Enjoy a stunning vacation experience at Glacier Mendenhall

Mendenhall Glacier is a hidden gem located in Alaska, United States. This is the least explored tourist attraction that you can keep in the list of unseen tourist places of 2023.

This glacier is about 15 miles from Juneau, the capital of Alaska. Juneau is not connected to any road network, despite being the capital of Alaska, one of the states of the United States. The main reason for this is that this city is situated in a very rough and mountainous expanse and is very far from the rest of the states and Canada also comes in the middle. Here all the necessary things are delivered by plane or ship.

A large part of the state of Alaska is covered with ice, especially in the northern part of Juneau, also known as the Juneau Icefield. More than 30 glaciers originate from this icefield, with two glaciers Mendenhall Glacier and Lemon Creek Glacier easily visible from local roads.

Mendenhall Glacier is hidden vacation destination in Alaska near Juneau
Mendenhall Glacier

Where is Mendenhall Glacier located?

Mendenhall Glacier is 15 miles north of Juneau and is located in the Southeast region of Alaska. This glacier is located in the Mendenhall Valley, which is more than 13 miles in length.

This glacier and the surrounding 5800 acres of land are protected under the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area under the Tongass National Forest.

This glacier is slowly melting due to the change in the climate. In the last few decades, its front part has melted and reduced in length and width.

Mendenhall Glacier is a very lovely, unseen tourist attraction. If you have never met this glacier, then you must come here once in your life. This will be a very captivating and memorable experience in your life.

What to do in Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier Ice Caves

When you meet Mendenhall Glacier, then seeing the ice caves here will be a great experience of your life. When the meltwater flows inside the glacier, caves are formed inside the ice which can be small or big in size and their size and beauty mesmerize you.

These caves are constantly changing as the ice of the glacier keeps on melting and the water keeps on freezing seasonally.

When ice caves form, they persist for months, or weeks, or may disintegrate within a few days. Therefore, when you visit Mendenhall Glacier, you don’t need to get to see ice caves 100%.

If ice caves will be accessible and safe, then the officials will allow you to go inside. If you get a chance to see these ice caves, then never miss it. The beauty of its shape inside, and the beautiful blue-colored ice walls will be the best part of your tour.

Mendenhall Glacier Hike

Just like the fun of exploring the caves built inside the glacier is different, similarly enjoying hiking above the glacier is a great experience in this tour in itself. People come here from far to do Mendenhall Glacier trekking. This trek is tiring and difficult. You will also need guts here but 8 to 9 hours of this trek will be the best moments of your life.

The initial half of this track passes through Tongass National Forest. Its total elevation is 800 feet and the track is about 8 miles long.

In the last leg of this tiring trek, when you reach the top of the glacier, you will get to see beautiful landscapes, blue ice, and the melodious sound of waterfalls falling from the glacier. Here you can enjoy fun activities like sliding and many more.

If you are not familiar with this place then always do Mendenhall Glacier guided trek. The guide will help you complete your journey safely. If you want to complete this trek according to your time and convenience, then you can also do Mendenhall Glacier Private trek here in which you will have a private guide.

Mendenhall Glacier Kayak and Paddling

view of Mendenhall Glacier with nugget fall in Juneau of Alaska
Mendenhall Glacier with a view of Nugget Fall

Doing adventure activities like canoeing, kayaking, and peddling at Mendenhall Lake will be a unique and majestic experience of your life.

Kayaking in a Lake filled with icebergs, taking in the view of Nugget Falls, and viewing the face of the Mendenhall Glacier will all make for an unforgettable experience during this activity.

This activity is about 3.5 hours and you have to go kayaking for 2 hours. The best time for kayaking here is from late April to early October.

It costs around $250 for adults and $200 for children. Many tour operators manage these adventure activities.

Mendenhall Glacier dog sledding

You can have a memorable dog sledding experience with Alaskan Huskies to the high mountains in the snowy plains of Alaska at Mendenhall Glacier.

This activity is done by many tour operators, especially with helicopter rides and camping in remote areas.

Mendenhall Glacier helicopter ride

Enjoying the view of the Mendenhall Glacier and the Snowy Mountains of Alaska with a helicopter flight is a thrilling experience in itself.

Many tour operators take you here for a spectacular view of the area by helicopter which is a 25 to 30 minutes flight. Later, they land you at the campsite in the icy plains full of calm and natural beauty. Here you can enjoy dog ​​sledding and other activities. The time of this entire tour is about 3 to 4 hours.

Mendenhall Glacier Whale watching

The whale is a giant sea animal that is 14 to 17 meters long and weighs about 30,000 kilograms. Watching it is a thrilling experience of your life.

When you reach Juneau, you can see it in its natural habitat extension by going on a private boat. You must do this experience during Mendenhall Glacier Tour.

Mendenhall Glacier Entrance Fee

A Visitor Center has been built on the Mendenhall Glacier which is open throughout the year. From here you can have a mesmerizing view of the face of the Mendenhall Glacier. Its entrance is $5 which you have to pay during the summer.

How to visit Mendenhall Glacier

To visit Mendenhall Glacier you need to reach Juneau first. Juneau is not connected with other states of the United States by road. So you can reach here by flight or cruise on Alaska Marine Highway.

After reaching Juneau you can visit Mendenhall Glacier by following ways.

By Car

You can rent a car here and drive to Mendenhall Glacier. Many free parking facilities and spots are available here.

By Shuttle

Shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier is available at every 30 minutes from Juneau downtown and their pickup and drop points are usually located at the Cruise Ship terminal.

By Boat

You can customize your Mendenhall Glacier visit by boat and it can also include a whale-watching tour and other activities if you want to add.

By Helicopter

You can visit Mendenhall Glacier by helicopter providing you with a spectacular view of Juneau Icefield and it usually includes other activities like camping and dog sledding.

Mendenhall Glacier Facts

Mendenhall Glacier is about 22 kilometers long. But due to global warming and environmental change, it is slowly melting.

The Mendenhall Glacier has decreased by about 2.82 km since 1929.

Mendenhall Lake started to form in 1900 due to the melting of the Mendenhall Glacier. Which till now has become about 2.4 km long, 1.6 km wide, and 220 feet deep.

In 1891 it was named Mendenhall Glacier in honor of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall. Earlier it was known as Sitaantaagu which means “The Glacier Behind the Town”. The natives here also call it Aak’wtaaksit. In 1879, John Muir, a naturalist, named it Auk Glacier.

Mendenhall Glacier is located in Alaska. But Alaska was previously part of Russia. Later in 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States at a very low price.

Read this also

Mendenhall Glacier FAQs

  1. How far is Mendenhall Glacier from Juneau?

    Mendenhall Glacier is 12 miles away from Juneau and you can reach here by hiring a car or via shuttle, boat, or helicopter.

  2. Why is Mendenhall Glacier famous?

    Mendenhall Glacier is famous for its beautiful ice caves, Mendenhall Lake, and Icefield above it. You can enjoy many activities here such as Mendenhall Glacier trekking, camping, kayaking, and canoeing in the lake. The spectacular view of Juneau Icefield is amazing by helicopter.

  3. What are the tourist attractions in Juneau?

    While visiting Mendenhall Glacier you should also explore Juneau City. Eagle Beach, Glacier Garden, Douglas City Museum, Waterfront Promenade and Franklin Street, Alaskan Brewing Company, and many more can be visited during your Mendenhall Glacier and Juneau tour.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top