The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier ~ Juneau, Alaska – When visiting Juneau, Alaska, baby boomers will want to make certain to bring their camera along to see the Mendenhall Glacier.

Our visit to the Mendenhall Glacier was part of a combo package with Dolphin Jet Boat Tours.  We first spent a few hours in Auke Bay whale watching, and then were transported by bus to the Mendenhall Glacier.

Mendenhall Glacier is one of 38 glaciers which are fed from the Juneau Icefield. The Juneau Icefield is North America’s fifth largest icefield, blankets over 1,500 square miles of land, and stretches nearly 85 miles north to south and 45 miles east to west.

The ice in the Mendhall Glacier is fairly young ice as glaciers go.  Although the Juneau Icefield is at least 3,000 years old, the ice itself remains relatively young because it is perpetually renewed through snowfall at upper elevations as it flows downhill in its glaciers. Glacial ice at the terminus of Mendenhall Glacier has flowed for 200-250 years on its 13-mile (21-km) trek to Mendenhall Lake. (via Tongass National Forest)

During our early summer visit,  you could still see blueish icebergs floating in Mendenhall Lake.

Another striking feature of a visit to the Mendenhall Glacier, inside the Tongass National Forest (the nation’s largest national forest) is the five-story Nugget Falls that crashes into the east side of Mendenhall Lake.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to make the 45 minute round-trip hike to the falls.  But, as you can see in my photograph, it looked like a really cool hike.


We greatly enjoyed our visit to the Mendenhall Glacier.  If we get the opportunity to go back, we would spend more time and do a little hiking.

Disclosure:  our visit to the Mendenhall Glacier was provided by the fine folks at Dolphin Jet Boat Tours.  Thanks.  It was stunning!


3 Responses to “The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska”
  1. Great blog post, Alaska is a favourite for us, so thanks! Last time we were there we did a Chilkoot trail hike and float in Skagway and thoroughly enjoyed it. So yes, definitely take advantage of one next time around!

    Nancy & Shawn

  2. JoyceWiesinger says:

    Awesome trip, Dave.  Next year will be our 50th anniversary so hopefully we can celebrate with the trip to Alaska.  Joyce

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