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Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek

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Juneau, United States
Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek

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Number of travelers
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Non-refundable
You will not receive a refund if you cancel. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup from select hotels
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

  • 8-hour Mendenhall Glacier shore excursion from Juneau
  • Trek along the glacier with a certified guide on challenging terrain
  • Walk through a rain forest, steep bedrock, and pass various glacial formations
  • Snacks, water and equipment provided
  • Covered by Viator's worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
Saved to wishlist!
Professional guide
Hearty snack
Glacier gear, backpack, rain jacket and pants -- please advise supplier of sizing
Forest Service Permits
Bottled water
Gratuities

Departure Point

490 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801, USA

The “C” Sign, located near the cruise ship docks directly between Mt. Roberts Tramway and the green Taku Smokeries building, is our centralized downtown meeting location for all clients in the downtown area, including the majority of cruise ship passengers.

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Getting a little stir-crazy from being on the ship? Stretch your legs on vast, rugged terrain on this day-hike shore excursion into Mendenhall Glacier. The Mendenhall Glacier trek and climb is suitable for most ages and abilities, however, you should be in good enough shape to hike for up to 6 to 6.5 hours, covering about 8 miles (12.8 km) round-trip. You’ll be wearing a backpack, weighing about 10 to 15 pounds with mountaineering gear, snacks/water, and any extra clothing that you’d like to bring.

Your Alaskan glacier adventure begins on a 3.5 mile (5.6 km) trail through the rainforest along Mendenhall Lake. This rocky terrain is challenging and not for the fainthearted. While the first mile is easy enough, on a well-maintained path with a few switchbacks, for the rest of the trail you’ll be hiking on bedrock in steep areas.

When you arrive at Mendenhall Glacier, you’ll be outfitted in trekking gear. Professional guides will provide a safety briefing and make sure you remain safe and enjoy your time adventure on the glacier. With the help of crampons, trek across moderate glacial terrain that overlooks Mendenhall Lake. Your route gets you great views of crevasses, streams, ice caves and other beautiful glacial formations.
With plenty of gorgeous pictures taken, enjoy transport back to port.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:

We will ensure your timely return back to the ship in Juneau for this activity. If your ship is delayed and you are unable attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway
Pick up at "C" Sign at the base of the Mount Roberts Tramway and van transport to main office for gear orientation and outfitting. Once outfitting is complete, guests will be transported to the West Glacier Trailhead.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
West Glacier Trailhead
Hiking to the glacier begins with 4 miles through towering Sitka Spruce and Hemlock in the largest temperate rainforest in the world.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Mendenhall Glacier
Your guide will take you on a tour of the glacier's accessible features along the edge, which may include exploring the other worldliness of an ice cave, hiking by glacier blue conduits and ice tubes, or peering into the deep well of a moulin. The glacier is in constant change and its ice features disappear and reappear over the course of the season, but we will explore the best features available that day.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
West Glacier Trailhead
Return 4 mile hike back through the Tongass National Forest.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway
Drop off back downtown. Thanks for joining!
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • You must include the following in the comments section when booking: raingear & shoe sizes for each passenger, (for adult men and women, S-XXL and youth, S-L) and any pertinent medical information. Smallest shoe size that can be accommodated is Youth 2 and largest is Adult 14.
  • This small group adventure has a minimum of 2 and maximum of 12 participants
  • Minimum age is 10 years
  • WAIVER FORM: Every participant on the trip must sign a waiver form at the start of the trip. Alterations and/or deletions to the waiver is not permitted
  • Clients must be in good enough shape and conditioned to hike for up to 6-6.5 hours, covering about 8 miles roundtrip. The hike is challenging and clients need to bring sturdy hiking boots that provide good ankle support while hiking on rocky terrain. All clients will need to hike with a backpack the entire way on this trip. The backpack (provided) weighs approximately 10-15 pounds and holds mountaineering gear, snacks/water, etc.
  • Accessing ice caves, moulins, or any other glacial feature is not guaranteed: Due to the dynamic nature of the Mendenhall Glacier features are in constant change. Your guide will assess each available feature prior to accessing to determine if it’s safe to explore. The Mendenhall Glacier is receding on a daily basis and due to this we are seeing significant changes to the surface of the glacier. There are very limited safe areas to access and explore on the ice with crampons. Safety is our number one priority and we can not guarantee every trip will hike on the glacier. We assess conditions day to day. The edge of the glacier has some of the most stunning features; caves, tunnels, tubes, and crevasses which create those beautiful blue colors.
  • Hiking boots with with good stability and traction
  • Comfortable hiking pants
  • Warm sweater or fleece pullover, hat. and gloves reccommended
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Safety harnesses fit up to 42 inch waist size and 28" inch leg size. Not able to accommodate larger waist/leg sizes.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a strong physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Above and Beyond Alaska
This experience is non-refundable and cannot be changed for any reason. If you cancel or ask for an amendment, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Juneau Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier Trek.

