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Alaska Adventure: Biking to Spencer Glacier

This 25.2 mile trail is a beautiful way to see the glacier however the difficulty can vary depending on the weather and fresh snow. I am writing this blog because biking to Spencer Glacier on a day where the trail had fresh snow.  This Alaskan fat tire bike adventure took us from 9am until 5:30pm with a very brief lunch break! It was a very long trip and I have never fallen off a bike so many times. I had a ton of fun but felt compelled to write this blog to prepare others for this type of ride.

What you need for Fat Tire Biking to Spencer Glacier

How to get to the Spencer Glacier trail:

Start at the second bridge over the Placer River (if you are traveling from Anchorage). You will be able to find a hard-packed snow machine route south into the valley (or just ask, there are usually tour groups in the parking lot in the morning). The trail is easy to follow and will take you over the Placer River, near small creeks and through some wooded areas. Softer snow conditions are usually found in the tree area and that is a sign you are almost to the glacier.

Return the way you came; back across the lake, under the bridge, through the trees and along the river.


On the weekends sometimes the parking lots along the highway near Portage are full. Try to get there early before 8am. You can always wait a little while in the car for it to warm up. Grab a breakfast and fuel up before heading out. A bake shop hot chocolate stop in Girdwood is my favorite.

Weather and Snow Conditions:

Check the weather and trail conditions ahead of time. Fresh snow is no joke especially when you are an amateur biker.

Things You for the Trip:

Fat Tire Bike – you can also rent one but make sure your bike fits you well before heading out.

Warm Socks and Shoes- I wore my Icebug shoes!

Bike Tire Pump and Patch

Hand and Foot Warmers

Insulated Mittens



Thermos with Hot Beverage

Biking Backpack



Snow Pants



Facebook groups that might be helpful for Alaska Adventures:

Spencer Glacier

Hiking in Alaska

Anchorage Fat Tire

Fat Tire Biking Not Your Cup of Tea?

Snow-machining to the glaciers is another great option! I enjoyed both trips, they were just very different.

Tour Guide Companies: Alaska Back Country Access and Alaska Wild Guides

Snow Machine Rentals: Alaska Toy Rentals

Warning: Be smart especially when getting close to the exposed faces of Spencer Glacier. Large chunks and sharp pieces of ice could fall anytime. 

Check out some of my other Alaska Adventure Blogs: Borealis Basecamp and Granite Pointe Mountain Lodge

Have fun and good luck!

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