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Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier: Our most recommended tours and activities

Juneau: Humpback Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

1. Juneau: Humpback Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

Seamlessly combine two of Juneau's favorite activities on this whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour. Marvel at majestic humpback whales in the company of a naturalist guide, and select from a range of trails to discover Mendenhall Glacier, the world's only drive-up glacier. Upon check-in, you will either be escorted to one of the shuttles for a narrated 25-minute drive to the glacier, or to the boat harbor for whale watching.  On the glacier section of the tour, choose to hike to Nugget Falls, take the Photo Point Trail, look for wildlife along the Steep Creek trail, or stroll up the easy walk to the Visitor Center. Take your time at the glacier with flexible shuttles back to town every 30 minutes. During your time on the water whale watching, listen to your naturalist guide explain the feeding habits of these magnificent creatures and identify the many other kinds of wildlife that share these waters.  Enjoy an enhanced experience on a custom-built boat with a warm heated cabin with large viewing windows, and two decks to hurry to when the captain slows after spotting the whales. There is a bathroom onboard and snacks are also provided.

Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

2. Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

Meet your guide at the cruise ship docks to start off this adventure. Hop in the van and listen to live commentary while driving through Juneau into the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States.  Once at the lake you'll have a meet and greet with the second guide who helps you put on the gear. You receive a rain jacket, rain pants, and rain boots. Along with everything needed to stay safe, including but not limited to paddling gloves, life jackets, helmets, trekking poles, and dry bags.  Your guides go over safety and paddling instructions before stepping into the canoe. This journey across the lake is a team effort, so it is not necessary to have paddling experience.  Mendenhall Lake is a glacier-fed lake that is surrounded by mountains and the famous Nugget Falls. The wind coming off the Mendenhall Glacier will officially welcome you to the Alaska wilderness.  Once the canoe is docked on the beach, there's time for a quick break before starting the hike to the glacier. During the hike, you can learn about the history of the area and listen to all the information your guides can share. Enjoy quiet moments to soak in the calmness of Alaska.  Once arriving on the rocky shore next to the glacier, follow your guides on an exploration trek around the rocky moraine to view the glacier up close.  The professional guides are in the wild every day and thrive on showing off what nature has to offer. One of the most unique aspects of the trip is that the glacial environment is in a constant state of movement and change, meaning no one tour is the same as the next. After your hike back to the canoes, be sure to soak in your last moments with the Mendenhall Glacier as the group paddles back to the shore.  Once arrived your guides will provide a hot beverage while you take off the gear. After a short drive back to the cruise ships, you will walk away with memories of Alaska that you will never forget.

Juneau: Mendenhall Lake Canoe Tour

3. Juneau: Mendenhall Lake Canoe Tour

Come face to face with the famous Mendenhall Glacier on this once in a lifetime Alaskan adventure. Meet your guide at the Mt.Robert's Tram building near the cruise pier. Your guide will take you on a scenic tour by minivan to the Tongass National Forest where you can gaze upon the stunning Mendenhall Glacier. This small group canoe tour takes you past icebergs, waterfalls, and steep cliffs once carved by ice. Paddle up close to the face of this 3,000-year-old glacier, 13 miles long of ice, half a mile wide and up to 1,800 feet deep. This is Alaska's most visited glacier! The paddle time is around two hours from start to finish, providing plenty of time to take advantage of capturing the memory through scenic photos. You will be equipped with top quality gear including rain pants, rain jackets, waterproof boots, and everything else you will need to ensure your comfort and safety. You'll get a dry bag filled with bottled water and snacks, to be used to store personal belongings while canoeing. Please note this is canoe tour only and does not include hiking on a glacier. Throughout the day you are offered snacks and beverages.

Juneau: Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Day Trip

4. Juneau: Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Day Trip

Travel to Mendenhall Glacier aboard an air-conditioned bus on this day trip from Juneau and have some free time to explore the area on your own. Cruise along the shore to observe true Alaskan wildlife at its finest. Enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages during your trip. Meet your guide at the centrally-located meeting point in Juneau and be escorted to the spacious bus. Sit back and relax on the scenic drive through downtown Juneu and the countryside. Arrive at Mendenhall glacier and have 45-minutes of free time. Take the time to tour the visitor center, walk towards Nugget Falls, or hike the East Glacier Loop Trail. Snap pictures of Mendenhall Lake and, if you are lucky, you spot black bears fishing for salmon in streams that traverse the area. Get back on the bus and transfer to the boat. Sail along and look for sea lions basking in the sun on Benjamin Island or taking a nap on an ocean buoy. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles soaring peacefully in the air. Ride on a boat that is specifically designed for whale watching. Have your cameras ready to try and capture breathtaking photos of humpback whale flukes, breaches, and rare bubble-net feeding. Search for orca whales which are occasionally sighted traveling in pods. Head back into the dock and make sure to capture a photo of the Mendenhall Glacier in the background. A naturalist is with you the whole time on your Juneau whale watching tour to explain everything that you are seeing and to answer any of your questions. Feel confidently knowing that your captain and deckhands are certified with the United States Coast Guard and highly trained to ensure your safety while onboard the boat. Return to your starting point at the end of the tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Mendenhall Glacier

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What people are saying about Mendenhall Glacier

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 7 reviews

Great experience. Boat is safe and comfortable. We saw humpback whales bubble feeding. Bring binoculars. Captain and Crew are friendly and informative. Even the bus drivers were informative. As far as the glacier, you are on your own there. We paid the entrance fee, although I found out later it was included in the price of the tour. I don't know how we would have proved that

The experience was incredible. The captain knew exactly where to go to find the whales . We saw 7 whales . One whale literally breached right next to the boat . The first and second mate were very knowledgeable about the whales and history of the area . I would totally do this tour again.

It was exceptional!! Breathtaking views and whales galore!! The guides were dynamic and very involved!! More than 5 stars! Unforgettable memories!!

We saw a lot of whales. The guides were great. The bus drivers taught us a lot.

Went right to the whales. Very knowledgeable. Fun times.