GLACIER adventures




Heli adventures

Ice Climbing • Glacier Treks
• Paddle Boarding • pack rafting

Anchorage, Alaska

Glacier & River Tours 

NOVA is Alaska’s oldest family-owned and operated river rafting tour company still under original ownership with over 46 years in business. Since 1975, NOVA has accomplished many firsts throughout the state becoming a recognized pioneer for the industry of guided adventure travel within Alaska. We were the first company to offer commercial rafting on Alaskan rivers and the first to offer commercial hikes and ice climbing tours on the Matanuska Glacier. NOVA’s expertise in these outdoor disciplines and the Alaska theater is unsurpassed and has continued to grow through the years to include combination trips that offer river, mountain and glacier experiences together creating even more unique opportunities to explore the beauty of Alaska.

Simply put, NOVA is Alaska’s original and most experienced guide service. Our professional guides have been successfully navigating some of Alaska’s most challenging and classic whitewater sections since 1975. And our glacier guides have been offering daily hikes, treks and ice climbing tours on the massive Matanuska Glacier for over 30 years. These special places can change but our roots as wilderness stewards and a family-owned and operated Alaskan company remain the same. Showing people how to love, appreciate and help preserve Alaska’s special places has been NOVA’s core value since day one.

Glacier Tours

Spend an icy day on the Matanuska Glacier with NOVA Alaska Guides. Since 1990 our glacier tours have included daily walking, trekking and ice climbing trips out on this massive marvel of nature. Take in the views on our easy ‘Glacier Hike’ tour, a great half-day for mixed abilities. Or venture off the path and surround yourself with an ancient landscape stuck in time, navigate ever evolving ice features on our challenging ‘Adventure Trek’. Or try to conquer and ascend the vertical walls with our ‘Ice Climbing’ tour. The Matanuska Glacier is one of the most impressive in south central Alaska, covering a total distance of over 26 miles long. The main ‘Ice Fall’ terminus at the front of this glacier is a visually breathtaking wonder and highly accessible compared to most, making it perfect for daily glacier adventures. Half and full day trips offered daily with departures in the morning and afternoon. Discover and explore this frozen world of white and blue ice with NOVA Alaska Guides.

Glacier Tours • Glacier Treks • Ice Climbing

River Rafting

Join the original rafting company of Alaska! For almost 50 years, our professional river guides have chased and pioneered Alaskan rivers and whitewater with enthusiasm. From our multi-day flyout first descents in the early years to the wave crushing daily sections of the Mat-Su Valley and Chugach mountains, NOVA has covered the map and encompassed a passion for wild Alaskan rivers from the start. Most of our pioneered river trips have become classics for the local whitewater community, like the daily ‘Lionshead’ section of the Matanuska river and the infamous 3rd canyon of ‘Six Mile Creek’. Get out on the water with NOVA Alaska Guides. Half-day tours offered twice daily with morning and afternoon whitewater trips on Six Mile Creek and Lionshead. Multi-day trips offered on the Copper River, Matanuska River, Chickaloon River, and Talkeetna River. All NOVA operated river tours are located on free flowing natural waterways of Alaska.

Single-Day Trips • Multi-Day Excursions

Highly experienced

Our guides are not interns. We value our guides as professionals earning a real livable wage. They exercise the highest levels of experience, training and professionalism in the industry, some for decades, including high level credentials with multiple certificates, training, and requirements for each discipline.

Safety Oriented

Safety is paramount at NOVA and has always been our number one priority. We have hosted Swift Water Rescue courses annually for guides, government agencies and the community for decades. Providing top of the line safety equipment, knowledge and basic training for guests and proper guide training to ensure each trip is a safe trip.

Unique Tours

Alaska’s first and only multi-generational family owned and operated river company, still under original ownership for over 46 years. The family sons are now running the business and are proud to be born and raised Alaskans!

Combination Trips

Book two separate tours with NOVA and receive 10% off the highest cost trip! Matanuska Glacier tours and whitewater rafting trips like the ‘Lionshead’, are located in the same area of Alaska! Making a combo opportunity to have two epic Alaskan experiences in the same day! Rafting in the morning and a glacier adventure in the afternoon or vice versa. Discounts applied at trip check-in with balance due

Getting to your Nova Tour

Location Information

The meeting points vary greatly between trips. Please refer to which trip you are going on, and use these locations to find the meetup spot. If you have additional questions, please contact us.


Start location is near Hope, Alaska

Seward Highway and Hope Highway Intersection, Hope AK 99605

NOTE: Our Six Mile Creek whitewater trips meet at a public rest area, about 100 meters from the Seward & Hope Hwy intersection, on the Hope Road. 1.5 hours south of Anchorage. See map for details. 

MATAnuska Glacier & River Trips


38100 W Glenn Highway, Glacier View, AK 99674

Located 96.5 miles north of Anchorage, this is the staging area for all Matanuska glacier and river trips.

  • NOVA’s River rafting season is June 1st through August 20th.
  • NOVA’s Glacier tour season is June 1st through Sept 10th.
  • NOVA is an advocate and steward for keeping wild places in Alaska wild. Please follow responsible travel and ‘leave no trace’ ethics when visiting these amazing places.

Rave Reviews


This whitewater rafting excursion on the Matanuska River was a blast. The guides were very energetic and friendly. The program was run professionally and they provided proper training to get us ready for the rapids. I would recommend this even if you’ve never whitewater drafted before.

Michael M. | Trip date: August 2020

Best ever! Arnie and Maddie were beyond fantastic; experienced, knowledgeable, and fun. We hiked further into the glacier than expected and saw amazing views, while learning and laughing! Highly recommend!

Flyyn K. | Trip date: September 2020

We had the best time on our ice climbing tour with Arnie. He was very professional, informative and helpful on our first ice climbing experience, ensuring our safety the whole duration of the hike. I am terrified of heights but found the experience to be so enjoyable and breathtaking, mainly because we had such a great guide. It was a fun day and I would definitely recommend this hike 100%! Great views and excellent unique activity to do in Alaska.

Jean C. | Trip date: August 2020