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“A GREAT Full Day of the Alaska Outdoors, Close to Anchorage”
Review of Ascending Path

Ascending Path
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Experience a unique and authentic wilderness adventure on your Alaskan vacation. Within an hour of Anchorage we can have you glacier hiking, rock and ice climbing and enjoying Alaska on a spectacular guided hike. Whether you're a first time hiker or experienced ski-mountaineer, have an entire day or just a few hours, we have a variety of day tour adventures for you. Let us share Alaska's glaciers, wilderness and wildlife at your pace. The many accessible and beautiful trails and glaciers in the Chugach Mountains, near Girdwood and Anchorage, provide a superb naturalist guided eco-adventure environment. Bring your family or friends out with our knowledgeable guides for a fun adventurous day truly experiencing Alaska! Great for families, no experience needed! We look forward to sharing your Alaskan Adventure with you!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

If you only have one day to play in the outdoors near Anchorage, this trip is a great option. The full day included a very scenic train ride, hiking and kayaking and amazing views all around. The Spencer Glacier was spectacular to see and the guide was terrific. They gave clear instructions on what clothing to wear and gear to bring, but also had great gear to share (including very good kayaks) for those who needed it. The boxed lunch wasn't anything to write home about, but it was perfectly fine and as expected.

Thank ShelbsinSalem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"ice climbing"
in 20 reviews
"spencer glacier"
in 70 reviews
"alpine hike"
in 10 reviews
"train ride"
in 16 reviews
"kayak trip"
in 10 reviews
"rock climbing"
in 5 reviews
"sea kayak"
in 3 reviews
"climbing tour"
in 2 reviews
"trip enjoyable"
in 2 reviews
"overnight kayak"
in 2 reviews
"absolutely awesome experience"
in 2 reviews
"watchful eye"
in 2 reviews
"an excellent guide"
in 2 reviews
"nice opportunity"
in 2 reviews
"hour guided"
in 2 reviews
"boxed lunch"
in 3 reviews
"the whistle stop"
in 3 reviews
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14 - 18 of 200 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

It’s taken me almost a year to write this review because of how terrible this made me feel. We were so looking forward to this part of our vacation, we booked it months in advance and despite the high price were more excited for this than any other part of our Alaska vacation.

We get ready, we take a beautiful train ride to the kayak location, eating a mediocre lunch on the way, we get there, get loaded into a bus and sit and wait...and wait. A man (allegedly an intern, but why is an intern delivering this news and is the primary contact of emergency response) get on and goes “who’s excited to go on a glacier today! Give yourselves a big round of applause!” Then after we all cheer “unforunately we’re not doing that today!”

We are all confused. We are told we cannot be told what is going on. We are told we are going on a hike. We wait another 30 minutes while the guides figure out what to do. We go on a crappy 30 minute hike with little talking from the guides. We see a helicopter land on the glacier (something is clearly wrong). We get put on an early train back after a few bad wise cracks from the “intern”. Our actual guide on the train says call the office they’ll made it right (guide was the only good part of the trip by the way, pay them much more!).

Sitting on the train with two other people from this trip we both call the office. The couple next to us is told they could go on the trip the next day, they have an early flight and cannot. We ask if we can go out the next day, told it is impossible, we say the people we are with were offered this, we are told they are lying. Call back tomorrow and we will see what we can do.

Call back the next day, it is impossible to reschedule, they are booked the rest of summer. We are offered less than one quarter of what we paid as a refund, we say this is unacceptable, they say the owner will call us. Cut to 3 days later after us chasing the owners we finally get in contact with them. The focus is on how it was an emergency, why are we upset? They seem to think we only want to know what happened on the glacier. We let them know, we understand there was an emergency, we completely understand and did not want to go on the glacier and hamper rescue efforts. All we care about is that we were treated with 0 respect, ignored and given no explanation for days, and barely any refund for an experience we did not receive.


My girlfriend and the female of the couple ownership group go back and forth. This woman makes my girlfriend feel like garbage, she makes her cry. We paid over $600 for this and are treated like garbage for being upset. We are told this is killer for their business, but also they are booked every single day from June to September so how could they make it up (I know running a small business is hard and losing a half days revenue is tough but come on). The main focus is on the fact that we had a train ride and a mediocre lunch.

Finally, I get on the phone and after days of trying to reach them am able to negotiate a little bit less than half of a refund. And after days of stress that threatened to ruin our vacation we are finally able to (kind of) move on. Thank god we were able to go out to Mantanuska Glacier with a company that was literally giving the clothes off their backs in the rain to keep guests dry.

TL;DR An emergency happened that cancelled our trip when we arrived, that’s ok things happen, but we were treated like total garbage in the process, and had to fight for less than half of a refund. Never use this company.

9  Thank alexmak17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This was a top notch experience. We were lucky to have Matt as our guide. He was very knowledgeable and passionate. We had a blast exploring the glacier. This trip is a must if you want an unforgettable trip.

1  Thank Jeremy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This was the second time I had joined AP with a kayak trip. I chose to do one that involves hiking this time and a longer train ride.
What a fantastic experience it turned out to be!
The guides were kind, informative, funny and knowledgeable. I felt safe trusting them with our hike and kayak adventure because they were confident and informative.
We had a sunny and warm day that made it even better.
The sound of glaciers cracking and the hike to the edge was filled with spectacular views.
I was so thrilled to then journey on the train to Grandview. I had never been there before. The landscape and breathtaking areas we road through made this a high light of the trip. Grandview is a quiet and lovely town. It would be the perfect place for a picnic lunch.
I plan to take my parents when they come visit because I liked it so much.
Thank you AP for hosting and guiding me on this wonderful tour that I will never forget.
What a great experience !

1  Thank Jax S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I booked this trip during my 28 holiday in Alaska. I booked it for my last day in Alaska and after I booked and paid I regretted doing the booking as I had already been on two other glaciers and kayaked and felt I was just repeating experiences I had already had.

I am so pleased that I did book as this trip was nothing like the others I’d done and the Spencer Glacier was very different to the other glaciers. The trip included a shuttle to and from the train station, two different scenic trains and a bus ride to a Yurt to gear up for the kayaks. Lunch and ample snacks were included together with first class gear. The ratio for this company is 1:5 which is exceptional.

The professionalism of Ascending Path and our guide was as good as any company I’ve used. The guides knowledge of the glacier, the flora and geology was excellent and he clearly explained and answered all our questions.

The floating ice bergs on the lake were huge and the glacier face was very active with several large calvings occurring whilst we were there.

Another aspect of this tour that impressed me was the safety precautions taken and gear provided.

I loved this tour and it was well worth the cost involved

Thank Jeanette M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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