Glaciers serve as evidence of a time when Earth was covered in ice, a misguided attempt to turn into a cosmic butterfly. See the remaining pieces of the tectonic chrysalis with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get two round-trip shuttle tickets from Exit Glacier Guides, located in Seward (a $20 value). This Groupon expires September 15, 2011.
Exit Glacier Guides' shuttle to Kenai Fjords National Park ferries customers to and from the majestic mass of slow-moving ice so they can chart the unspoiled landscapes and panoramic views at their own pace. The spacious, comfortable shuttle runs on used vegetable oil filtered on-site, cutting fuel consumption by more than 75 percent, and was given the name Roxanne for its red headlights that never turn on. The van leaves for the glacier from the Train Wreck in the Seward Small Boat Harbor every hour on the half hour between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. through mid-September.
Travelers should allow at least one to two hours for a hike along Exit Glacier’s short promenades, many of which were paved and graveled to shorten woodland animals’ daily commute. For a light trek, follow the one-mile trail through cottonwood forests to a breathtaking view of Exit Glacier and an option to continue on another trail to Glacier’s Edge, which terminates in a towering wall of blue ice. For a more challenging experience, explore the 7.4-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail. This six-to-eight-hour journey winds through cottonwood and alder forests and heather-filled meadows and up rocky inclines, and finally breaks the tree line for a view of a pristine horizon untouched by humanity or frost giant strip malls.