Portage Glacier images

Portage Glacier

Portage Glacier, in Southcentral Alaska, has been receding for millennia … from a time when it converged with a “super” glacier filling Cook Inlet to the west. Not many years ago, Portage Glacier still calved ‘hotel-sized’ icebergs into Portage Lake as the terminus still floated in water.

The images below show a half century of change in this glacial valley.

Left: (1968) Massive icebergs shore-bound, in the far distance Portage Glacier tongue extends far into Portage Lake.

Right: (1985) “Hotel-sized” icebergs still calve into Portage Lake, the face of Portage Glacier can still be seen in the distance floating in the lake.

Panorama: (Today) Portage Lake is now void of large ice bergs as the main glacier body has receded around the corner and now sits atop rock. It no longer floats out on the lake and, unless a surge in the glacier occurs, the main glacier body will melt up into the same valley it has carved out through the ages.

All images © Dave Parkhurst www.TheAlaskaCollection.com