What To Wear On A Winter Glacier Hike

What to Wear On A Winter Glacier Hike

The Ultimate Matanuska Glacier Winter Tour Packing Guide

Are you planning an extraordinary winter tour to the majestic Matanuska Glacier in Sutton, Alaska? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this comprehensive guide, our experienced guides will share our firsthand experience and meticulously researched tips on what to wear for a day trip to the glacier in winter.

Surviving the harsh temperatures and enjoying the breathtaking landscape of a glacier is challenging. Still, with the proper clothing and preparation, you can make your dream Alaskan getaway a reality.


Why Visit The Matanuska Glacier in Winter?

For two significant reasons, March is an ideal time for an Alaska winter expedition.

Firstly, you’ll experience around 12 hours of daylight, allowing ample time to explore the natural wonders.

Secondly, as the light graces the ice formations on the glacier, it paints mesmerizing patterns that will leave you in awe.

What is the Weather Like on The Glacier?

The weather on the glacier is often not too dissimilar to the surrounding terrain. As you’d expect, it will be a bit colder on a gigantic lump of ice.

During March, temperatures vary significantly, ranging from -30°F to 35°F.

Sutton might witness temperatures plummeting below -30°F in colder months like December and January, making nighttime outings challenging.

The last tour of the day starts at 2pm, which give you plenty of time to return before dark.

Recommended Gear for Touring the Matanuska Glacier in Winter

The Four Layers of Warmth

To brave the chilling temperatures, we recommend adopting a four-layer clothing strategy. This approach allows you to adjust your attire based on the temperature and activity level, ensuring optimal comfort throughout your journey.

Base Layer

The base layer is your foundation for staying warm on the glacier. Opt for thermals, and we recommend Merino Wool Thermals from SmartWool.

They offer excellent insulation and moisture-wicking properties, keeping you cozy and dry even in extreme conditions. Check out the following base layer options:

Base Layer Top for Women
Base Layer Bottom for Women
Base Layer Top for Men
Base Layer Bottom for Men

Mid-Fleece Layer

For the second layer, choose anything with fleece material. Fleece provides additional warmth without adding too much bulk, making it perfect for intermediate insulation.

Here are some mid-fleece layer options:

Women’s Fleece Layer Top
Women’s Bottom
Men’s Pullovers
Mens’ Bottom


Outer Layer

The outer layer serves as your shield against the elements, so investing in quality outerwear is crucial.

Bottom Outer Layer

While jeans are suitable for everyday wear, consider fleece-lined snow pants for outdoor activities. These pants offer enhanced protection against icy cold temperatures. Check out the following options:

Women’s Snow Pants
Men’s Snow Pants

Top Outer Layer

For your upper body, we recommend pairing a jacket with a parka. This combination provides ample protection from harsh winds, a crucial factor during nighttime excursions to witness the enchanting Northern Lights.

Look into these options:

– Packable Jackets for Women and Men
– Parka for Women and Men

winter gear for hiking matanuska glacier in the winter

Cold Weather Accessories for Ultimate Warmth


Protect your head from the harsh winter chill with comfortable beanies. Not only do they keep you warm, but they also help avoid headaches caused by extreme cold. Consider these options for both women and men.


On windy days and nights, a headband will keep your ears snug and cozy. Ideal for those blustery adventures exploring the Alaskan wonders. Find suitable options for women and men.

Gloves and Mittens

Don’t compromise on protecting your hands from the cold. Ski gloves are excellent for outdoor activities, offering superior insulation and protection.

Wool or fleece gloves also work well for less intense outings. Woolen mittens are perfect for keeping you warm while allowing easy phone use. Combine them with liner gloves for additional comfort.

– Women’s Gloves
– Men’s Gloves

Layered Socks

Keep your feet toasty with two to three layers of socks. Begin with thin-liner socks and add insulated or woolen socks over them for ultimate warmth.

Knee-length insulated or woolen socks provide added protection against chilly temperatures.


Invest in high-quality winter boots designed to withstand the cold Alaskan winters. Here are suitable options for both women and men.


For freezing weather, hand warmers are a lifesaver. They provide additional heat when you need it the most. Ensure you follow the instructions and warnings when using warmers for utmost safety.

Safety Gear

Safety gear is included with any guided tour!

When you take a guided hiking tour with us, we provide you with crampons, helmets, and hiking poles. This hiking gear will enhance stability and prevent slips and falls on icy terrains.

Essential Personal Care Items


Wear sunglasses throughout your journey to protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce eye dryness.


Even in winter, it’s crucial to shield your skin from harsh UV rays with sunscreen. Apply it to your face and body before heading outdoors.

Lip Balm

Carry a moisturizing lip balm to combat dry lips caused by the cold weather.

Body Moisturizer

Apply a thick body moisturizer regularly to keep your skin healthy in extremely dry weather.

Winter wonders await you on the Matanuska Glacier, and we hope this comprehensive packing guide helps you prepare for an unforgettable adventure.

Remember to dress in layers, following the sequence of socks, thermals, mid-layers, shoes, and outer layers.

Before purchasing items, explore various websites and stores for discounted prices, and check customer reviews for valuable insights.

Stay warm, stay safe, and cherish every moment of your tour of the Matanuska Glacier.

Happy travels, and may your Alaska winter trip be an extraordinary journey filled with incredible memories!