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Laughton Glacier

Set foot on a glacier on an excursion from Skagway, Alaska
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 21.997 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This is an opportunity for day-tripping outdoors enthusiasts to set foot on a glacier, in the context of Alaska cruise ship excursions... more »

Tips:  Comfortable hiking boots or shoes, windbreaker, camera and maybe binoculars should be all you need. Temperatures average 50-70... more »

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Points of Interest

Historic entry point to the Klondike for Gold Rush prospectors, who had to qualify by importing a minimum grubstake and getting it over White Pass, usually by horse or mule team. Historic background is discussed on the rail trip up to Warm Creek by your well-informed guide. Skagway boasts tourist attractions including a museum, restaurant,... More

2. White Pass Railway

Perhaps Skagway's most popular tourist attraction, a 2-4 hour round trip if you go to the pass, with nonstop panoramic views of snowy cloud-wreathed mountains, rushing creeks, boreal forest, trestle bridges, and the occasional waterfall. You ride less that an hour if you get off after 14.5 miles to hike to a glacier. On board your guide orients ... More

3. Warm Creek bivouac

Departing the train and commencing the hike; the guides maintain a supply depot with rain shelter, hiking gear including crampons for ice hiking, rain ponchos, etc. A well-maintained trail goes gradually uphill through the forest along Warm Creek, with at least one creek access point. Our guide, Skagway Whitey, frequently oriented us to the... More

4. Uphill to the glacier

Where the trail to the glacier departs Warm Creek, the tour stops to rest in a clearing with outhouse, and most have a snack. The rest of the hike is less shady, passing treeline, hugging the creek branch fed by Laughton Glacier. Toward the end there are more rugged moraine ascents/descents, finally with icy footing and graced by the constant... More

5. Laughton Glacier

Laughton is a relatively small glacier but its ice is as blue as any, and the locale is big and wild. We stood on its flank and saw clear ice between our boots. The meltwater carves blue arroyos, or moulons, which might be explored. The little stove provides hot beverages, and most folks have lunch. We took pictures, walked around, and got... More