Portage to Whittier
~off of the SEWARD highway~
Portage Glacier is a well known site for tourists. It is easy access from the Seward hwy. and is a beautiful 3mile drive into the view of the lake. This glacier has greatly receeded and melted over the past years. There are other glaciers in this valley to see. You can take boatrides around the lake which is formed totally from glacier melt. Icebergs float in varied amounts at different times of the year and weather. It is commonly a wet and foggy valley from Portage to Whittier! Portage is about 50 miles south of Anchorage. There is a nice wild animal preserve across the highway at the turnoff.
Let's take a look from the comfort of the Chevy and stay out of the rain of May 2000 when these pictures were taken.
*a glacier on the lake*
*closer view of this glacier*
*Glacier ice is blue and on sunny days is even bluer*
As we drive around the lake,we come through a short tunnel in the mountain to a nice viewpoint of Portage lake. We can drive through the tunnels. The tunnels have been only for the railroad for many years. The Port of Whittier has only been accessible by rail or air(small planes) until May 2000 when the tunnels were renovated to accommodate cars through.
We now come to the 'biggie' tunnel! We have to wait from 30minutes to an hr. or so to get to use the one-way tunnel. The Alaska Railroad train has priority. This tunnel is 2 1/2 miles long through solid rock. It is well lighted and safe for one-way traffic.You do drive astraddle the railroad track.
*The Whittier tunnel is the longest tunnel in the USA*
Bring your raincoat today!
*photos by Jan*
We will continue our drive through this tunnel and when we see the 'light' at the end of this road, there is nowhere to go but back,unless you take a boat! :o)
click on the license for Whittier*