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Reviews

5.0
star-5
58 Reviews
3 stars
0
1 star
0

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 58 reviews
star-5
Glacier Hike
Pamela2021-July
, Jul 2021
Totally AWESOME… Love the size of small Hiking group… Our Guide was outstanding, very helpful and knowledgeable… Pamela
star-5
My boyfriend and I got incredibly...
David M
, Aug 2017
My boyfriend and I got incredibly lucky and this trek turned out to be the highlight of our trip to Alaska, though our experience was a bit unique. We were originally set to hike with 5 other travelers, but when we met the guides in the morning they informed everyone that due to very poor weather conditions, we likely wouldn't make it to the glacier they offered everyone the option to cancel with a full refund. After a pretty convincing you-should-probably-cancel pitch from one of the guides, who we think may have been exaggerating a bit the other 5 travelers canceled and we ended up with a de-facto private tour with another guide Madisyn, who was awesome and just as gung-ho as we were to attempt the climb despite the torrential rain. Madisyn did so much to make our trip great and get us onto the glacier despite the earlier warnings that it was perhaps inaccessible. She thought to bring waterproof boots, which made it possible for us to hike through the flooded terrain. We never would have made it in sneakers or even hiking boots... we were literally hiking through 8-9 inches of flowing water at times. She was friendly and helpful, and really made the extra-wet adventure fun. She even brought hot chocolate for us, which was a fantastic touch. After a couple of hours spent hopping across quick-running streams and scampering up slick rocky terrain, we reached the glacier and ice caves underneath, both of which were stunning. Madisyn plus other guides from the company who had hiked earlier to scout the area worked to find an alternative way for us to get onto the glacier, since the river between the trail and the access point was flooded. We were eventually able to explore the ice caves and climb the glacier itself, and while the micro-spikes we strapped onto our boots took a little getting used to, the gear all worked fantastically on top of the ice. We really couldn't believe how lucky we got -- not only were we able to complete the whole hike in surreal and wild conditions and walk on the glacier itself, but we practically got the whole mountain to ourselves because so many other tours were cancelled due to the weather. Madisyn was instrumental in making this happen, and she was super fun to hike with. Our trip may not have been 100 representative of the larger group tour that it should have been, but we definitely got the impression that Above and Beyond Alaska works hard to make their treks fantastic for their clients, and we were so glad we didn't miss this.
star-5
Stunning hike, helpful and...
Doug S
, Aug 2017
Stunning hike, helpful and experienced guides, lots of time on and in the glacier. We were able to walk through ice caves, rappel into holes in the glacier, drink from glacial streams - absolutely amazing!
star-2
I was actually super excited for...
Kristen M
, Jul 2017
I was actually super excited for this excursion after reading the reviews and especially after hiking on a glacier earlier in my trip. I would have given this review more stars if it was advertised as a Hike and possible glacier viewing because that would have been accurate. 90 of this trip was spent hiking through the woods to get to the glacier, and according to our guides some groups don't even make it that far depending on the fitness levels of the group. From the description I was expecting a glacier trek AND climb and in reality we stepped on the glacier for all of 20 minutes. Meanwhile we spent 6 hours on a hike which was a GREAT hike but when you are expecting the trek and climb on glaciers durng an 8 hour excursion expectations are to be on a glacier. I guess if the glacier wasn't receding so fast over the years we may have gotten there sooner and had more time to explore the glacier. I understand there isn't much a tour can do about global warming effects, but the title of the excursion needs to be changed to provide a more accurate expectation. This was definitely a mountainess hike, not a glacier trek and climb.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
The hike was amazing!! Our guides...
Carolyn G
, Jun 2017
The hike was amazing!! Our guides (Katie and Emma) did a wonderful job and very informative! Would highly recommend this.
star-5
Very impressive view. This trip is...
NAIGANG_T
, Sep 2016
Very impressive view. This trip is amazing even it's raining in Juneau.
star-5
This excursion was probably the best...
Steven_G
, May 2016
This excursion was probably the best I have ever done on any cruise and I completed it with my wife on our honeymoon. Our tour guides were Kit and Casey and they were awesome! We really got to experience everything throughout the 8 mile hike including the rainforest, the Mendenhall glacier, and even got to go inside of an ice cave. My only recommendation is that you definitely have to be in pretty good shape as you truly do scale walls, climb down rough terrain, and scale the glacier throughout the advanced hike. You get all of the necessary equipment provided i.e. raingear, backpack, harness, walking stick, and spikes for your shoes and they give you plenty of snacks and water. I would recommend this excursion highly as it is WELL worth the price! Thanks so much for an awesome time and memorable experience!
star-4
Fantastic experience as we hiked...
ZAHRA I
, Oct 2015
Fantastic experience as we hiked, trekked and climbed on all 4! Day was approx. 8 hours and lunch/snacks were provided along the way. I would recommend wearing layers as you cross various terrains and are presented with different weather conditions. Good hiking shoes is definite! I had a blast and took with me my sportif brother and 60 year old uncle who is in reasonable shape - he had a walking stick to assist him.
star-5
This hiking tour was fantastic. Our...
saraekingsley
, Sep 2015
This hiking tour was fantastic. Our guide Brad was so knowledgeable and helpful for this difficult hike. The company gives you snacks for the trip and gets you rain gear and equipment so all you need is good hiking boots and maybe some gloves if its cold. The ice cave was truly a surreal experience and won't be open for many more years because the glacier is receding. Book this trip while you still can!
star-5
It was best adventure we did on out...
Marzena G
, Jul 2015
It was best adventure we did on out Alaska trip. Hike was little bit challenging with beautiful views and beautiful nature, constantly changing trail. Hiking boots recommended!

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