Mendenhall Glacier Trek
Mendenhall Glacier Trek on Juneau Day Trip Hike
Trace the path of glacial succession and the natural history of the Mendenhall Glacier as you trek across it on this Juneau day trip.
After departing the pier, you will be driven for approximately 30 minutes to the Mendenhall Valley and the trailhead. After a 30-minute check-in and gear orientation, you will begin an approximately 3-hour hike over a 4-mile trail. The hike is mostly uphill, through the rainforest along Mendenhall Lake. The first mile of the trail is well-maintained and goes through the forest with a few switchbacks. The second half of the trail is uneven and may include areas of mud, slippery bedrock, loose gravel, rock scrambling, and multiple short but steep up and downhill sections. The vertical elevation gain's about 800 feet. It's all worth it when you climb the final ridge to find the jagged face of the glacier bursting into view with its river of ice coursing behind it.
Once you reach the terminus, you'll encounter close-up views of the many different features of the glacier. This may include streams, crevasses, and unique glacial formations. Glaciers are ever-changing landscapes. The scheduled sights will be confirmed on the day of the tour. The sights are confirmed based on weather conditions, glacial conditions, and the safety of our guests. The Mendenhall Glacier is receding at a fast pace and due to this, we are seeing drastic changes to the surface of the glacier. For this reason, it is not safe to walk on the glacier.
Towards the end of the trek, you will return to the starting point of the trail.
Please Note: Guests must be in good shape and able to hike approximately 9 miles round trip for 6 to 6.5 hours in a challenging environment. It's important to wear sensible hiking shoes or boots, not sneakers, that provide good ankle support for trekking on rocky terrain. Persons sporting inadequate footwear will be denied participation and will not be entitled to a refund.
On this tour, all participants will need to trek with a provided backpack the entire way. The backpack weighs approximately 10 pounds and will hold mountaineering gear, snacks, water, and extra clothing you may wish to bring.
Any guests who cannot keep up with the pace of the rest of the group, or feel they cannot go on with the hike, must hire another guide to assist them back down the trail. The additional cost for this service is $250 US per person and must be paid when you finish the hike back down. Guests preferring a slower pace, or who feel they may not be able to keep up with the group, may wish to book the Private Glacier Trek Hiking tour.