Portage Pass

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…).

Distances to the various Portages

Interestingly, from the trailhead there is a spectacular view of a completely *different* glacier!

The Learnard Glacier

The trail is steep and rocky, but wide enough to walk double file for chatting and mutual encouragement up the hill.

DoubleSub, Pasta Jay, and Half Cookie
One cool dude
Half Cookie at the pass

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.

Water, water everywhere!

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.

Portage Glacier

Pasta Jay enjoyed pulling chunks of glacier ice from the lake.

Snow cone!

And soon we were playing a game to see how many rocks we could land on a nearby iceberg.

These icebergs have no idea what’s about to befall them
There’s the throw
And another!

We spent about an hour wandering around the beautiful setting before heading back.

Time to go
Back up to Portage Pass
Double decker!

What a lovely day!

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