Portage Pass Trail
(5 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet)
On our way from Seward to Anchorage we passed a turnoff for Whittier that would take us through the world’s longest tunnel shared by trains and automobiles. It is one lane with railroad tracks down the middle, so each side gets a turn once an hour, alternating every half an hour when they change the direction. It actually works pretty well!
Right on the other side of the tunnel is a trailhead to climb up to Portage Pass and then down to Portage Lake across from the Portage Glacier (I’m seeing a pattern here…).
Interestingly, from the trailhead there is a spectacular view of a completely *different* glacier!
The trail is steep and rocky, but wide enough to walk double file for chatting and mutual encouragement up the hill.
DoubleSub took a particularly scenic break, looking back on Passage Canal.
Half Cookie and Pasta Jay headed down to the lake, and a while later DoubleSub and I followed.
The view of the glacier from the lake was lovely, reminiscent of the Northwest Glacier we saw from a boat trip a couple of days ago.
Pasta Jay enjoyed pulling chunks of glacier ice from the lake.
And soon we were playing a game to see how many rocks we could land on a nearby iceberg.
We spent about an hour wandering around the beautiful setting before heading back.
What a lovely day!