Greatland Adventures - Private & Custom Adventure Tours
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Iceberg Kayaking


This is an amazing Glacier location to experience and learn about blue ice, up close and personal, on this 1/2 day kayaking excursion! Operating under 10 year permit with the Chugach National Forest.

The Spencer Whistle Stop and Glacier are located just South of Portage Valley and the Turnagain Arm in the Kenai Mountains and the Chugach National Forest. It is entirely off the road system, so we ride the scenic Alaska Railroad from Anchorage or Girdwood with breathtaking views of glaciers and towering alpine peaks.

Get away from the crowds by starting your trip where most people turn around, at Spencer lake. Enjoy several hours paddling among icebergs and hike to the face of Spencer Glacier. One goal is to touch an iceberg!


  • Round trip train ticket to Spencer Whistle Stop
  • Catered deli boxed lunch, water, granola bars and snacks
  • 1 mile shuttle at Spencer Whistle Stop to Spencer Lake
  • All paddling gear: Necky Looksha Tandem Sea Kayaks, spray skirts, PFD’s, gloves, rain jacket and pants, dry bags, kayak safety equipment
  • Friendly, skilled, naturalist kayak and hiking guides
  • Paddling instruction and briefing
  • Small Ratios (min: 2:1 max: 7:1/client:guide)
  • Guides will pace the trip and total distance to the groups’ desires, fitness level and weather conditions.
  • Bear Protection and satellite tracking and communication devices
  • Interpretative glaciology, ecology and natural history discussions

Trip Check-in Details:

Anchorage: Check in: 9am – Return: 10:15pm 

Girdwood: Check in: Noon – Return 9:15 pm


  • Up to 5 miles paddling round trip.
  • Up to 3.5 hours on the water paddling
  • Up to 3 miles hiking


No experience is necessary, but previous paddling experience is highly recommended. This paddle should be considered a “moderate activity”. We recommend that you are capable of a few hours of easy to moderate upper body and cardio exercise each day. See our Pre-Trip Fitness recommendations.


  • Trips operate in most weather conditions- travel insurance is recommended
  • The lake water temperature is very cold: 34*-37*F, but no tides and the icebergs are very reliable!
  • Boxed Lunch contains: Turkey or Vegetarian sandwich, chips, cookie, fruit and water.
  • Restroom facilities are located on trains and outhouses at Spencer Whistle Stop
  • All guests are required to fill out our online Adventure Application and Waiver when booking
  • After reserving your spot- you can easily login to our reservation system and make any changes or add cool Add-Ons.
  • Minimum weight: 50 lbs; Maximum weight: 290 lbs
  • Max height is 6’7”
  • Max waist size is 44”


From the Spencer Whistle Stop, groups of 7 or less board a van for a short ride on the gravel road to our kayak cove overlooking outstanding views of the glacier and Icebergs floating in Spencer lake. Guides outfit kayakers in all paddling gear and give a kayaking and safety briefing. The paddle includes outstanding views of the glacier and icebergs floating in Spencer lake with photo and rest stops to learn about interesting local wildlife, icebergs, history and glaciology. Guests will unload from the kayaks and hike from Kayak cove back to the Whistle stop. The 5 hours spent at Spencer includes iceberg kayaking and trail hiking.


  • 9:00AM: Check-in Anchorage Train Depot for the Glacier Discovery Train. (Tickets at will call).
  • 9:45AM: Glacier Discovery Train departs from Anchorage Train Depot. The “Disco Train” stops in Girdwood, Portage, goes to Whittier, waits for 45 minutes, then comes back to Portage.
  • 1:25PM: PORTAGE 2nd Stop- guides find guests and hands out lunches to eat.
  • 1:45PM: Arrive SWS for vehicle shuttle to lake edge.
  • 2:00PM: Arrive to Weatherport and Kayak Cove.
  • 3:00PM: Finish gearing up/paddle briefing.
  • 3:30-7:20PM: Iceberg paddling & hiking the trails around the face of Spencer Glacier.
  • 7:20PM: Arrive at Kayak Cove and pack up gear, walk to bus.
  • 7:50PM: Depart lake edge for SWS.
  • 8:10PM: Flag down the Coastal Classic Train.
  • 10:15PM: Arrive back at Anchorage Train Depot.

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Customer Testimonials

I recently went on a tour with Greatland Adventures and it exceeded all my expectations. As a seasoned traveler I must say, this company surpassed any other company I have ever toured with. Steve Busby was able to answer every question I had (and believe me I had plenty.) He was so knowledgeable about everything from wildlife (plants, animals, berries, terrain) to Alaskan culture. I learned so much it was amazing! Another highlight was seeing so many animals, Steve has an eagle eye for finding animals that no one else noticed. I have nothing but great things to say about this company, they truly go beyond the call of duty to make sure you have an unforgettable experience. I have recommended them to all my friends and family, and hope that everyone has a chance to experience a tour with this awesome company at some point in their lives. I guarantee you won't regret it!
We are seasoned travelers who have never taken the time to provide reviews before but we feel obliged to share how extraordinary our experience was with Greatland Adventures. We found them on TripAdvisor when planning our long weekend in Anchorage and the customized service began from the first phone call - rather than just telling us what we should do, they began asking questions about what was most important to us. We ended up using Greatland Adventures for two out of our three full days in Anchorage and can't recommend them highly enough. Steve Busby was our tour guide and he squeezed in everything we asked for - and more!...You should feel confident in choosing Greatland Adventures over the other larger tour companies. It was a great value, our guide was extremely knowledgeable, they provided safe and accommodating transportation everywhere, and most importantly the staff is genuine & dependable and very committed to making your trip as AMAZING as possible.
Wow, what can I say about Greatland? I guess I will tell you as my boyfriend and I heard from other tour guides from different companies: 'Steve Busby is the best in the business!' So true. This guy is as professional as they come, and in high demand. He really takes the time to show you what Alaska is all about. I feel honored to have been guided on a custom private tour by someone who is a true Alaskan and knows his stuff. He was so knowledgeable, patient (especially with a couple of newbie hikers as ourselves!), and fun! We had a blast! If you are looking for THE BEST tour company in Alaska, look no further. Greatland Adventures is it. This is the gold standard of tour companies for sure.
Steve was amazing. Easy going, super sensitive to our needs and went the extra mile to make sure we were all comfortable in the freezing cold. He's also incredibly knowledgeable about the area and provided a truly exceptional experience. Also great prices!! Highly highly recommend.