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.
The Mendenhall Glacier Paddle and Trek experience is a favorite among Juneau glacier tours and an experience you’ll be unlikely to forget! Imagine paddling a canoe over the tranquil waters of a serene glacial lake, with the grand peaks of snow-capped mountains and cascading Nugget Falls reflected in the surface; skimming around glowing blue icebergs; and marveling at the region’s diverse wildlife, from gulls and terns nesting along cliffs to mountain goats, porcupines, river otters, beavers, bald eagles, black bears, and other inhabitants of this magical landscape. At the edge of the awe-inspiring Mendenhall Glacier, the adventure continues as paddles are traded for trekking poles and your guide takes you right up to the ice for an in-depth exploration, which sometimes even includes the opportunity to explore other-worldly ice formations!
With the glacier only twelve miles from Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier Paddle and Trek adventure is conveniently situated near the historic port town. This exclusive tour is the only one with permits to venture across Mendenhall Lake and right up to the glacier, allowing you to spend up to two hours exploring the ancient ice! If conditions are judged by the guides to be sufficiently safe and ice formations have formed, your trek around the edges of the massive 13.6 mile-long river of ice may feature various ice formations in the glacier itself! With a maximum group size of just 12 participants, this intimate favorite among Juneau glacier tours allows plenty of time to question your knowledgeable guides and learn more about all you are seeing and experiencing. Your excursion is followed by a leisurely paddle back to your retrieval point by the lake’s edge. Pick-up and return from the cruise docks, as well as from many Juneau hotels, is included in this stunning, family-friendly 6-hour experience. Join us on this top tour, because after all, no visit to Juneau is complete without a close-up experience of the legendary Mendenhall Glacier!
To explore Mendenhall Glacier without the paddling portion of the tour, consider the Mendenhall Glacier Trek.