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Mendenhall Glacier Paddle & Hike

Mendenhall Glacier Paddle & Hike the 1st Next Tour Image Mendenhall Glacier Paddle & Hike the 2nd Next Tour Image
6½ Hour Duration
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From pick-up to drop-off
Food and Gear Provided
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Includes a hearty snack and all equipment
Limited Permits Available
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Book early for this high-demand tour
Glacier Views
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Incredible, up-close glacier views!


Tour Update: This trip will spend time exploring the glacier up close and hiking around the edges of it safely from the bedrock. For safety reasons, this tour no longer takes guests on the glacier.

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 hike. 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 hike takes you up to the glacier to explore the breakthtaking landscape. All the while, your guide is providing insights into the area and with a maximum of 6 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 Hike.

What's Included

Roundtrip Transportation
Knowledgeable Guides
Hearty Snack & Bottled Water
Paddling Gear, Rain Gear (Jacket and Pants), Rubber Boots, Small Dry Bag
US Forest Service Permits
Guide Gratuities

Frequently Asked Questions

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.
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 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 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.
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: 12 years old • Maximum Weight: 250 lbs
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.
Everyone must be in good enough physical condition to assist in paddling the canoe 5-6 miles roundtrip and hike 2 miles roundtrip.
The ability to hike and to comfortably get in and out of a canoe are required. Because of this, wheelchairs cannot be accommodated
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


5h 30min

Guest Rate

Itinerary • 5h 30min • 7 activities

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Your guides will pick you up from Mount Roberts Tramway, just a short walk from the cruise docks, for transfer to the warehouse.

30 minutes
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At the warehouse, you'll receive a rain jacket & pants, rubber boots, a waterproof backpack, dry bags, & paddling gear before being taken over to Mendenhall lake.

30 minutes
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Hopping in the canoe with your guide, you'll paddle for an hour to reach the opposite shore, going by icebergs and the face of the glacier.

1 hour
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Upon reaching the opposite shore, you will hike up to the face of the Mendenhall Glacier to explore the edges & fascinating ice formations of the massive river of ice.

1 hour 30 minutes
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After your time at the glacier, you will hike back down to the canoes to paddle your way back across the lake to the launch site.

1 hour
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You'll be taken back to the warehouse to return your gear & collect anything you may have left behind during your tour.

30 minutes
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At the end of your tour, you'll hop back in the vans for a drive back to Mount Roberts Tramway, where you can take a short walk to your cruise dock or explore downtown.

30 minutes