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Mendenhall Glacier
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NameMendenhall Glacier
Address8510 Mendenhall Loop Rd
Juneau, AK 99801
Brief DescriptionThe Mendenhall Glacier is the most popular visitor attraction in Southeast Alaska and is a short distance from downtown. Visitors may choose from several shuttles, guided tours, and public transportation to enjoy the glacier and the surrounding area.
TypeAttraction
CategoryTour
DescriptionThe Mendenhall Glacier is the most popular visitor attraction in Southeast Alaska and is a short distance from downtown. Visitors may choose from several shuttles, guided tours, and public transportation to enjoy the glacier and the surrounding area.

The Mendenhall is an excellent opportunity for visitors to experience the power of ice to shape our environment. Standing in from of this ancient river of ice also allows one to feel what Earth was like during a colder time. The visitor center building is a treasure trove of information and displays to help explain the formation and process of glaciers and how their retreat or advance can change eco-systems.

Lucky visitors can witness the calving of 250 year old ice into Mendenhall Lake, where these fresh-water icebergs float with only ten percent of their mass exposed above the water line. Get up close and personal to these massive structures via kayak or canoe; wrangle your own iceberg from smaller pieces floating near shore; or watch as these huge chunks (think 10-story building) melt and turn over in the lake. They are incredible sights to see.

Or choose to see the glacier from the air via a helicopter or fixed-wing flightseeing tour. Helicopters touch down on the ice, and visitors disembark for a guided tour of the glacier. If the opportunity presents itself, make sure to taste the water from a meltwater pond or stream. Cold, clear, and perfect, the water will be the best you’ve ever tasted.

A bonus for visitors at the Mendenhall is the opportunity to see black bears in the area which come to feast on the salmon spawning in Steep Creek. Elevated walkways over the creek allow people to watch bears in their natural environment, catching salmon, teaching their cubs to fish, napping in trees, snacking on salmon, or just wandering the grounds. A word of caution: they are wild animals and should not be approached. However, they have acclimated to human presence and allow visitors to get a peek into the world of wild bears.

Several hiking trails -- from easy to difficult -- are accessible from the visitor center area. Hike up above the Mendenhall Glacier to get a great elevated advantage, and enjoy the flora and fauna of the Tongass National Forest. Witness how plants progress after the retreat of a glacier; see the markers showing the Mendenhall's location throughout time; and breathe in the fresh, clean air of the rainforest.

A visit to the Mendenhall Glacier is one of the highlights of any trip to Alaska, and one you won’t want to miss.
Phone 1(907) 586-8800
Emailr10_ketchikan_Alaska_info@fs.fed.us
Handicapped AccessibleNo
Websitewww.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/districts/mendenhall
Last Updated12/11/2014
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Mendenhall Glacier - Juneau, AK 99801

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What's Nearby?

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