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Begich, Boggs Visitor Center

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

BBVC with Byron Valley in Background

At the Heart of Portage Valley...

The Visitor Center is closed 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.

Campfire Program
Free campfire programs presented by Forest Service Interpreter will be offered on Friday and Saturday evenings this summer at the Williwaw Campground. The programs focus on salmon, bears, and cultural heritage. Campfire programs are free and suitable for all ages. The last night for Campfire programs is Saturday evening on August 18th.

Guided Hikes
Join a Forest Service Interpreter for a guided hike on Byron Glacier Trail. The hike is an easy walk along a well-maintained trail. The hikes take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 pm. Meet at the Bryon Glacier Trailhead. The last guided Byron Glacier Trail hike will take place at 2:00 pm on Saturday August 18th.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Closed for the Season

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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Outdoor Learning

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