Glacier View, Alaska

Photo: Alpenglow Luxury Camping

The glaciers are disappearing. Despite what climate-change deniers and ill-informed presidents claim, these vast sheets of ice won’t be around much longer. They’re cracking, breaking, and melting faster than scientists ever imagined possible. So if you’ve ever dreamed of walking, climbing, or even just seeing one in person, now is the time to do so.

Matanuska Glacier is the largest car-accessible glacier in the United States. It’s in Alaska, of course. It lies 100 miles northeast of Anchorage. Plus it extends for 27 miles until it empties into the Matanuska River, Cook Inlet, and, eventually, the Gulf of Alaska. At least it did. This year, the Matanuska Valley has seen its highest temperatures in decades. The glacier is retreating before your eyes.

It’s still breathtaking, though. Especially if you aren’t in a rush. Most people follow the Glenn Highway, pause for scenic pictures, stop at the Eagle River Nature Center, and, maybe, take a short hike. Some get a guide for an ice trek, an ice climb, or a helicopter adventure. But few make it longer than a day trip. A luxury campsite lets you enjoy the glacier after everyone else has returned to Anchorage.

Photo: Alpenglow Luxury Camping

Alpenglow Luxury Camping sits on a small hill in the Matanuska Valley. It’s nestled in a black spruce forest. It’s near the Matanuska River. While, most importantly, it overlooks the glacier. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a blue yurt. That’s the check-in area, where you’ll find flushing toilets and an espresso stand. The base camp is the hang-out spot, though. It’s where white lights are strung over a long picnic table, electricity is available to recharge your batteries, and board games keep you entertained. There’s a fire pit outside, too.

Then there are the tents. The spacious canvas tents have queen beds, down comforters, and lots of blankets. There are lanterns and warm slippers waiting inside. Plus there are wide covered porches with two Adirondack chairs outside. A light breakfast—containing French press coffee, freshly baked muffins, eggs, and oatmeal—is served each morning. While evenings are reserved for the wood-burning hot tub. Now you have the glacier all to yourself. Enjoy it while you can.

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