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Mendenhall Glacier Hike

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6 Hours Duration
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From pick-up to drop-off
Physical Fitness Required
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For full-day hiking and glacier traverse
Food and Gear Provided
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Includes a hearty snack and all equipment
Glacier Views
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Incredible, up-close glacier viewing!


Tour Update: This tour does not include trekking on the glacier. We will arrive at panoramic views of the glacier with distant views of the crevasses and icefall at the toe of the glacier.

Explore Mendenhall Glacier from a much closer perspective on the Mendenhall Glacier Hike Tour. This full-day adventure is not for everyone, but geared towards those looking for a challenge and ready to hike to get there. Gaining elevation from the trailhead, temperate rainforest eventually gives way to alpine terrain. Spend the next hour or so enjoying the panoramic views of the glacier, following your guide past deep blue melt streams, emerald pools and deep crevasses that can be seen from the glaciers edge. The scale of these flowing glaciers becomes evident as you zig-zag along in what may feel like a different world. A truly awe-inspiring trip for those ready for it.

Pick-up from the cruise docks and many Juneau hotels is included and from there a short ride over to Mendenhall Valley and the West Glacier Trailhead. Here it's time to gear up, and a backpack containing all your necessary glacier gear is provided for you (about 10-15 lbs.). Hit the trail, warming up on the first mile which is well maintained and relatively flat. It doesn't take long to shift gears - now you're in the Alaskan backcountry, and the cruise ship seems miles away. After the first mile, the trail gains elevation and the next 2.5 miles are characterized by uneven terrain, multiple steep pitches, rock scrambling, route finding and may include slippery bedrock. But the hard work pays off when the trail opens up to expose a glorious view of Mendenhall Glacier.

Traverse across the last patch of bedrock, making your way over to incredible views of the icefield. The resulting photos from this trip may seem photoshopped but these colors are real! Eventually, we'll make the return trip back to the trailhead and drop-off locations in Juneau.

If you're concerned with slowing down the group or if you have younger children, you may consider taking this as a private trip. Or, for less hiking, consider the Mendenhall Glacier Paddle & Hike.

What's Included

Roundtrip Transportation
Knowledgeable Guides
Hearty Snack & Bottled Water
All Safety Gear including Trekking Poles (if needed).
Rain Gear (Hooded Jacket and Pants), and Backpack
US Forest Service Permits
Guide Gratuities
Hiking Boots

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the tour still operate if it's raining?
Because much of SE Alaska is a rainforest, these Juneau tours 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 (minus non-refundable fees).
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.
What can I do to prepare physically for this trip?
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 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.
How many guests are 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.
Will we see/explore ice caves?
No, this tour does not visit ice caves. Because the caves are dynamic and change rapidly, we do not guarantee their presence, and for safety reasons, we do not include them in our tours.

Know Before You Book

Minimum Age: 10 years old
Due to continued glacial ice melt, trekking on the glacier is no longer an option. Guests will hike along the rocky moraines near the face of the glacier.
This tour is rated as strenuous, guests must be in good shape. Includes about 7 miles of hiking (about 4 hrs roundtrip) on steep, rocky, wet, uneven terrain.
Because this tour involves strenuous hiking, this is not a wheelchair accessible tour.
This tour involves inherent risks, and for their safety, pregnant guests are not allowed on this tour.
Clients must disclose information regarding pertinent medical conditions/history, allergies and any type of restriction or limitation that might introduce a higher degree of challenge on this trip.
A rescue fee of $250 per client will be charged for any rescue based on the client’s inability to complete the tour due to undisclosed medical conditions/limitations or an insufficient level of physical fitness that significantly inhibits the group’s pace. Clients that require a rescue due to an injury incurred on the trek will not be charged rescue fees, nor will those who have disclosed information regarding medical conditions (and have been approved to participate) prior to the trip date.
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. Contact us by phone or email to request a cancellation.

Quick Facts


6h 00min

Guest Rate

Itinerary • 6h 00min • 5 activities

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Your guides will pick you up at Mount Roberts Tramway, right by the cruise docks, or at several local hotels, to transport you to the trailhead for outfitting.

45 minutes
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Hike about 3.5 miles under soaring glacially carved peaks and alongside Mendenhall Lake as you journey towards the receding glacier.

2 hours
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Enjoy the views of the Mendenhall Glacier with time for plenty of photos and snacks.

30 minutes
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You'll return on the same trail you took to reach the glacier, while your guide continues to educate you about the local flora, fauna, and geography.

2 hours
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After returning your gear, your guides will return you to your hotel or Mount Roberts Tramway, where you can check out downtown or hop back on your cruise ship.

45 minutes