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- Air-conditioned and licensed round trip transportation from your Juneau cruise pier area!
- English speaking certified guides!
- Van transfer to Mendenhall Valley!
- All necessary rain and trekking gear provided!
- 2.5-hour strenuous hike to the glacier!
- Ice Trekking on Mendenhall Glacier for approximately one hour!
- 2.0-hour strenuous hike back to the trailhead!
- Complimentary bottled water and a healthy snack!
- Escape the cruise ship shore excursion crowds and enjoy unique sights of Juneau and surrounding area!
Enjoy an invigorating hike through the temperate rainforest before trekking on Mendenhall Glacier. A truly unique experience!
After meeting your excursion staff, you will depart from the Juneau cruise piers in downtown. There is a 30-minute drive to reach the West Glacier Trailhead, located in the Mendenhall Valley. Enjoy the scenic ride before reaching the base. Here you will gear up with a backpack that includes all of the necessary glacier gear, rain gear, and food and water you will need. You will be instructed and supervised throughout the entire day by your experienced local Juneau hiking guides. With a minimum of 2 and maximum group size of 12, you will get personalized attention from the guides.
You will then set off on a 3.5 mile (5.6 km) trail hike passing through the temperate rainforest and along the lake that is fed by the Mendenhall glacier. The first mile of hiking is over the well-maintained and relatively flat trail with one short uphill switchback section. The second 2.5 miles is a strenuous walk/climb uphill over a non-maintained trail that includes areas of mud, slippery bedrock, loose gravel, rock scrambling, and multiple short, steep up and downhill sections. Total elevation gain is over 350 feet (106 meters).
The effort is all worth it as soon as you reach the highest point of the trail and the Mendenhall Glacier and the surrounding peaks come into full view. For some, this would be enough, but your adventure has just begun. From here, make your way down an open slope of bedrock to the edge of the ice.
Upon reaching the glacier, your guide will help you gear up with your glacier walking equipment, and then give a safety briefing on what is to follow. After studying the glacier, the guide will choose the safest entrance onto the ice and you spend approximately 1 hour on the ice (dependent on group's hiking pace) exploring that day's accessible features such as crevasses, ice caves, Ice wells, streams of welted glacier water, pools and more.
After your exploration is completed, the guide will help you make your way back to the trailhead. The return hike may be on the same path or a different path, depending on which one the guide thinks is best. The hike down is just as challenging as the hike up was. This is not for beginners.
From the trailhead, it is a 30-minute drive back to Juneau and your cruise pier. There is a minimum needed of 2 and a maximum of 12 per departure.