The story behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee stuck on Knik Glacier



You might have seen by now that a first-gen Jeep Grand Cherokee wandered off an Alaska trail and had to be retrieved via helicopter last week.

It was stuck about 16 miles into a route that runs by Knik Glacier, sunk into the silt and meltwater with no other way out.

I spoke with the Black Hawk charter company that assisted with the job for my initial report, which explained that the chopper alone cost $8,250 to deploy.

Now, we have more info from the tow company that executed it all, as well as Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources.

Read Jones’ story of the escapade at The Drive.


  1. Must have been a rental. By the way, there’s a big difference in awd and 4wd. Alaskans sort that out. Need posi and lockouts. The name Jeep implies nothing anymore.

  2. I’ve been back there and on one occasion ran into Mark Whatley (Alaska’s FJ40, FJ60 and MatSu Valley backcountry trail guru) as he was rescuing an FJ40 in water nearly up to the roof.

    Sounds like our protagonist was completely unprepared and maybe a tad stupid. It also sounds like he took a good crack at fabricating an unbelievable story to make it look like somebody else did it. That boy has political acumen for sure.

  3. Just some newbie who got in over his head. The Jeep had bald tires too. The $20K rescue bill should get his attention and maybe he’ll think next time.

    • Only those who die doing something incredibly stupid and have not had the chance to produce any offspring are eligible for the Darwin Award.

  4. I heard that helicopter and thought it was just another thoughtless and greedy helicopter tour company disturbing our peace along the Knik River. Glad to know the real story, tho I do wonder what this guy was thinking. Obviously he wasn’t.

    • Disturbing YOUR peace. Comedy.

      I bet a dozen donuts helicopter companies and other guiding outfits have operated in the Knik and Lake George glacier areas loooonnngg before you moved there.

      Hell, I was guiding that glacier with a helicopter in 1999.

      YOUR peace. I’m guessing Kalifornia.

      • Knik Karen, my husband alerted me regarding your angry comment.

        Nope, born and raised in Alaska and simply looking for a quiet place for my retirement years. It’s getting more difficult to find because we’re all squashed together on the small percentage of land that our greedy government allows us to have in this largest of all the states.

        As for helicopter noise…next to airboats, it’s the worst level of noise pollution. Know that when you fly your tourists around, especially when you take short cuts over our properties, you are pissing people off.

      • Knik Karen,
        Wow! back in ’99 you “guided” chopper flights? Wow, what a real Sourdough you are… Some of us who were born in the territory of Alaska to Parents and Grandparents who were in Alaska in1899 find your response to Bess a bit underwhelming. Perhaps you might dig a little deeper into your Sociopathic play book and come up with a better response to folks like Bess who have legitimate concerns. Absent that you just appear arrogant and silly like any garden variety Californian/ Washingtonian Johnny come lately Jerk.
        You claim you guided Helicopter Tours, were you driving the van to the airport or the ticket puncher at the desk? Please respond if you have something constructive to add to the argument.

  5. I bet the occupants feeling silly for being too Lazy not to leave the car at parking area, so they can hike it up by foot. Then they wouldn’t be embarrassed being that guy who gullibly thought his Jeep Cherokee was strong enough to handle Alaska terrain. However they don’t know all those car commercials of cars blazing through rough terrains are driving with a green screen behind it in a movie studio.

    • Elucidate us, Mr. T. What was the clod thinking when he slithered back there w/ a full set of baldies and a half set of skill? Help us better understand your veiled threat (from behind a screen) as well, Nancy. Help us better understand too the lie about the vehicle having been stolen with the key all the while firmly ensconced in his own pocket.

      Your buddy appears to be quite the rocket scientist. Be a good boy and ask him not to breed.

    • Which Comments are full of Hate? The ones about Bald Tires or folks objecting to Industrial Helicopter Tours?
      Perhaps it was the the Knik Karen fellows comment? BTW John T., I posted my full name.

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