Portage Glacier Road Portage Glacier Road Photos Portage Glacier Road   

All photographs displayed on this page were taken by the Webmaster (Cameron Bevers). Photographs are arranged by location from west to east. See a Portage Glacier Road Route Map here. To view photos of other Alaska Highways, please select a highway number listed on the Alaska Photograph Index Page. Click on any thumbnail to see a larger image!

Please note that all photographs displayed on this website are protected by copyright. These photographs must not be reproduced, published, electronically stored or copied, distributed, or posted onto other websites without my written permission. If you want to use photos from this website, please email me first for permission. Thank-you!

Portage Glacier Road (Alaska) Photographs: Seward Highway to Whittier


ALASKA HWY 1 #477 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA HWY 1 #466 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Guide sign marking the distance to the Portage Glacier Road on the Southbound Seward Highway (Hwy 1). The Portage Glacier Road is an unnumbered highway that extends easterly for 12 miles from the Seward Highway to Whittier, a deep-water port on Prince William Sound. Whittier is a port-of-call for many Alaskan cruise ships. It is also served by the Alaska Marine Highway System's ferry service, which provides connections to Valdez (Hwy 4) and Cordova (Hwy 10) as well as several other coastal Alaskan communities without road access.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Facing north along the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) towards Anchorage from the Portage Glacier Road Junction.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA HWY 1 #467 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA HWY 1 #465 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Portage Glacier Road Junction on the Seward Highway (Hwy 1), facing south towards Seward. This is the highway turn-off to Whittier.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Facing east along the Portage Glacier Road from the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) Junction at Portage.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA HWY 1 #464 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA HWY 1 #463 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Distance guide sign on the Portage Glacier Road near the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) Junction. To reach Whittier, the highway passes through Maynard Mountain via the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. This Alaska Railroad Tunnel was retrofitted in 1999-2000 to permit highway traffic to utilize the tunnel as well as rail traffic. The tunnel is generally open for highway traffic, but is closed periodically in order to allow trains to pass through the mountain.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Western terminus of the Portage Glacier Road at the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) Junction.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA HWY 1 #469 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA HWY 1 #470 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Guide signs at the end of the Portage Glacier Road at the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) Junction at Portage. Upon reaching this junction, motorists can either turn right and follow Hwy 1 North to Anchorage, or turn left and follow Hwy 1 South across the Kenai Peninsula towards Homer and Seward.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Facing south along the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) from the Portage Placier Road Junction at Portage. The Seward Highway briefly widens into a divided highway just south of the Portage Glacier Road Junction.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA HWY 1 #474 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA HWY 1 #471 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - The 1/4 mile divided section of the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) comes to an end at the Portage Glacier Road Junction.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Facing north along the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) towards Anchorage at the Portage Glacier Road Junction.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #8 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #1 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Portage Glacier Road, facing west from the Portage Creek Bridge. The Seward Highway Junction lies about 6 miles from here beside Turnagain Arm. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - View of scenic Portage Creek, as seen from the Portage Glacier Road west of Whittier. Begich Peak rises to a height of over 4,500 feet directly beside Portage Creek, resulting in some rather dramatic scenery. Portage Creek flows westerly from this point towards Turnagain Arm, which lies at the end of the valley. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #10 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #9 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Northern side of the Portage Creek Bridge on the Portage Glacier Road west of Whittier. