Glaciers are one of Mother Nature’s most mesmerizing works of art. It takes centuries for them to form and they cover approximately 10% of the Earth, storing three-quarters of its freshwater. With over 660 named glaciers in Alaska, the state is one of the top destinations to see them. And, if you visit Homer, Alaska, a glacier can easily be marveled at with multiple options nearby.
By now, most of us are aware that our glaciers are melting. It’s been occurring at an increasingly rapid pace, with a recent study by UNESCO revealing that most of the world’s precious glaciers will be gone within just the next few decades. Those massive chunks of ice are unlike anything else on Earth, so you’ll want to prioritize a visit to Grewingk Glacier while you’re in Homer.
Nestled in the Kenai Mountains in Kachemak Bay State Park, the 30-square-mile glacier is easy to reach, only 15 miles off Homer’s southeast coast. You’ll have multiple options for spending your day there, whether you’re looking for something more relaxed or adventurous.
Water Taxi + An Epic Hike
The 30-minute ride over to Glacier Spit in Kachemak Bay State Park is one of the most popular water taxi destinations departing from Homer. It will bring you to the trailhead for the easy 2.2-mile route that leads to Glacier Lake, arguably the most rewarding in the park. It starts by meandering through Sitka spruce and cottonwoods before proceeding directly toward the lake, with little elevation gain the entire way. Keep your eyes on the treetops, as bald eagles and hawks often peer down in search of a meal below.
Once you reach the lake’s shoreline, you’re in for a real treat. Relax on the beach while marveling at the icebergs, the glacier, and the surrounding mountains. If you pack a lunch, this is the perfect spot for a picnic.
There are kayaking tours that will get you close to the impressive blue-tinged face of Grewingk Glacier too. Most start out with a water taxi ride where you’ll often spot puffins, sea otters, and seals along the way. Be sure to watch for the occasional sea lion, porpoise, and whale too.
Once you’ve reached the state park, you’ll embark on a trek that includes a stretch over a glacial moraine that opens up to Glacier Lake. There you’ll find floating icebergs and the prize, Grewingk Glacier, surrounded by soaring mountain peaks.
From the lake’s shoreline, you’ll hop into a sturdy kayak to paddle toward its magnificence, stopping to capture photos that are sure to be some of the favorites taken during your trip.
You don’t need any kayaking experience, and your expert guide will provide all necessary instructions.
A flightseeing trip can be the highlight of any visit to Homer, taking in an aerial view of the glistening blue waters of Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet, flying over jaw-dropping mountain passes, Grewingk and other glaciers, and the vast, 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. The photos from this vantage point are sure to be unforgettable, but you might want to simply savor the moment.
While you’re mesmerized by the sights below, which may also include whales, seals, bears, moose, and mountain goats, you’ll learn more about the glaciers and the natural history of the area.
The Best Way to End Your Unforgettable Day at Grewingk Glacier
No matter how you decide to experience Grewingk Glacier, there is no better way to end your unforgettable day than relaxing at Land’s End Resort. While the views you enjoyed are sure to provide memories of a lifetime, there will be more to come right here as it’s the only hotel on the Homer Spit, the thin stretch of land that juts 4.5 miles out into Kachemak Bay with water on three sides.
A stay at Land’s End Resort means you’ll not only be able to feed those hunger pangs with delicious meals at the on-site Chart Room Restaurant. Enjoy the mountain and bay views while watching for the wildlife right from the comfort of your accommodation.