Located in the Chugach Mountains near Thompson Pass—the snowiest place in Alaska—Worthington Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, passing within a few feet of the parking lot and viewing shelter right off the Richardson Highway.
Like most of Alaska’s glaciers, this valley glacier has been steadily retreating for the last 150 years, but not as dramatically as many others. The upper basin sits at 5,500 feet and collects about 28 feet of snow each year. Worthington Glacier is part of an on-going study funded by the National Science Foundation to study ice flow dynamics as they relate to climate change. By comparing movement at Worthington with numerical models for glacier flow, scientists hope to answer important questions about the future of climate change.