Privately Guided Mendenhall Glacier Trek

Experience the Mendenhall Glacier Up Close & Personal – With Your Own Private Guide!

Day Trip
Up to 9-hours

Hiking, Glacier Trekking

Custom glacier trekking and hiking

Group size determines price.

Physical Challenge

Meet at Main Office for tour transport

Experience The Trip

The Private Mendenhall Glacier Trek begins with a 4-mile hike through the Tongass National Forest. The largest temperate rainforest in the world, the Tongass is dominated by towering Sitka Spruce and Hemlock Trees. As you follow your private guide through the dense vegetation, around beaver ponds, and up rock scrambles, the trail becomes less defined as you head into wilderness.

This hiking tour is strenuous and requires excellent balance and sure-footedness. While total elevation gain is only 800 feet, the terrain is steep, uneven, slippery, and rocky. We’ll cover 4 miles, each way, in approximately 2-2.5 hours. If your private group needs to go faster or slower, or spend more time taking the perfect photo, your private guide can customize this experience to meet your needs.

As you emerge from the forest and approach the final ridge, the jagged face of the Mendenhall Glacier bursts into view, it’s river of ice coursing behind it. We’ll strap on micro-spikes at the toe of the glacier and embark on a guide trek to explore an array of glacial features. These features may include moulins, crevasses, and ice caves, as available. Because the glacier is in a state of constant change not all features may be present or accessible. Everyday is different on the ice!

After an adventure on the glacier, we’ll hike back via the West Glacier Trail and provide transportation back to your pick-up location.

Waterfall hike to Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier trek 2
Mendenhall Glacier trek 5
Mendenhall Glacier hiking 34
Jacob on Mendenhall Glacier
Above & Beyond glacier guide favorite trips

Privately guided glacier trek tours are limited to 12 people. If you would like to book a larger group, please inquire to make a special departure.

The Trip Itinerary

Up to 9 hours

30 Minutes

Meet at Main Office

Van transportation to the West Glacier Trailhead

30 Minutes

Gear outfitting & Orientation

Get to know your guide and gear!

Questions about gear sizing?

2 hours 15 minutes

Hike Approximately 4 miles to the Glacier

A fun jaunt through the temperate rainforest via the West Glacier Trail with your own private guide!

1-2 Hours

Glacier trekking & Exploration

Strap on the micro-spiks, grab your trekking poles, and traverse the glacial ice on your own private adventure!

2 hours 15 minutes

Return Hike to the Trail Head

Don’t worry – it’s mostly downhill!

30 Minutes

Van Transport back to Pick-Up Location

Practical Info

Client Pickup Information

In accordance with our COVID-19 mitigation policy, all 2021 guided trips will meet at our main office location at their scheduled tour start time for outfitting and transportation to/from tour site.  Please contact our office for meeting location details, parking, and information.

Our centralized downtown meeting location is the “C” Sign, located directly between the base of the Mount Roberts Tramway and the green Taku Smokeries building near the cruise ship terminal. All clients cruising to Juneau will be picked up here.

Clients arriving at AJ Dock:

Clients arriving on cruise ships docking at the AJ Dock with 30 minutes or less between their ship’s arrival time and ABAK’s trip departure time will be picked up directly from the pier at the AJ Dock.

Clients staying Locally:

Clients staying at major hotels in the Mendenhall Valley, Downtown, Airbnb or VRBO please contact us at 907-364-2333 for details on meeting location.

This is the "C" sign. Right by the tram.


2 people: $465 per person + 5% local sales tax = $488.25 per person 

3-6 people: $315 per person + 5% local sales tax = $330.75 per person 

7-12 people: $285 per person + 5% local sales tax = $299.25 per person 

Group Size: Minimum of 2, Maximum of 12

Minimum Age:  8 years old

Clients must be able to hike for at least 6 hours/9 miles round-trip on steep, rocky, slippery, uneven terrain carrying a 10 lbs backpack, and provide their own hiking boots with adequate ankle support. 

Included In The Price

  • Professional guides
  • Roundtrip van transport from meeting location
  • US Forest Service permits
  • Rain gear (hooded jacket, rubber boots and pants)
  • Hearty, healthy snacks, & bottled water
  • All glacier safety gear including helmet, micro-spikes, harness, and trekking poles if needed.

Not Included In Price

  • Boots! Clients must provide their own hiking boots for this trip.
  • Hot shower at the end of the day. But you can book your stay with us.
  • Professional Photography
  • Gratuity for your Private Guide: If you feel your guide went Above and Beyond to facilitate an exceptional experience, a gratuity is a welcomed way to show your appreciation.

Important Notes

  • This trip operates in all weather conditions (barring unsafe conditions, to be determined by ABAK) – it is very important to dress to get wet.
  • Clients must disclose information regarding pertinent medical conditions/history, allergies and any type of restriction or limitation that might introduce a higher degree of challenge on this trip.
  • A specific amount of time on the ice cannot be guaranteed. The amount of time on the glacier is dependent on the group’s pace and weather conditions.
  • Accessing ice caves, moulins, or any glacial feature is not guaranteed: Due to dynamic nature of the Mendenhall Glacier features are in constant change. Your guide will assess each available feature accessibility to determine if it’s safe to explore.
  • The Mendenhall Glacier is receding on a daily basis and due to this we are seeing significant changes to the surface of the glacier. There are very limited safe areas to access and explore on the ice with crampons. Safety is our number one priority and we can not guarantee every trip will hike on the glacier. We assess conditions day to day. You will at least get to touch it and set foot on it. In addition, the edge of the glacier has some of the most stunning features; caves, tunnels, tubes, and crevasses which create those beautiful blue colors.
  • Every participant must sign a Release of Liability/Assumption of Risk Form at the start of the trip. Alterations and/or deletions to the form are not permitted
  • Due to various fitness abilities and weather variables, we prefer clients not schedule other excursions directly before or after our trip. Please let us know if your clients have another excursion booked on the same day.
  • Due to inherent risk involved in this type of tour, pregnant guests are not permitted to participate.
  • Clients interested in an introduction to ice climbing, please book the Glacier Blue Trek and Climb.
  • Clients must provide their own sturdy hiking boots for this trip.
  • Clients must be able to hike for at least 6 hours/9 miles round trip on steep, rocky, slippery, and uneven terrain carrying a 10 lbs backpack.

Departure Times:
Departure times available daily depending on your schedule.

Dates of Operation: May 1st – Sept. 30th, 2021

*Due to diminishing daylight hours in September, only morning departures will be offered after August 15th.

Group Size:
Minimum of 2, Maximum of 12

Minimum Age: 
8 years old. Children need to be in good enough physical condition to hike 9 miles roundtrip on their own. The smallest shoe size we can accommodate with crampons is size 2.

Activity Level:
Challenging & Strenuous – Clients need to be in good physical shape and able to climb over rocks, slippery surfaces, and have no major mobility issues. No hiking experience necessary.

Information Needed:

  • Name of client(s)
  • Cell phone contact number of client
  • Desired trip date and departure time
  • Name of cruise ship or hotel
  • Clients’ ages, especially anyone under the age of 18
  • Rain gear & shoe sizes (please specify male or female)
  • Any pertinent medical issues, allergies or dietary restrictions
  • Primary language spoken, if other than English
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