THE GLACIER DISCOVERY PROJECT
The Glacier Discovery Project is a linked three hut system along the Glacier Discovery Trail in the Kenai Mountains. Working in partnership with Chugach National Forest and the Alaska Railroad, Alaska Huts plans to build a 18 bed hut, the Lars Spurkland Memorial Hut, overlooking Spencer Glacier, followed by two 8-10 bed huts at Bartlett Glacier and Trail Creek. Patrons will be able to ride the Alaska Railroad to access this unique wilderness valley (shared with the Alaska Railroad’s most spectacular segment, the Grandview Corridor) while staying at night in comfortable accommodations that foster camaraderie, wilderness education and high adventure.
The plan for the Glacier Discovery System is augmented by the Chugach National Forest’s plan to build the Glacier Discovery Trail, a trail that will connect the Lars Spurkland Memorial Hut, Bartlett Glacier Hut and Trail Creek Hut. The Glacier Discovery Trail is a Forest Service project under construction.
In the summer (when the Alaska Railroad is running), the Glacier Discovery Project will be a railroad accessible hut-to-hut system. To access the Lars Spurkland Memorial Hut, the first of three huts in the Glacier Discovery System, visitors will travel via train from Portage to Spencer Whistle Stop and hike the short distance from the whistlestop to the Hut site. Visitors can then take the train from the Spencer Whistle Stop to the Grandview Whistle Stop and hike in a short distance to the Bartlett Glacier Hut. Glacier Discovery System visitors will also be able to raft or kayak out the Placer River, which is the drainage for Spencer Glacier lake.
In the winter the Lars Spurkland Memorial Hut, Bartlett Glacier Hut and Trail Glacier Hut will be accessible over land travel via snow bike, skis or snowmobile, pending snow conditions. The Spencer Glacier area is already a popular snowmobile destination, which makes human powered access easier.
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