Alaska is synonymous with a winter wonderland. It’s a great place to go when you’re simply tired of the unbearable summer heat. Apart from escaping the heat, there are plenty of activities you can do in Alaska. One of them is to explore the ice caves. However, before you plan on doing that, here are a few things you should first know.
An Ice Cave? What Is It?
First of all, is to define what an ice cave is. Well, it is a cave that is filled with ice formations. There are different ways on how ice caves are formed. The first one is due to a flowing stream. This carves a tunnel and in the presence of refrozen flowing water, it turns to ice. The tunnel is turned into a narrow cave. Such ice caves are at risk for cave-ins.
Another way of forming ice caves is freezing water inside rock caves. There may also be water vapor that is frozen which also turns into amazing frozen formations. This happens when the water from the underground gets exposed to a lower temperature then freezes.
With this kind of ice cave, you can see thick sheets of ice. This makes the color of the ice cave bluish. The former rock caves are transformed into winter palaces because of the thick sheets of bluish ice.
The Dangers Of Ice Caves
Ice caves may be a pleasure to see but you have to know that they can also be dangerous. That’s because the ice can shift. When an earthquake happens, it can suddenly shift the rock where the ice is attached then shift the eyes as well. That could create a cave-in.
Cave-ins are common, especially for unestablished caves. Those that are formed due to frozen melted water are more unstable than ice caves formed on rock caves.
When having an adventure on ice caves, you should never get inside one without a guide. A guide will help you find ice caves and will bring you to those with some of the most amazing sights. Guides will help you be safer while you enjoy the ice caves. Also, you don’t want to miss taking photos of the incredible sites.
Ice Caves In Alaska
Of all in America, Alaska has the most glaciers and that is where ice caves are typically located. They may be beside or beneath such glaciers. Ice caves in the Swiss Alps are massive however, you can always enjoy the local ice caves in Alaska. They may be smaller but they also look spectacular. The top four ones you shouldn’t miss are the following:
- Matanuska Glacier Cave
- Mendenhall Ice Caves
- Spencer Glacier
- Root & Kennicott Glaciers