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 forests with a few switchbacks, while the second half of the trail is uneven and includes areas of mud, slippery bedrock, loose gravel, rock scrambling, and multiple short, steep, up and downhill sections. The vertical elevation gain is about 800 feet. It is all worth it when you climb the final ridge, and the jagged face of the glacier bursts into view with its river of ice coursing behind it.
Once you reach the terminus of the glacier, you will be outfitted in trekking gear. Guides will instruct you step by step on how to trek in crampons on glacial terrain. This Juneau trip features close-up views of the many different features of a glacier. These MAY include ice caves, streams, crevasses and other unique glacial formations. As a glacier is a constantly changing landscape, the actual sights seen during your trek will be finalized the day of the trek, and will be based on weather, glacial condition, and guest safety. The amount of time on the glacier is dependent on the tour group's pace and Alaska weather conditions for the day.
Towards the end of the Mendenhall glacier trek, you will return to the starting point along the same trail you hiked at the beginning.
Please Note: You must be in good shape and able to hike for 6 to 6.5 hours, covering about 9 miles round trip in a challenging environment (please see hike description above). It is important to have sturdy shoes or boots that provide good ankle support while hiking on the rocky terrain. Guests showing up with inadequate footwear will be denied participation and will not be entitled to a refund.
All participants will need to hike with a provided backpack the entire way on this trip. The backpack weighs approximately 10 pounds and holds mountaineering gear, snacks, water, and extra clothing that 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.