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Portage Glacier Road at the Portage Creek Bridge, facing east towards Whittier. At the far side of the bridge, the Portage Glacier Road passes through a short tunnel below Begich Peak. Completed in 2000, the Portage Creek Tunnel is one of only four highway tunnels situated on the Alaska State Highway System. The other tunnels are the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, also located on the Portage Glacier Road about 2 miles to the east, and the Water Street Tunnel on the Tongass Highway (Hwy 7) in Ketchikan. A fourth tunnel, built to carry the ill-fated Copper River Highway (Hwy 10), sits on a closed section of the proposed road south of Chitina. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #11 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #12 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Portage Creek Bridge on the Portage Glacier Road west of Whittier. This structure was completed in 1999, as part of the Whittier Access Project. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - The Portage Glacier Road skirts icy Portage Lake on its route east towards Whittier. The frigid environment here is the function of an extremely heavy annual snowfall and the three glaciers which feed into this glacial lake. Although it is buried in snow, the location of the Burns Glacier is still discernable directly across the lake. Portage Glacier, the largest glacier in the immediate area, is hidden behind the mountain at right. Winter snowfall amounts in the Portage Lake area are typically about 20 feet, although total snowfall amounts have exceeded 35 feet in some years. As a result, snow persists in the valley well into June, long after spring has arrived in nearby Anchorage. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #7 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #6 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Entering the Portage Creek Tunnel on the Portage Glacier Road, facing east towards Whittier. Although it is only 445 feet in length, there is a fairly sharp horizontal curve inside the Portage Creek Tunnel, which is why the east portal cannot be seen.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Eastern portal of the Portage Creek Tunnel on the Portage Glacier Road, facing west towards the Seward Highway Junction. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #5 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #3 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Facing east along the Portage Glacier Road towards Whittier from the Portage Creek Tunnel. Portage Lake is visible at right.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Approaching the Placer Creek Bridge on the Portage Glacier Road, facing west towards the Seward Highway Junction. After passing by Portage Lake at left, the Portage Glacier Road heads west towards the Portage Creek Tunnel. The Portage Glacier Road ends at the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) Junction about 6 miles ahead. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #2 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #4 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - View of the Byron Glacier and Portage Lake from the Portage Glacier Road west of Whittier.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Sign indicating the tolls for the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel on the Eastbound Portage Glacier Road. Tolls are only collected at the tunnel heading eastbound. Traffic departing from Whittier heading towards Anchorage does not have to pay a toll to use the tunnel. At the time I visited Alaska in mid-2012, it cost $12.00 to take a passenger vehicle through the tunnel towards Whittier. The toll plaza at Bear Valley lies about a 1/2 mile ahead.
(Photograph taken on May 27, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #13 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #14 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Inside the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel on the Portage Glacier Road, facing west. This Alaska Railroad Tunnel was originally constructed in the early 1940s to serve an army supply depot at Whittier. The railroad tunnel was completed in 1943. In 1999-2000, the railroad tunnel was retrofitted so that it could accommodate highway traffic as well as railroad traffic. The tunnel now carries one-way highway traffic throughout the day, scheduled in alternating directions. Highway traffic is suspended in both directions whenever an Alaska Railroad train requires passage through the tunnel. The tunnel was first opened to highway traffic on June 7th, 2000, finally providing road access to Whittier.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel passes below Maynard Mountain, which lies between Bear Valley and Whittier. The tunnel is 13,200 feet in length (2 1/2 miles, or just over 4 km), making it the longest highway tunnel in North America. The floor of the tunnel has been retrofitted with special panels so that both highway traffic and rail traffic can pass through the tunnel. This fascinating piece of transportation infrastructure is definitely one of North America's most unique driving experiences!
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)<





