reach the ice caves under Mendenhall, Root, Spencer, Matanuska, and Kennicott Glaciers?

To reach the Alaskan ice caves, you can travel to Anchorage by air. From Anchorage, you can conveniently access all the caves, including Mendenhall, Matanuska, Spencer, and Kennicott glaciers, with only a few hours' drives. Alternatively, you can choose to go with experienced tour guides who will handle your transportation, including a train ride for the Spencer Glacier cave. Booking guided tours is more advisable as they offer an adventurous experience with the least risk. Show more

What is the optimal length of time for a tour of the Alaskan ice caves?

The length of an Alaskan ice cave tour varies depending on the tour company and can last between three and seven hours. Visitors' group pace determines how long they spend exploring the cave systems of their choice. The time constraints resulting from the need to travel to and from the site must also be factored in. Notably, the time spent on the journey to the ice caves is as crucial as the time spent at the caves themselves. Show more

Is it safe to visit the Alaskan ice caves without a guide?

Without an expert guide, exploring the wondrous terrain can be a risky quest. Alaskan ice caves present even more dangers because they are in a constantly shifting and melting terrain. By booking a guided tour, visitors can enjoy their exploration with limited risk. Tour guides are conversant with the terrain and area's risks and can ensure safe passage into and out of the caves. They also have a wealth of knowledge and insight to share about the area's ecology, geology, and history. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin