Exit Glacier, Alaska
Located in Kenai Fjords National Park, Exit Glacier is one of Alaska’s most accessible ice flows. Just 12 miles from the popular tourist town of Seward, Exit is among a handful of glaciers that visitors can step right up to; in summertime you reach it by walking about a mile from the road.
Because the road closes around mid-November and reopens in late May, a winter or springtime visit requires more creative transportation: You can rent a dogsled, snowshoes, or a snow coach in Seward. But the benefits this time of year are enormous.
Going off-season means smaller crowds in a serene winter wonderland. The monumental valley glacier—flowing down from a huge ice field and terminating on land—seems to glow a deep, vivid blue, with enormous crevasses sunk in every surface. Wildlife is more active at this time of year, so you might spot a moose, and the days are starting to get longer.
Want to stay the night? Contact the park to reserve the Willow Public Use Cabin, a remote, rustic spot with propane lights, heater, and stove. It’ll be just you, the park steward, and a whole lot of ice.–Aaron Carnes