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Mendenhall Glacier Paddle & Hike

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Description

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 paddling across the Mendenhall Lake past icebergs and waterfalls, this entire journey is top-notch from start to finish.


While many tours include glacier views from a distance, this one actually lets you step right up to the Mendenhall Glacier and experience this frozen world first-hand. Paddle across the lake with your professional guide and approach the massive face of Mendenhall Glacier before leaving the canoe behind for a guided trek. Starting in 2016, permits began allowing guided trips like this up to Mendenhall, so don't miss this opportunity to experience the glacier up close and personal!

Pick-up from the cruise docks and many Juneau hotels is included and from there a short ride over to Mendenhall Lake allows time to get properly fitted for gear and equipment. Cast off, following along while the guide paints an informative backdrop of the ancient geological formations comprising your view. Calmly coast among floating icebergs and glide along shorelines, keeping your eyes peeled for river otters, porcupines, beavers, bald eagles and even black bear all known to inhabit this area.

The paddle portion culminates at the glacier's edge where you'll step on land and continue this adventure by foot. A 1-2 hour trek takes you up to the glacier and when conditions are right, explore ice features that leave you feeling like you're on a different planet. All the while, your guide is providing insights into the area and with a maximum of 7 guests per guide, you'll enjoy the intimacy of this smaller tour. Downtown Juneau will seem like a world away. Eventually, return to the canoe and retrace the journey, and enjoy all that this multi-sport activity has to offer. Experience Alaska on a self-propelled wilderness excursion leaving crowds and motors behind.

For the same glacier experience but with a hike around the lake instead of canoeing across it, check out the Mendenhall Glacier Trek.


What's Included

Professional guide, rain gear (jacket/pants), rubber boots, hearty snack/bottled water, small dry bag and/or zip lock bags, USFS permit, and roundtrip van transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many guests can attend on this tour?
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?
You'll have a chance at the gear 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.
What if our cruise ship's schedule is canceled or delayed?
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, then you will receive a refund, less any non-refundable fees.
Will the trip still operate if it is raining?
All of our tours operate rain or shine. Much of SE Alaska lies in a temperate rainforest, and we would never do anything if we stopped for rain!With that said, if weather conditions are unsafe, the trip will be canceled, and we will provide a refund. This can happen on kayaking or canoeing trips from time to time and will be typically related to sea or lake conditions, not rain.
Are we guaranteed to see ice caves?
We don't guarantee ice cave visits. Because the caves are dynamic and change rapidly, visits are condition-dependent. Your guides will ultimately make the call whether or not it is safe to enter an ice cave.
What's the weather like on the glacier? Is it cold?
Juneau temperatures during the summer are typically between 50 and 65 degrees, with an average of 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). The temperature on 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.

Quick Facts

Juneau

5h 30min

The minimum age for participants is 12 years old.

Cancel up to 14-days before the tour for a refund. No refund is available if canceled within 14-days of the tour. If for any reason your tour is canceled, or if your cruise ship’s schedule changes, you will receive a refund. Refunds do not include any non-refundable fees.

$399

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