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Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

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Sugar Land
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187 posts
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Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

We will be in Juneau in late July with our four children (ages 6-12), four parents, and most likely a few more family members of various ages. We plan to take the $14 shuttle bus to the glacier and have the more active members hike and the less active ones take the Photo point trail and then head back to the cruise ship. On the Mendenhall website it looks like the Moraine ecology & trail of time trails would be reasonable hikes. Do one of these include the waterfall that I've seen mentioned on various TA posts? Are there other trails we should consider? My kids have hiked before, with elevation. If we stick to the above trails, can we get away with just sneakers or do we really need our hiking boots? (I'm trying to minimize luggage & airline baggage fees).

If the weather is nice, we may take the tram. We are also considering a "gold-panning" tour-I'm trying to avoid booking that through the cruise to save $, but haven't found many options yet. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Sugar Land
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1. Re: Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

Quick update about our Juneau excursion-our party of 9 took the $14 round-trip shuttle to the glacier. We walked along the trail of time and got to see a black bear and her two cubs hanging out at the creek. We took the Photo point trail, and enjoyed the beautiful view of the glacier and waterfall. Our kids climbed some of the rocks. they had their hiking boots on, but they weren't needed-sneakers would have been fine. We did not go to the visitors center.

We ended up panning for gold in Skagway, at Caribou crossing in Canada-lots of fun!

blueahh
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2. Re: Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

Thanks for your update. We'll be there next week with our 7 and 10 year old. Glad to hear that they'll be able to make the trek.

MD
2 posts
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3. Re: Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

Could you tell me how much it was to pan for gold at caribou crossing? Thanks

Sugar Land
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4. Re: Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

I forget the individual costs, but I think it was $28 for our family to enter Caribou crossing's museum, husky area & gold-panning area, plus $10/person to gold-pan. We have four kids, so our grand total was $68. My husband & I weren't charged for gold-panning. I think it was $30/person to ride the dogsled on a gravel trail, which we didn't do. It was much more economical than the gold-panning options offered on our cruise ship, plus we had more flexibility with our schedule.

Breckenridge...
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5. Re: Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

Can you hike onto the glacier on your own? I am considering the float trip by the glacier, but my 8 year old wants to walk on the glacier (I really don't want to pay $400 pp to do that on a heli-tour!!).

Sugar Land
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6. Re: Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

No, you can't hike onto the Mendenhall glacier on your own. We signed up for a flight tour of Denali NP with Fly Denali that included a glacier landing, but on our flight day, the glaciers were not safe to land on due to high temperatures. We were given a significant discount and still had a wonderful flight tour of Denali NP, but it was disappointing.I would highly recommend a flight tour of Denali NP, which you can book independently of your cruise operator for less $.

Juneau,Alaska
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7. Re: Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

You can hike to the glacier with out a guide or helicopter you can hike to the face of the ice and touch it. Its been years since I have done it but my children make it a regular summer excursion. It takes about 1/2 hour.

8. Re: Family Hiking at Mendenhall glacier/goldpanning

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