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Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

Elizabeth, New...
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Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

Not a big strenuous hiker - but hear so much about the falls. So which is better for a city type person?

Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

If I recall the bus costs about seven bucks out to Mendenhall Glacier. Hardly a "hike" to the falls, just a short, flat stroll about 15 mins I think. The "creek" (Sheep? Steep?) is becoming something of a bear viewing spot with black bear often around last summer, depending when you visit if the salmon are there. Also a beaver pond between the creek and the lake.We met others who hired bikes and cycled out from town, thought that would have been nice too.

New England
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2. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

Could you expand a little on where this bear viewing is please? Is it near the Glacier? Thank you.

haines, alaska
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3. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

At the first parking lot, you would walk to the left, there is a wooden deck viewing platform above the creek......black bears can sometimes be seen in that creek when the salmon are running, usually in August.......

Juneau, Alaska
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4. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

the bears are all over. I even get them in my yard :)

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center has a facebook page and they're very proactive, they can provide you more details, but its about a 3/4 mile "hike-walk" out to Nugget Falls. sometimes you can get right up to the falls depending on the water level in the lake. The USPS/USFS just completed upgrading the path so its paved about 2/3rds of the way and there are new bridges and places to sit.

The Mendenhall Air tour of the Glaciers is done by 3 helicopter companies, and you also have Wings Airways doing a float-plane tour leaving from The Wharf and its about a 45 minute flight flown by local, experienced pilots.

Just to warn you, we get rainy & cloudy in the summer! Once middle of June hits, it rains almost daily (but the clouds aren't always here)... so flying up to the Glacier can be hit-or-miss. At least with Wings Airways, they can alter their flight paths to other glaciers (Herbert, hole in the wall, etc) rather than stick to one or two glaciers.

Juneau, Alaska
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259 posts
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5. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

You're talking a big price difference here. Helicopter trips are about $300 per person and up, a discount shuttle bus ticket to the glacier is about $7 each way, taxi fares $35 each way (for up to 7 passengers).

From the parking lot, it's about a 20 min walk each way to the waterfall. They have just finished building the new trail with new bridges over the creeks, and the trail is flat.

From mi-July through September, black bears feed on salmon in the creek on the other side of the parking lot from the falls. There are viewing platforms to protect the bears from the people, so that they can walk underneath and fish in the creek without being disturbed.

More info at

fs.fed.us/r10/…index.shtml

Juneau, Alaska
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6. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

this is going to sound VERY wierd... but its also fun to park at McDonalds and just watch the ravens. I've seen a few get VERY close to customers as they come in and out of the restaurant, I'm waiting for the day one swoops down and actually grabs someones food!

haines, alaska
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7. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

Diverdown, those ravens are crafty little devils......we enjoy watching them here too......we had wrapped the top of our boat motor for the winter with old t-shirts and covered it with a black plastic garbage bag duct-taped over it and one very presistent raven eventually tore through the plastic and pulled out the cotton......they have learned that black plastic bags often contain goodies, poor thing must have been disappointed this time......

They also are drawn to anything orange colored (maybe thinking salmon)....saw one with an orange tennis ball in its beak one day taunting others, kind of like kids playing "keep away".......But then again we don't have a MacDonalds........

Elizabeth, New...
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8. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

Very helpful - thanks.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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9. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

As an old Army Helicopter Crew Chief I say if you have not been on a helicopter flight you are missing life.

Juneau, Alaska
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366 posts
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10. Re: Mendelhall by helicopter and walk vs bus to Mendelhall park

Mombear,

I'd imagine there'd be protests in Haines if you got a McD's up there!!

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