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.
While many tours include glacier views from a distance, this one actually lets you step right up to the Mendenhall Glacier and experience this frozen world first-hand. Paddle across the lake with your professional guide and approach the massive face of Mendenhall Glacier before leaving the canoe behind for a guided trek. Starting in 2016, permits began allowing guided trips like this up to Mendenhall, so don't miss this opportunity to experience the glacier up close and personal!
Pick-up from the cruise docks and many Juneau hotels is included and from there a short ride over to Mendenhall Lake allows time to get properly fitted for gear and equipment. Cast off, following along while the guide paints an informative backdrop of the ancient geological formations comprising your view. Calmly coast among floating icebergs and glide along shorelines, keeping your eyes peeled for river otters, porcupines, beavers, bald eagles and even black bear all known to inhabit this area.
The paddle portion culminates at the glacier's edge where you'll step on land and continue this adventure by foot. A 1-2 hour trek takes you up to the glacier and when conditions are right, explore ice features that leave you feeling like you're on a different planet. All the while, your guide is providing insights into the area and with a maximum of 7 guests per guide, you'll enjoy the intimacy of this smaller tour. Downtown Juneau will seem like a world away. Eventually, return to the canoe and retrace the journey, and enjoy all that this multi-sport activity has to offer. Experience Alaska on a self-propelled wilderness excursion leaving crowds and motors behind.
For the same glacier experience but with a hike around the lake instead of canoeing across it, check out the Mendenhall Glacier Trek.