Begich, Boggs Visitor Center Opens for Summer Season

Contact(s): Alicia King

Nestled in the Footprints of Glaciers

Anchorage, AK (May 23, 2018) Chugach National Forest opens Begich, Boggs Visitor Center on May 26th to welcome guests from surrounding communities and from around the world. Located on the northwestern shore of Portage Lake in Portage Valley, the visitor center was built on the terminal moraine left behind by Portage Glacier almost a century ago. Begich Boggs Visitor Center will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. 

Begich, Boggs Visitor Center offers award-winning exhibits, educational presentations, a state of the art film “Retreat and Renewal: Stories from Alaska's Chugach National Forest”, and interpretive specialists to help visitors explore the glaciers, wildlife, climate, geography, and people of the Chugach National Forest and Prince William Sound.

Free campfire programs will be offered on Friday and Saturday evenings this summer at the Williwaw Campground. Presented by Forest Service Interpreters from the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center, campfire programs will focus on salmon, bears, and cultural heritage. Campfire programs are free and suitable for all ages.  

Free hikes on Byron Glacier Trail, an easy well-maintained trail, guided by Forest Service interpreters will be offered at the Byron Glacier Trailhead on Friday and Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. starting in July.

In addition to Byron Glacier Trail, Begich, Boggs Visitor Center provides close access to a variety of trails, including the Trail of Blue Ice (part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail) which follows the valley floor, provides views of Byron, Middle, and Explorer glaciers, and links all the developed recreation sites in Portage Valley. Most of the five mile (one way) trail is a wide gravel path with boardwalks and bridges. The Trail of Blue Ice is great for hiking or biking and can be accessed at the Moose Flats Day Use Area, Explorer Glacier Pullout, Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform, or the lakefront parking lot at the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center.

An hour long boat excursion on Portage Lake offers spectacular views of Portage Glacier. This trip is offered by a commercial company through a special use permit with the Forest Service and includes Forest Service interpreters providing information about glaciers and their effects on life and the landscape.

Visitors to Portage Valley can take part in the Agents of Discovery-Portage Valley Mission; a free mobile game application that unlocks hidden geo-challenges with their tablet or smartphone along the forest’s Williwaw Loop Trail.

The Begich, Boggs Visitor Center offers unique opportunities to learn about the Chugach National Forest, America's farthest north national forest.