Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Whittier, Alaska

The town of Whittier is at the upper end of Prince William Sound on Passage Canal and is the ferry port for Anchorage.  We were there twice during our Alaska trip.  We arrived by ferry at Whittier nearly three days early due to mechanical problems on the ferry, and after renting a car and touring the Kenai Peninsula, arrived back in Whittier with the better part of a day to fill before catching the train to Anchorage.  We ended up hiking the Portage Pass trail, part of the Iditarod race route.  The trail is just west of Whittier and provides wonderful views of the town, Prince William Sound and at the top of the trail of Portage Lake and Glacier.  These photos are all of the town, the sound and the trail.  One of the interesting features of the town is the tunnel that connects Whittier to the rest of the mainland, the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel.  It is the only route in except by ship or by air and is over two miles long, one lane, and used by both vehicles and the train.  Everyone has to wait their turn, therefore, as we did for almost forty-five minutes.  After our return to Whittier we took the train through the tunnel to Anchorage.

the Kennicott, our ferry from Bellingham to Whittier

fishing boat in passage canal

Whittier and its harbor

Glaucous Gulls

the mountains around Whittier

 Maynard Mountain and Learnard Glacier

 unidentified or unnamed waterfall

 Whittier entrance to the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel

following the highway to the Portage Pass trail
(these photos were taken three days after the first set of photos)

Whittier Glacier

 Maynard Mountain and Learnard Glacier

unidentified creek near the trailhead

views from the Portage Pass trail

Portage Pass and views

Maynard Mountain

Divide Lake at the top of Portage Pass

 Tall Northern White Bog Orchis

 Divide Lake with Portage Glacier in the background

Portage Glacier and Portage Lake

Whittier Glacier

Nootka Lupine

Wandering Fleabane


 Dwarf Fireweed

the descent


  1. Beautiful photos! That unidentified creek wouldn't happen to be Portage Creek, would it?

    1. If that's the name of the creek that flows from Divide Lake into Passage Canal, then you've identified it. I looked everywhere for a name and couldn't find one. Having looked on line, however, I don't think that's it. Portage Creek, if I'm not mistaken, is on the other side of the tunnel and flows from Portage Lake.


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