Hubbard Glacier

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Sunrise at Hubbard Glacier with mountain in Alaska.

Luís Henrique Boucault © Getty Images

Just 30 miles north of Yakutat is Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America. The 8-mile-wide frozen behemoth is easily Alaska’s most active. The riptides and currents that flow between Gilbert Point and the face of the glacier, a mere 1000ft away, are so strong that they cause Hubbard to calve almost continuously at peak tides. The entire area, part of the 545-sq-mile Russell Fjord Wilderness, is one of the most interesting places in Alaska and usually visited through flightseeing or boat tours.

Is the Hubbard Glacier still advancing?

The 76-mile-long glacier captured national attention by galloping across Russell Fiord in the mid-1980s, turning the long inlet into a lake. Eventually Hubbard receded, reopening the fjord, but in 2002 it again surged across Russell Fjord, and it came close to doing it a third time in 2011.