ALASKA PGR #15 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #16 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Approaching the eastern (Whittier) portal of the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel on the Portage Glacier Road. It takes about 6 minutes to drive through the tunnel if one adheres to the 25 mph speed limit. A network of surveillance cameras within the tunnel confirm that all traffic has cleared through before traffic is released in the opposing direction.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Eastern (Whittier) portal of the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. The triangular-shaped roof over the tunnel entrance was designed so that it could withstand an avalanche. At right, queues of traffic wait to enter the tunnel. A changeable message sign indicates the time that the gate will be opened, releasing traffic in the opposing direction. There is no toll collected for westbound traffic heading from Whittier to Bear Valley. Eastbound passenger vehicles heading from Bear Valley to Whittier pay a $12.00 toll to use the tunnel. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #17 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #18 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel forms the only road link to Whittier. However, the Alaska Railroad has exclusive use of the tunnel at night. The tunnel is closed completely to highway traffic from 11:15 PM until 5:30 AM in summer and from 10:45 PM until 7:00 AM in winter. For the remainder of the day, highway traffic is allowed to pass through the railroad tunnel, alternating directions every 30 minutes. Even throughout the day, rail traffic takes priority over highway traffic, so highway traffic is temporarily suspended if an Alaska Railroad train needs to pass through the tunnel. Accordingly, eastbound motorists who are heading to Whittier to board a departing Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry should allow for a delay of at least one hour at the tunnel, just in case there is an unscheduled arrival of a train at one of the tunnel entrances.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Approaching fog-enshrouded Maynard Mountain on the Portage Glacier Road, facing west towards the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #19 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #20 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Portage Glacier Road, facing east towards Whittier from the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. Although the drive from the tunnel portal to Whittier along Portage Glacier Road is only about 2 miles, the views of the surrounding mountains along the route are quite impressive. Note the cruise ship at Whittier's wharf at left. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Facing east along the Portage Glacier Road entering Whittier. The community of Whittier was, for the most part, established in the early 1940s by the US Army as a supply depot. The deep, ice-free port at Whittier was particularly strategic from a military standpoint, since it was hidden at the end of a deep fjord in the mountains, which was frequently enveloped in fog. Once the Whittier Railroad Tunnel was completed in 1943, the port at Whittier ensured a reliable flow of essential supplies into Alaska. The supply depot remained as an active military facility until 1960, but today it serves as a commercial port and an easily-accessible small boat harbor on Prince William Sound. Despite its conversion to civilian use, the community still resembles a military base in many ways. Although the community centre itself is not very photogenic, it is rather interesting. The ghostly relics of World War II-era supply warehouses and grim military-style apartment buildings dot the landscape. Most of the tourist activities in town are along the waterfront at left. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #21 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #22 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Guide sign on the Portage Glacier Road entering Whittier marking the route towards the Whittier Ferry Terminal. The town is bisected by the Alaska Railroad, which separates the waterfront from the community centre. To reach the centre of Whittier, drivers must turn right here onto Whittier Street.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - A foggy view of Whittier's small boat harbor. On a clear day, the combination of the boat harbor with the Chugach Mountains as a backdrop make for a very picturesque scene. Unfortunately, I visited Whittier on an overcast day, which also happened to be the last day of my trip. My flight left Anchorage about 12 hours after I took this photo, so regrettably I didn't have the opportunity to come back on a nicer day. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #25 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #24 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - The Portage Glacier Road reaches its eastern terminus at the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Ferry Terminal in Whittier. Although a small network of streets within Whittier continue east along Passage Canal (Whittier's harbor), this is essentially the end of the road system. There are no roads that lead away from Whittier for any significant distance, because the steep-sided fjords in the area make road construction virtually impossible. The only way to depart from Whittier by road is to double-back via the Portage Glacier Road through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Facing west along the Portage Glacier Road from the AMHS's Whittier Ferry Terminal. Whittier is a port-of-call for many Alaskan cruise ships, since it is the closest deep-water port to Anchorage. Thanks to the new road access to Whittier, it is only 60 miles by highway from here to Anchorage. On the other hand, marine traffic heading to Anchorage from Prince William Sound has to travel all the way around the massive Kenai Peninsula and return towards Anchorage up Cook Inlet, adding hundreds of nautical miles to the journey.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)





ALASKA PGR #23 - © Cameron Bevers             ALASKA PGR #26 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - View of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Ferry Terminal in Whittier. The AMHS offers ferry service connections to Valdez, Cordova and several other Alaskan coastal communities. The ferry service route across Prince William Sound between Whittier and Valdez is especially scenic. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Guide sign marking the route to Anchorage at the exit from the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Ferry Terminal in Whittier. It is 11 miles from the Whittier Ferry Terminal to the Seward Highway (Hwy 1) Junction via the Portage Glacier Road. The total distance from Whittier to Downtown Anchorage is 60 miles. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photograph taken on June 13, 2012  -  © Cameron Bevers)




Back to Alaska Marine Highway System Photos   /    Alaska Highways Photo Index   /    On to Minnesota Drive (Alaska) Photos

Ontario Highway History - Home    /    Vacation Highway Photos - Home



Website contents, photos & text © 2002-2017, Cameron Bevers (Webmaster) - All Rights Reserved  /  Contact Me



Valid HTML 4.01!   Valid CSS!