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“Amazing Blue Ice Cave/Walking a Glacier! THANK YOU Above and Beyond Alaska!!!”

Above & Beyond Alaska
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Juneau Shore Excursion: Tongass Wildlife Kayaking Adventure
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A huge variety of both day and overnight trips offered throughout the Juneau area. Including guided glacier trekking, ice climbing, wildlife viewing, and sea kayaking. We cater to all ages and abilities. Providing quality, small groups, and off the beaten path experiences. We are the top rated wilderness guide service in the area and welcome large groups, photographers, and production companies. We offer custom trips too! Book with the company who has worked with the Travel Channel, BBC, Nat Geo, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and so many more! We also operate the Alaska Boat & Kayak Center, Juneau's only kayak rental and retail shop located in Auke Bay boat harbor.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
63 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Amazing Blue Ice Cave/Walking a Glacier! THANK YOU Above and Beyond Alaska!!!”
Reviewed 31 August 2010

Walking in a blue ice cave was on our bucket list so imagine our excitement at realizing a trip to Alaska would give us that opportunity. Walking ON a glacier was a bonus!
We knew we could walk 7 miles in 7 hours, having done that recently. But a final rocky scramble to approach the Mendenhall Glacier was daunting. We are seniors in our sixty’s and not in super shape. We are walkers and bicyclers, but only on the flat at the beach.

Becky at A&B answered my many e-mail questions and patiently explained requirements and options. Becky was brutally honest about the physical requirements of the hike, asked us to watch the video on their website (which includes the rocky scramble), and definitely did not push us to sign-up for any type of tour.

Based on another Tripadvisor review (thank-you reviewer Charg47), we decided to book a private tour & guide, thinking we would give it our best shot. In the worse case, if we did not make it to the glacier, we would have better views of the glacier than from the Mendenhall Visitors Center… and a nice walk in the woods.

Our guide Cory was wonderful - a Juneau native with a great personality and tons of patience. Cory is a knowledgeable guide, who not only answered 7 hours of questions about animal and human life in Alaska, but also knew the trails to divert us twice around high water covering the original and the secondary trails. ...And Cory got us over that steep rocky hill.

It was worth every step!
The view of the glacier from the top of the hill was amazing. Pictures cannot do it justice. You have to be there to feel the wind, smell the air, hear the power of all the waterfalls, and feel the immensity of the glacier and landscape around you.

Standing under blue ice is amazing! And, with direction from Cory, walking on the glacier was a walk in the park! Much easier than we had imagined. (I chose the picture of us standing atop blue ice on top of the glacier as my Tripadvisor picture. The glacier is so enormous you can barely see us there!)

We filled our water bottle from a stream on top of the glacier and tasted the glacier. We walked on blue ice. We looked down blue crevasses. We were surrounded by icy beauty, formerly alien to us. This is a worthy bucket list item!

Be sure to wear hiking footwear. We wore ankle high hiking shoes but probably should have had hiking boots as recommended by the web site and Becky. You really need the right soles for traction on rocky slopes.

All the other equipment we needed was provided by Above & Beyond and worked flawlessly.
Cory made an experience of a life time, the very best it could be.
We are ever so appreciative of Cory and Becky at Above & Beyond!

Note: As of August 2010, you cannot book Above & Beyond through a cruise tour.

Note2: We had the benefit of possibly the best day of the summer, but I think it would still be an amazing experience on a less perfect day. The weather does not affect your ability to “smell the air, hear the power of all the waterfalls, and feel the immensity of the glacier and landscape around you”.

5 Thank Ali2Raleigh_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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497 reviews from our community

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English first
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“An above and beyond experience with a company called Above and Beyond Alaska”
Reviewed 29 August 2010

We signed up for the Premium Kayaking and Whale Watching Expedition, which was a 6 hour event on boat and in Kayaks. It was above any hopes we had for this excursion and it was beyond our greatest expectations. We were met at the cruise ship dock in Juneau, transported to Above and Beyond and outfitted with quality kayaking gear. All we needed to bring was comfortable clothing and our camera. We met Corey, our guide, who took us to the dock where we met boat/business owner Sean. It was obvious from the get-go that the goal of these guys was to make our trip the best that it could be. Since both were natives of Juneau, they were very knowledeable and shared info freely related to the area and the wildlife. They knew many popular areas where whales could be sighted, and also knew about several less frequented places where we viewed wildlife virtually by ourselves. They were sensitive to our kayaking abilities and what we hoped to experience that day. Seals, otters, eagles, herons, dolphins, orcas, and humpback whales - we saw it all. What a day!!

2 Thank Marvw229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
26 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Awesome and unique experience”
Reviewed 29 August 2010

I did the Mendenhall Glacier HIke, Trek and Climb. I thought this was a fantastic experiene. The hike started out in the Tongass National Rainforest. It's relatively easy the first half hour, but then it gets pretty treacherous and slippery (especially if it's rainy and foggy). Rocks are very slippery. You absolutely should be in decent shape to do this hike. Once we got to the glacier, we had a chance to visit underneath in the ice caves which was GORGEOUS. The trek was a lot of fun and pretty easy. We had some extra time, so they taught us to ice climb. It was a unique and wonderful experience.

I was a bit nervous at first to do this, but Becky (the owner) was really helpful and willing to answer all of my questions. The guides were also VERY good, and knew what they were doing. They were also very helpful and made us feel safe during the hike and trek. This is actually why I'm writing the review. Overall, the experience was absolutely wonderful and unique, and the staff were really nice and helpful. Just remember to bring good hiking boots. They provide rain gear if you don't have any.

The only criticism I have is that it was relatively expensive ($189), considering you are accessing a public park system. The snacks were also sparse and unhealthy (white bagels and fruit snacks). I think they could provide healthier food since you spend several hours hiking. Still very much worth it overall though, and I would recommend it.

Thank ssm17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Mendenhall Glacier Hike and Trek August 14th with 75 degree temperatures!”
Reviewed 28 August 2010

A+ guide company, easy to work with and since my son and I were coming from a cruise ship the staff on the phone whom I was booking my trip made sure I understood this is not a 1 mile paved trail walk. Our guide Gabe was very knowledgable and my 15 year old son really appreciated someone down to earth, yet serious about climbing. By far this was our favorite part of the cruise and we'd do it again in a second. I even heard, "Mom, I'm moving to Juneau!" What an impression you made on my teenager!

I definately recommend this climb for anyone who loves the outdoors, is in above average shape and likes to be adventureous.

Thank bronco031969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Unbelievably beautiful!”
Reviewed 25 August 2010

We had signed up for the hike, but lucked out that the path was flooded, which required us to kayak to the glacier instead. Floating in between icebergs of various shapes, sizes and shades of blue in a lake surrounded by mountains, the glacier, waterfalls and magical mist was surreal and breathtakingly beautiful. Although it was very hard work to paddle in the cold rain, carry heavy equipment and climb a steep, slippery rocky surface, the experience of trekking on the glacier was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the wildest thing I've ever done! Our guide Dawn was eager to share her knowledge of the local nature and science of the glacier, and went out of her way to show us special places on the lake and the ice. If you can do it, get on Mendenhall instead of just looking at the glacier from the far distance of the Visitor Center...you won't regret it! (Tip: wear waterproof boots.)

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

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