As a person drives from Valdez to Anchorage they have the privilege of passing two wonderful valley glaciers. A valley glacier is a body of solid ice that flows like a river under its own weight through an existing valley. Worthington Glacier – Just outside Valdez near Thompson Pass, the Worthington Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, passing within a few feet of the parking lot right off the Richardson Highway. Like most of Alaska’s glaciers, this valley glacier has been steadily retreating for the last 150 years, but not as dramatically as many others.
Matanuska Glacier – The Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier in Alaska that can be reached by vehicle. Located on the Glenn Highway, the Matanuska is approximately 26 miles long and 4 miles wide at its terminus. It is classified as a valley glacier. About 10,000 years ago it began its retreat to its present day location, and it has not seen any significant change in mass for almost two decades.