8 Hour Duration
From pick-up to drop-off
Physical Fitness Required
For full-day hiking and glacier traverse
On the stunning Mendenhall Glacier
Complimentary lunch and snacks
Tour Update: The Mendenhall Glacier is receding on a daily basis causing drastic changes to the surface of the glacier. Our site for trekking on the glacier with crampons has continued to get steeper and more challenging each summer. These changes, along with rising lake levels, have left us with very limited safe areas to explore on the ice. Therefore, we can’t guarantee that every trip will get on the glacier. Our rates have been reduced to reflect this change. Safety is our number one priority. If we can’t walk on the glacier, then we will spend more time exploring the glacier up close and hiking around the edges of it safely from the bedrock. This is much closer to the glacier than you would get from the visitor’s center. And, the edge of the glacier has some of the most stunning features you will find; this is where ice caves, tunnels, and tubes tend to form, creating those beautiful blue colors. These features are never guaranteed but do form throughout the summer. Whether or not conditions present the opportunity to walk on the glacier in addition to hiking by trail through the Tongass National Forest, this entire journey is top-notch from start to finish.
Juneau tours don’t get more challenging, or rewarding, than this one! The Mendenhall Glacier Trek is not your everyday adventure, and neither is the challenging trek to get there, but what an experience when you reach the majestic Mendenhall Glacier and explore this eerie blue world of ice, from deep crevasses and moulins (steep shafts) to crystal-clear meltwater streams and emerald-green pools. You may even have the opportunity to enter a ghostly ice cave, depending on conditions, and to learn some mountaineering skills by using trekking poles and micro-spikes to climb your way up the ice! Your full-day adventure begins with a three-and-a-half mile trek through rainforest along the shores of Mendenhall Lake. At first easy, the trail grows increasingly strenuous until a final rock scramble takes you to the top, where you’ll find breath-taking views of the Mendenhall Glacier and surrounding peaks! From here, it’s on with your glacier gear and micro-spikes for a one-hour trek traversing the ice amid landscapes you really have to see to believe! For those up to the challenge and with the necessary physical fitness, the Mendenhall Glacier Trek is a truly awe-inspiring experience.
Like our other Juneau tours, your adventure begins with pick-up from the cruise docks or your hotel and a scenic drive to the Mendenhall Valley and West Glacier Trailhead. At the trailhead, you’ll meet your expert guides and be fitted with a backpack containing all the gear you’ll need for traversing the glacier, plus food and water. Take it easy on the first mile as your guide leads you over a well-maintained trail through temperate rainforest. From here, the trail gains elevation and gets rougher with some steep, uneven sections and rock scrambling. Reach the top, take time to soak in the stunning views, then head across the final patch of bedrock to the edge of the glacier. With your glacier gear and micro-spikes on, it’s time to head out onto the icefield for the experience of a lifetime! The return trek may take a different route but will be just as strenuous as your hike up to the glacier. Of all the Juneau tours, this is the most physically challenging, but the rewards for your effort are stupendous! Don’t believe us? Just check out the reviews!