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Hiking the glacier

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posts: 126
reviews: 6
Hiking the glacier

juneau alaska

May 21, 2013, 6:33 PM

My cruise ship stops in juneau alaska and we will be visiting Mendenhall Glacier. I guess we will take the shuttle to the visitors center ...But I do not know which hike to take. I want to get away from the crowds of the visitors center but still want to see the waterfalls I guess. All these trails sound ok Photo Point Trail and the Steep Creek Trail are easy and accessible trails. Elevated boardwalks above Steep Creek provide salmon and bear viewing opportunities. Visitors can hike via the East Glacier Loop to an overlook within a half-mile of the glacier. The Trail of Time, which connects to East Glacier Loop, was recently updated to include new historical signs and handicap accessibility. You can also explore the recently completed 0.8-mile Nugget Falls Trail, which leads you to Nugget Falls near the face of the glacier.[3] Access to the area and trails is free. There is also West Glacier loop that would bring you to ice caves. Do you think that we can do that in the 8 hours that our cruise is in Juneau? What hike would you suggest:

1. West Glacier loop with ice caves

2. East Glacier Looop -- IS that a nice trail

3. Nugget Falls Trail?

We are a very active couple who hike all the time


Destination Expert
for Alaska
posts: 13,486
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1. Re: Hiking the glacier

You posted twice :-)

Juneau, Alaska
posts: 202
reviews: 10
2. Re: Hiking the glacier

West Glacier trail is very rugged, not well marked, and requires very good boots with excellent ankle support because it crosses a very steep rotten shale outcrop that is very slippery and extremely dangerous.

I have lived here all my life and would never enter an ice cave at the glacier's edge. They have been known to collapse without warning.

I would only recommend this as a guided hike.

The trails near the visitor center, especially the Steep Creek viewing platforms and the Photo Point and Nugget Falls trails, are very crowded, East Glacier Loop not quite as much, but remember on a 4 or 5 ship day, there will be 3000+ visitors at the Visitor Center area almost all day.

For waterfalls, you could walk up Basin Road from downtown and hike the Perseverance Trail to a view of Ebner Falls, then hike on to the Granite Creek trail (which given this late spring may not be open until late June) where you hike up alongside the waterfall to a beautiful small glacial basin with marmots and ptarmigan.

posts: 126
reviews: 6
3. Re: Hiking the glacier

Thank you so much. This sounds so much better than fighting the crowds. We might end up going to Mendenhall Glacier quickly to see the waterfalls there and hike quickly the east glacier trail. Do you think I can do both things Mendenhall Glacier and then Perseverance Trail to a view of Ebner Falls, then hike on to the Granite Creek trail. WE havae 8 hours in port.

Thanks so much

posts: 114
reviews: 14
4. Re: Hiking the glacier

How long would the Perseverance/ Granite Creek trails hike take?

5. Re: Hiking the glacier

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