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“Don't Pass up the Mendenhall Glacier”

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
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Juneau Shore Excursion: City and Mendenhall Glacier Tour with Seafood Lunch or...
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Mendenhall Glacier Rafting Tour from Juneau
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Mendenhall Glacier Smartphone Photography and Hiking Tour
Ranked #2 of 87 things to do in Juneau
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Mendenhall Glacier is easily accessible via roads from the local airport, cruise ship terminal and state ferry terminal. Our facility and lands are managed by the federal government through the United States Forest Service. Federal passes are accepted and sold s well as daily passes. There is a visitor center with a theater showing a 15-minute film on Mendenhall Glacier, a bookstore operated by nonprofit organization Discovery Southeast, and exhibits on wildlife, history, and glacial and geological changes. Rangers provide talks at various indoor and outdoor sites in summer. Open hours in summer are daily 8am to 7:30pm. Due to wildlife and bears, no food is allowed outdoors from April-November. There is no beverage or food service available to prevent bears from becoming food-conditioned. Nearby Steep Creek is the spawning stream for wild sockeye salmon from late July through early September. Later in the fall, a run of coho salmon spawn in the creek. Porcupines can be seen foraging on leaves in deciduous trees. Beavers are visible early in the morning and in the evening. Learn about Alaska and the natural world around the glacier and lake. Enjoy a one-hour hike to 400-foot-tall Nugget Falls. Other trails lead to different habitats. In winter, the visitor center is open Friday-Sunday from 10am to 4pm and closed on federal holidays.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Stairs / lift
Reviewed 12 May 2010

We just got back from our first Alaska cruise, and had seen glaciers before in Alberta. However, this one is different and well worth the look. The glacier "calves" small icebergs into the lake in front of the glacier. Makes for quite a nice view from the information centre area. You can book a package tour, or even take a helicopter right on to the glacier. We've walked on one before, so passed on this and just caught a shuttle bus from Juneau. Some tips:

1. The tour buses are poorly organized, and it is a typical US free enterprise free for all. The first "information centre" really isn't, and all they want to do is sell packages. We stopped at the next booth which has no name on it and bought tickets ($12 each return). It turned out to be Juneau Tours, and they were bad. Not at all recommended. They overbook their buses, and the bus itself is a piece of junk. I have heard good thing about Mighty Great Tours (have light blue buses). They are set up just a little further down right at the bottom of the tram. Pass on Juneau tours and go there.

2. Go early. They stopped running buses at 6:30 PM the day we went, and we ran short of time.

3. The Information centre costs $3 and is worth it. It includes a 15 minute film on the history of the glacier.

4. If you are willing to walk a mile or so, the city bus will drop you off about that far from the park.

Hope that helps some,

18  Thank RonAKA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (6,010)
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5,748 - 5,752 of 6,010 reviews

Reviewed 7 December 2009

I recently visited on Thanks Giving and there were no buses or tours operating so I decided to walk from the airport hotel to the Medenhall Glacier. I was told by hotel staff that it was very far but I decided to walk which took about 75mins each way. Very pleasant as there is a cycle path so you do not have to walk on road. The route is very flat and apart from crossing the highway not many cars. There were quite a lot of people jogging, walking their dogs so felt friendly and safe. The glacier was well worth the effort and had lovely views. During November ther were quite a few eagles as an added attraction.

Thank Aussie_MumSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2009

We recently went on inside passage cruise to Alaska, and the highlight of the cruise was visiting the Mendenhall glacier. You can go by bus or by helicopter. You really need to see a glacier if you make the trip the whole way to Alaska..I did and it pretty impressive

Thank graceoliver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2009

Walking on the Mendenhall Glacier was absolutely beautiful. We chose to get there by helicopter, but there are also excursions that reach the glacier surface via a hiking trail, which requires the participants to be in fairly decent shape. The helicopter piece was exciting on its own since we were able to get a great view of Juneau and its surroundings from the air. Walking on the glacier was almost surreal -- the temperature was in the low 50's and the sun was shining which emphasized the beautiful blue of the glacier surface. the guides were excellent and provided a detailed history of the glacier and answered all the questions patiently and thoroughly.

2  Thank jessibearNy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2009

Our visit to the Mendenhall Glacier was one of the highlights of our trip up the Inland Passage in Alaska. The glacier appears as a frozen river of blue ice on its way to the lake that is in the foreground. You can't actually walk on the glacier, but there are great views from all along the shore of the lake. Bear are sometimes seen far across the lake on the other side from the glacier. We saw 2 black bear ambling along. There are many opportunities for great photos in the immediate area. Wear some comfortable tennies or walking shoes; we did see women in heels, but why? A light jacket was all that we needed in Sept. which is at the end of the season.

2  Thank AdventursomeTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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