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Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

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posts: 3
Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

Has anyone done the Mendenhall Glacier tour on their own? It seems to be we went out there on a public bus a few years ago. Can you actually walk on the glacier without a tour operator?

Destination Expert
for Alaska
posts: 13,191
reviews: 24
1. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

Not sure what you mean by the glacier "tour." Are you on a cruise or visiting independently? There is a bus from downtown directly to the glacier visitor center area for about $8-$9 each way. There is a public bus that drops you off about 1-1/2 miles from the visitor center. In order to walk on the glacier, you need to go to the west side of the glacier (public bus drops you off 1-1/2 to 2 miles from the trailhead). Then you have quite a walk and some bushwacking to get to the glacier itself. It is dangerous to get onto the glacier without the proper equipment and experience though. The best way to get onto the glacier is with a tour with Above and Beyond Alaska.

Juneau, Alaska
posts: 188
reviews: 10
2. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

There is no easy way to "walk on the glacier". The one trail that goes near the ice is on the other side of the lake from the visitor center, and involves hiking 3 miles on a trail that ends in a rock slide that's still sliding, and requires boots with good ankle support.

It's very dangerous to walk on the glacier near its terminus unless you are an experienced ice climber and have crampons and ropes. The crevasses are 75-100 feet deep.

Juneau, Alaska
posts: 91
reviews: 140
3. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

The only way to walk ON the glacier is to go way up to the ice field in a helicopter or plane. As Cabbie says, it's extraordinarily dangerous to even attempt it at the terminus. Beside, no trail gets close enough for it anyway...

Palm Harbor, Florida
posts: 24
reviews: 25
4. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

We'll be taking a helicopter tour up to the Mendenhall Glacier as part of a tour from a Viking cruise on June 24th. What kind of weather/temps on the glacier can we expect around that time? We're from Florida and plan to leave our flip-flops and short-sleeve shirts behind and bring our hiking boots.

Juneau, Alaska
posts: 159
reviews: 1
5. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

Unless the sun is shining, expect temps in the 40s or maybe even the 30s, with wind chill and probably high humidity, therefore even chillier. If it's sunny, it will still be colder than at sea level. Some of the helicopter companies supply warm jackets, I believe--but you should check. Dress in lots of warm layers (including raingear/windgear), and don't forget to wear a warm wool or fleece hat, and you should be well prepared.

posts: 40
reviews: 58
6. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

Does the public bus still go to the Mendenhall Glacier area? The 1-1 1/2 mile distance from the bus stop -- Is it walkable with sidewalks to the visitor center?? Trying to avoid paying for a tour package to see the glacier especially if there is a public bus for only $8?

Edited: 5:10 pm, June 07, 2013
haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
posts: 6,894
reviews: 28
7. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

Alice, I think you are thinking of the blue MGT buses at the dock (not the public bus).....they are $8 pp each way and go all the way to the Mendenhall Glacier, every half hour......

The public bus is different, it is the one that drops you off a mile or so out the road from the glacier.......I think they charge $1.50 per person each ride......No sidewalks out to the glacier, but a paved bike path will take you to the end of the road where the glacier is......granted it will cost less, and you can walk from that last bus stop, but it is going to take a lot, lot longer to get out there with so many stops and maybe even a change of buses.........locals take the public bus to commute to work and it often standing room only.........

posts: 40
reviews: 58
8. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

Mom Bear:

Wow, thanks for the MGT Glacier Express Blue Bus tip. I just looked at the "Mighty Great Trips" website, This is really what I am looking for. MGT seems to have several good, reasonably priced tours. Thanks again! Alice

Cherry Valley...
posts: 13
reviews: 14
9. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

There appears to be an Avis car rental about 1.5 km from port. We will be renting a car when we arrive as the cost is only slightly more than the transportation methods that exist. Plus, you've got the freedom to go wherever you want as well.


10. Re: Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

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