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Mendenhall Glacier Trek with Alaska Shore Tours
  • Mendenhall Glacier Trek Alaska Shore Excursions
  • Mendenhall Glacier Trek
  • Mendenhall Glacier Trek
  • Mendenhall Glacier Trek
  • Mendenhall Glacier Trek
  • Mendenhall Glacier Trek
  • Mendenhall Glacier Trek
  • Mendenhall Glacier Trek


4.95833333333 out of 5 based on 72 customer ratings
(72 )

Mendenhall Glacier Hike


6 Hour Duration

From pick-up to drop-off

Physical Fitness Required

For full-day hiking and glacier traverse

Glacier Exploration

On the edges of stunning Mendenhall Glacier

Food Provided

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. For this reason, it is not safe to walk on the glacier. This trip will spend time exploring the glacier up close and hiking around the edges of it safely from the bedrock. The edge of the glacier has some of the most stunning features you will find; this is where ice formations, 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 will have the opportunity to learn some hiking skills by using trekking poles and  to climb your way up near 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 for a one-hour trek traversing next to 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 near 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 on, it’s time to head out next to 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!

For less hiking, you might consider the Mendenhall Glacier Trek & Paddle. Or, for an exclusive private tour, check out the Private Mendenhall Glacier Trek.




Glacier Interaction, Hiking, Top 10


8 hours

Adult Rate


Child Rate

There is no child rate for this tour. All participants will be charged at the adult rate.

Minimum Age

The minimum age for participants is 10 years old.


Guests must be under 250lbs., Must be fit enough to hike for 7+ hours covering over 8-9 miles of strenuous terrain (see trip description above) carrying a 10-15 pound backpack.

Cancellation Policy

Cancel up to 14-days before your tour for a refund, less any non-refundable fees., If for any reason the tour is canceled (due to unpermitting weather, for example), or if your cruise ship's schedule changes, you will receive a refund minus any non-refundable fees.

Customer reviews

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72 reviews for Mendenhall Glacier Hike

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    What can I do to prepare physically for this trip?

    Answer: Cardiovascular training is a must. You will be hiking approximately 8 miles roundtrip for 7+ hours on uneven terrain. Cardiovascular training will increase your endurance making for a more pleasant experience on the trail. In addition, get yourself out on a hike and choose trails that are uneven. We oftentimes get people who are in good physical condition (i.e. train at the gym daily, run several times a week), but struggle on the uneven surface because they are used to exercising on flat ground, which does not require much balancing and much use of the small muscles in the legs and ankles.

    What's the weather like near the glacier? Is it cold?

    Answer: Juneau temperatures during the summer are typically between 50 and 65 degrees, with an average of 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). The temperature near the glacier is about 5 degrees cooler, but can feel up to 15 degrees cooler due to katabatic winds (cold downslope winds coming down the glacier). Please bring layers of clothing including a warm hat and gloves.

    Are we guaranteed to see ice caves?

    Answer: As of 2022, there are no longer accessible ice caves on Mendenhall Glacier.

    How many guests are on this tour?

    Answer: There can be up to 12 participants on this trip and there is a minimum of 2 guests for the trip to operate. With advanced notice we can accommodate larger groups on private tours.

    What about restroom facilities along the way?

    Answer: You'll have a chance at the kayak base to use the restroom, but after that we will be entering the great outdoors. We recommend all guests follow 'Leave No Trace Principles' and should the need arise, we request packing all trash from the trip including toilet paper. If this is of concern for you, we recommend bringing toilet paper and a ziploc bag for easy packing.

    Will the trip still operate if it is raining?

    Answer: Because much of SE Alaska is a rainforest, these trips do operate rain or shine. Rain jackets and pants are provided on this trip. If weather conditions are unsafe, the trip will be canceled and we will provide a refund.

    What if our ship is delayed or doesn't make it into port? Refund?

    Answer: It's very rare that a ship is delayed into port, but in those cases we will try our best to work with you to reschedule the tour to a later time. If that is not a possibility or your ship doesn't make it into port, we will refund you.

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