If you get a chance to stand on top of the Butte (a fairly easy, short hike just outside of Palmer), try to imagine how different your vantage point would have been way back when it was surrounded by glacier ice. Two main glaciers carved out the Mat-Su Valley long ago. Though they've obviously receded quite a lot since then, these glaciers still exist, they're still gigantic, and there are several memorable ways to explore their inspiring blue formations.

Matanuska Glacier, along the Glenn Highway in the Glacier View community, is the largest road accessible glacier. At mile 101 a beautiful roadside recreation site provides breathtaking views of this natural wonder. Guided hiking tours and even ice climbing tours are great ways to experience the glacier close-up. Flightseeing tours over the glacier's deep blue pools are also available. If you're visiting in winter you can land on the glacier and explore one of its many cave-like ice cavities, or take a snowmobile tour right up to the towering ice.

Knik Glacier, located about 20 air miles up the Knik River Valley, is a wonderful site to explore by ATV tour, air boat tour, or flight tour. In winter, adventurers even ride special fat tire bikes up the river to the ice. In addition to hiking, ice climbing, and even dog sledding, tours on the Knik Glacier can also include paddle boarding through its serene blue pools.

A glacier experience is more accessible than ever in the Mat-Su Valley. Experienced and passionate guides are helping visitors of all skill levels to enjoy these ancient wonders. Peer into the deepest blues on earth. Touch the cool slick surface of these frozen giants. Adventures in Alaska and the Mat-Su Valley reach a whole new level when visiting a glacier.