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