Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. The last portion of the trail is completely covered in old avalanche debris. Adventurous ones can extend this trail a bit to approach this stunning glacier closer by scrambling a bit higher to explore the natural ice caves and beautiful permanent snowfield. On the West side of the valley (East facing slopes) there is no avalanche hazard as most of the snow already avalanched and the terrain has melted out and is almost snow-free. What a mighty lookin' glacier. Temps in the upper 40'sF. It's not long before you enter … Byron Glacier trailhead with two avalanche warning signs. We got close but it was so warm that there was still considerable avalanche and rock slide activity. Please upload photos below. A wider angle look at the avalanche terrain that sits above the cave. Another photo looking up drainage taken near the official end of the trail. Remember, nice warm days can melt the snowpack and cause avalanches. Be aware that during the summer this trail head can be packed, especially on the weekends. The cave is safest when temperatures are below zero. 10 reviews of Byron Glacier Trailhead "Glacier, Glacial or Glaciation...noun, adjective or verb...they are cool! No need to register, buy now! For those who are inclined to scramble around, there’s an enormous pile of boulders left by the glacier’s passage. Bring a light jacket, as winds tend to pick up around the face of the glacier itself. Byron Glacier Trail. Rain weakens the already unstable crusts of melting snowpack and is known to trigger wet slab avalanches, the most deadly kind. Warm weather was blamed for an ice-cave collapse that killed a women and injured five other people in the Big Four Ice Caves of Washington state’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest only about a year ago. This area has popular snow and ice caves where Byron creek runs through the old debris. In the heart of winter when the cave is frozen solid and there hasn’t been recent snowfall (meaning low chance of avalanche) I’ll consider going in the blue ice cave. The sun can melt the snow on the slopes above and trigger avalanches that run to the valley floor. It is a beautiful hike but be alert for avalanches at this time of year! There is a small parking lot located at the trail head. From here, it is possible to access the ridge and head to Byron Peak, however this is … Further up the valley, past the point where the summer trail is maintained, there is avalanche hazard from all slopes/aspects. This is where the avalanche hazard is that can be accessed from the trail. Answer 1 of 8: Visiting Portage Valley and Byron Glacier Valley this summer should be spectacular. This grassy ridge overlooks the entirety of Byron Glacier, along with Portage Glacier and 3 other glaciers across Portage Lake. If you think a public avalanche center is important please support our organization. Byron Glacier is now a “hanging” glacier, as opposed to a “tidewater” glacier like Portage that ends in the water. I hiked the Byron Glacier Trail this morning and had a good workout in deep snow most of the way. 2- Warm sunny springtime/early summer days. If choosing to head this way, steer clear of being under any slope that still has snow. wonderful day trip with Bryce and Sierra's class to Byron glacier - fabulous walk across an old avalanche shute :) The weather was not ideal and was worsening by the minute. Most likely times for natural springtime avalanches are during sunny afternoons/evenings or during warm rainy periods. The last portion of the trail is completely covered in old avalanche debris. Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place. Hiking on the weekdays or arriving early on a weekend is preferable in order to guarantee a parking spot. Remember the Byron Glacier trail is in avalanche terrain. The trail is still snow covered but folks have been walking most of the way up the trail before splitting off where the trail becomes lost under snow. North facing slopes with plenty of snow still hanging above the valley and debris piles from the recent avalanche cycle. 1- Stormy weather (snow and/or rain). Photos from the Byron Glacier trail and surrounding avalanche terrain. Photos from the Byron Glacier trail and surrounding avalanche terrain. Byron Peak is located in the Chugach National Forest at the head of a short, steep-walled valley, and rises above Portage Lake. Byron Glacier is one of the easiest to access glaciers in the Anchorage vicinity, about an hour and 10 minutes drive south of Anchorage, not far beyond the beautiful town of Girdwood. Bottom line: There is enough snow remaining that natural wet avalanches could occur at anytime during the month of May and possibly longer.