Glacier Lake, Saddle, & Blue Ice Trails
Guide to Glacier Lake, Saddle, and Blue Ice Trails at Kachemak Bay State Park and State Wilderness Park (SP & SWP) in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.
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Guide to Glacier Lake, Saddle, & Blue Ice Trails in Kachemak Bay State Park Trail Access: Glacier Spit, Saddle, or Humpy Creek Allowable Uses: Hiking Distance: 3.2 mi one-way (Glacier Lake Trail) 1.0 mi one way (Saddle Trail) 6.7 mi one-way (Glacier Spit to Blue Ice Trail end) Elevation Gain: 200 ft (Glacier Lake Trail) 200 ft (Glacier Lake to Saddle Trailhead) 500 ft (Glacier Spit to Blue Ice Trail end) Difficulty: Easy; family suitable (Glacier Lake Trail) Moderate (Saddle Trail) Moderate (Blue Ice Trail) Hiking Time: 1.5 hours (to end Glacier Lake Trail) 30 minutes (Saddle Trail) 5 hours (Glacier Spit to Blue Ice Trail end) Blue Ice Trail: This is the only developed access to Grewingk Glacier. The trail starts from mile 4.9 of the Emerald Lake Loop Trail. It passes along the shoreline of Grewingk Lake and follows a creek to Tarn Lake, a small lake in the area recently uncovered by glacial ice, and hence denuded of vegetation. The glacier has retreated to leave a moraine in its wake. Hikers can travel a short distance to the moraine and look down on the glacier, or explore newly exposed rocky ridges to the south of this point. Grewingk Tram Spur (1 mile, easy) This spur connects Glacier Lake Trail and Emerald Lake Loop Trail. There is a handoperated cable car pulley system over Grewingk Creek. Operation requires two people. Maximum capacity of the tram is 500 pounds. If only two people are crossing the tram, one person should stay behind and assist in pulling the other across. Two people in the tram cart without assistance from others on the platform is difficult. Gloves are helpful in operating the tram. Glacier Lake & Saddle Trails: A Popular route joins the Saddle and Glacier Lake Trails. The Glacier Lake Trail follows flat terrain through stands of cottonwoods & spruce, and across the dry outwash plain of Grewingk Glacier. It ends at the broad open beaches of Grewingk Glacier Lake. This trail offers superb views of the glacier and its surrounding peaks. Excellent dayhike. Most people get dropped off at the Glacier Spit Trailhead, hike to the lake, hike the Saddle Trail, and get picked up at the Saddle Trailhead. This is also recommended because afternoon day breezes complicate pick-ups at the Glacier Spit Trailhead. Camping: Glacier Spit, Grewingk Glacier Lake, Grewingk Creek, Tarn Lake, Humpy Creek, Right Beach (accessible at low tide from Glacier Spit) Water Availability: Grewingk Creek (glacial), Grewingk Glacier Lake (glacial), small streams near glacier and on Saddle Tr. Safety and Considerations: CAUTION: Unless properly trained and outfitted for glacier travel, do not climb on the ice or within the caves. Hidden crevasses (cracks) are deadly perils. Enjoy this natural wonder at a safe distance. Do not attempt to ford Grewingk Creek, it is very swift and cold! ` Park Rules: For a complete set of park rules visit: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/kbay kbay.htm Alaska State Parks, Kenai Area Office PO Box 1247 Soldotna, AK (907) 262 - 5581