Portage got its name by being on
the portage route from the Gulf of Alaska to Cook Inlet. The 1964
earthquake destroyed the town when the earth subside up to 12 feet.
The ghost forests were
created when the ground sunk and salt water flowed in. The Alaska
Railroad suffered greatly from this catastrophe. The rails in the
region were torn from
their ties and buckled. In one area, water covered the rails
during high tide. When the water receded, the tracks would be cleared,
and the railroad would resume operations.
|Do you want to go to Seward or Whittier?||I've always loved the looks of this sign!||Aerial view of the Portage wye|
At one time the site was a motor vehicle loading area for the Alaska Railroad that carried passengers and vehicles to Whittier for connections to the Alaska Marine Highway. No vehicles can drive directly to Whittier using the tunnel. There is a small visitor information center at the ticket office.
Portage Glacier is the major tourist
attraction in the area. Portage Creek carries gray silt water from the
glacier into Turnagain Arm, creating the mud flats near shore. Visitors
should not venture onto the flats due to quicksand and bore tides.
Nearby Portage Lake and Glacier are Alaska's number one tourist attraction
Page created 12/1/99 and last updated 1/13/03