What is so unique about the Mendenhall Glacier?
The Mendenhall Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. A drive to the glacier will leave you at Mendenhall Lake, which is filled with icebergs. From there, it’s just a one-mile hike to the glacier itself. The hike is amazing; it passes Nugget Falls, an immense waterfall that empties into the lake.
How do I get there from my cruise ship?
Most cruise lines offer Mendenhall as a shore excursion. There are also several private tours, many of which leave right from the nearby harbor.
What activities should I do there?
One of the most popular activities is probably the guided tours of the glacier that take you onto and into the glacier—you’ll hike across it and venture down into its deep blue crevasses. There are also helicopter tours that will give you unbelievable views of the entire Juneau icefield, which encompasses some 1,500 miles, and some also include guided glacier treks. And for something a little more relaxed, there is the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, which has interpretive exhibits, guided hikes and programs for children.
Are there any events that take place at the glacier?
The Visitor Center hosts several lectures throughout the year on topics from glacial science to world travel. In the summer, the visitor center becomes a very popular place to view the salmon runs, when throngs of fish flood the streams that pass through the area.