Byron Glacier Trail
ElevationAscent: 228' 69 m
Descent: -17' -5 m
High: 387' 118 m
Low: 176' 54 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 15% (8°)
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“An easy trail that leads out to views of the Byron Glacier and mountains in the Portage area.”— David Hitchcock
At roughly 0.2 miles, the trail approaches Byron Creek and you can get an idea of how cold the water is coming out of the glacier valley in front of you. You pass fireweed, wild iris, and fleabane as you travel along the trail, especially in July and August. In front of you, the valley that the Byron Glacier carved starts to spread out before you. Behind you, views of the mountains above Portage Lake start to spread out before you and get better as the trail climbs closer to the glacier.
The trail runs along Byron Creek as it continues to climb into the glacier valley. As you approach the end of the trail, the trees and shrubs give way and you emerge on the valley floor. Depending on the time of year, this may be either covered in rocks or snow. Above you, you get great views of the Byron Glacier. If you turn around, great views of the mountains continue behind you. If it is early in the spring, you can play in snow on the valley floor.
The trail officially ends at a bench and the National Forest Service warns that traveling beyond the point may expose you to danger common in glacial areas (crevasses, ice fall, falling rocks, snow bridges, etc). You can venture further up into the valley depending on your skill and comfort level or you can turn around and make your way back to the parking area, taking the opportunity to enjoy the views on the way back.
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Land Manager: Alaska DNR - Parks and Outdoor Recreation