Begich, Boggs Visitor Center

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

BBVC with Byron Valley in Background

At the Heart of Portage Valley...

The Visitor Center is open for the 2018 Summer Season.

Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is built upon the terminal moraine left behind by Portage Glacier in 1914. The Visitor Center offers an unique opportunity to learn about the Chugach National Forest, America's second largest national forest. Award-winning exhibits, educational presentations, the film Retreat and Renewal: Stories from Alaska's Chugach National Forest, and information services are available to the public.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open 7 days a week, 9 am to 5 pm, May 26, 2018 - September 3, 2018.

Contact us:

(907)783-2326 May 26-Sept 3, 2018 (907)783-3242 Oct-April
Fees Fees: $5.00 for adults. Fee includes admission to film and exhibits. Children 15 and younger are free! We honor Interagency Passes including Senior, Access, Annual and Military.
Open Season: May 26, 2018 9:00 am - September 3, 2018
Usage: Heavy

General Information

General Notes:

Begich, Boggs Visitor Center - Frequently Asked Questions

The Name
The Visitor Center was named in memory of Congressmen Nick Begich of Alaska and Congressmen Hale Boggs of Louisiana. Both men were killed in a 1972 plane crash en route from Anchorage to Juneau.

Designed by Kramer, Chin and Mayo and constructed by Alaska General of Anchorage. Construction began in July 1984 and was completed in September of 1985. Begich, Boggs Visitor Center opened its doors to the public in May 1986.

The exhibits were initially designed by Gideon Kramer and Associates with final selection and modification by the USDA, Forest Service design team in Washington DC.

The new exhibits are designed by the Sibbet Group of San Francisco, CA and installed in 2001. The new design shifted the focus from glaciers to one that incorporates ecosystems of Portage Valley and Prince William Sound.

The Building
The visitor center is 17,600 square feet in size with 4,700 square feet of exhibit space, 3,300 square feet of theater, 6,600 square feet of other space (restrooms, office, workroom, etc), and 3,000 square feet in the basement. The Center is heated by a high efficiency natural gas hot water heater that transfers heat to the buiding through a main air handler, baseboard, and radiant panels.  

The original cost was $8.1 million dollars, with $4.5 million spent on design and construction and $3.6 million on exhibits.

Learning Center
The Portage Valley Learning Center is an extension of the main Visitor Center and opened in 2005.

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