Mendenhall Glacier Day Hike

This private day hike (for at least 2 participants) is designed to show off the unique faces of the mighty Mendenhall Glacier. Earning your way to this popular attraction is a once in a lifetime memory. The tour is led by a competent naturalist guide who will introduce you to town with a narrated drive out to the trail head. Here you may pause to see glacial landscapes and floating icebergs. If the local wildlife is cooperative, this can be a great chance to watch spawning salmon or come across a lumbering porcupine.

This hike essentially has 3 segments. First, a gentle forested path leads you past rushing streams and lush mossy banks on the way to a popular lookout. After a short break you will begin the more challenging second segment on the spur trail. Here the terrain becomes more difficult and includes hiking on sloped bedrock, picking your way through thick alders, and even some rock scrambling. Your efforts will be rewarded! As once you reach the crux of this hike, the glacier spans out below filling your heart with awe and your lungs with cool arctic air.

The third segment affords you the opportunity to hike down to the glacier for a closer look. Here the trail is marked with rock cairns and includes traversing over loose rock and scree. This entire section will blow your mind as the glacier view allows for great and continuous photo ops: striated bedrock, crystal blue seracs and jagged ice falls. Mother Nature puts on a spectacular show in this timeless land of snow capped peaks and active glaciers. Knowing you're making it to the glacier under your own steam, overcoming the obstacles and being one of the few to take on the journey - is a reward in itself!

This Mendenhall Glacier hiking tour meets for departure in downtown Juneau. The hike itself is approximately 6 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of 600-1000 feet. There are inherent risks in mountain and glacier travel that each participant assumes. Our experienced interpretive guides are trained as naturalists, and are certified in First Aid and CPR. Times are approximate based upon the pace of your group. This tour operates in all weather conditions.

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Tour Time:
 Approximately 7 hours
Trail Time:
 6 hours
 600-1000 feet
 Very Strenuous
 Bottled water, snack pack and all transportation
Adult Price:
 Please visit our tour inquiry form (link above) for pricing and availability.
Child Price:

*Pricing is dependent on tour availability and group size. Participants should be able to hike for up to 5 hours over stretches of uneven ground including stretches of sloped bedrock paths and rocky trail conditions. There is a rock scramble at the crux of the hike. Children should be able to hike the distance and terrain, recommended age limit is 14. All participants should dress in layers: light for vigorous hiking (like a t-shirt or sports top), warm, such as a fleece or pile jacket, and outer, such as a good rain pant and jacket. Wear comfortable water-proof hiking boots with good ankle support. Guests should bring their camera and a backpack for gear and personal items. A variety snack pack is also included for each hiker along with bottled water. Picnic style lunch options are available, at an additional charge, upon request.

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Mendenhall Glacier Hike
Photo by Cam Byrnes
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Gastineau Guiding Company tours are operated under special use permit with the USFS and is an equal opportunity service provider. Persons with disabilities should inquire at least 48 hours in advance about the specific risks and challenges associated with this tour.