Discover the Beauty of Mendenhall Glacier: A Complete Guide

Mendenhall Glacier is a stunning natural wonder located in Juneau, Alaska. This massive glacier is a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike, offering breathtaking views and unique experiences. Whether you’re planning a visit or simply want to learn more about this incredible glacier, our guide has everything you need to know for an unforgettable experience.

Learn about the history and formation of Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier is a product of the last ice age, which ended approximately 10,000 years ago. The glacier was formed by the accumulation of snow and ice over thousands of years, which compressed and transformed into ice. As the glacier grew, it carved out the landscape around it, creating the stunning fjords and valleys that can be seen today. The glacier continues to move and change, with some estimates suggesting that it could disappear entirely within the next century.

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Plan your visit and choose the best time of year to go

Planning your visit to Mendenhall Glacier is crucial to ensure you have the best experience possible. The best time of year to visit is during the summer months, from May to September, when the weather is mild and the days are long. During this time, you can take advantage of activities like hiking, kayaking, and glacier tours. However, be prepared for crowds during peak season. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of April or October. Keep in mind that the glacier is constantly changing, so be sure to check for any closures or safety advisories before your trip.

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Explore the various hiking trails and activities available

Mendenhall Glacier offers a variety of hiking trails and activities for visitors to enjoy. The West Glacier Trail is a popular option, offering stunning views of the glacier and surrounding mountains. For a more challenging hike, try the East Glacier Trail, which takes you to the top of the glacier for breathtaking views. If hiking isn’t your thing, consider taking a kayak tour to get up close and personal with the glacier. You can also take a helicopter tour for a bird’s eye view of the glacier and surrounding area. Whatever activity you choose, be sure to dress appropriately and bring plenty of water and snacks.


Take a guided tour to learn even more about the glacier and its surroundings

If you want to learn even more about Mendenhall Glacier and its surroundings, consider taking a guided tour. There are a variety of tour options available, including float plane & hike tours, kayak tours, and hiking tours. Many of these tours are led by knowledgeable guides who can provide insight into the history and geology of the glacier, as well as the flora and fauna of the surrounding area. Some tours even include a visit to the nearby Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, where you can learn more about the glacier and its impact on the local ecosystem.

Respect the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles

When visiting Mendenhall Glacier, it’s important to remember that you are a guest in a fragile ecosystem. To minimize your impact on the environment, it’s important to follow Leave No Trace principles. This means packing out all of your trash, staying on designated trails, and avoiding disturbing wildlife or vegetation. By respecting the environment, you can help ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of Mendenhall Glacier as well.

Explore the glaciers around Juneau with Above & Beyond Alaska. Our experienced guides are ready to help you explore Alaska’s glaciers safely in a group or private tour. Book today!