Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
4.5
Visitor CentersGeologic Formations
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Mendenhall Glacier is easily accessible via roads from the local airport, cruise ship terminal and state ferry terminal. Our facility and lands are managed by the federal government through the United States Forest Service. Federal passes are accepted and sold as well as daily passes. There is a visitor center with a theater showing a 15-minute film on Mendenhall Glacier, a bookstore operated by nonprofit organization Discovery Southeast, and exhibits on wildlife, history, and glacial and geological changes. Rangers provide talks at various indoor and outdoor sites in summer. Open hours in summer are daily 8am to 7:30pm. Due to wildlife and bears, no food is allowed outdoors from April-November. There is no beverage or food service available to prevent bears from becoming food-conditioned. Nearby Steep Creek is the spawning stream for wild sockeye salmon from late July through early September. Later in the fall, a run of coho salmon spawn in the creek. Porcupines can be seen foraging on leaves in deciduous trees. Beavers are visible early in the morning and in the evening. Learn about Alaska and the natural world around the glacier and lake. Enjoy a one-hour hike to 400-foot-tall Nugget Falls. Other trails lead to different habitats. In winter, the visitor center is open Friday-Sunday from 10am to 4pm and closed on federal holidays.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • sage97
    Laurel, Maryland504 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A MUST SEE
    A great starting off point. Listen to a narative of the glaciers formation and how much they have receded over time. Walk around the park they are a couple of trails to take. Perfect picture taking. You can leave from Juneau for a tour ride for 45. per person(round trip) and stay as long as you wish.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 19, 2023
  • smvNYC
    New York City, New York359 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good starting point
    We were fortunate to get to the center early in the day before the large number of tourists made their way in (there were three cruise ships in port). The center provides a nice place to learn about the glacier, and the flora and fauna. A video plays at regular times and it gives you a general idea how glaciers have shaped the area. As there are also restrooms, it is a good stop before or after you make your way closer to the glacier. By noon it was crowded though.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 21, 2023
  • sashakeena
    Vancouver, Canada11,714 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the Visit!
    Visitor Center is a must go to when visiting the Mendenhall Glacier. The staff are knowledgeable & friendly when explaining or answering questions regarding the Glacier. Lot's of interesting information & videos explaining what was happened to the Glacier. We used the elevator to get into the Center plus there are washrooms available.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 29, 2023
  • MdWeekender
    Severna Park, Maryland214 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very beautiful
    The tours to visit the mendenhall glacier are sold out - so we had two choices- take the city bus and walk 1.5 miles each way (we saw a lot of people walking), or rent a car which is what we did. Totally worth it. By driving we saved our walking legs for the trail to nugget falls. And we went in early evening when there were no crowds. Very beautiful. Was nice to get out and walk on a beautiful day.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 29, 2023
  • Tracy L
    Pawleys Island, South Carolina6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Juneau Must See
    Love at first sight. The visitors center is the best spot to start your experience. There is a 15 minute movie worth watching about the glacier. The waterfall hike, for those who wonder, is more like a long stroll to a majestic waterfall. Well worth seeing
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 31, 2023
  • pammashburn1014
    Abilene, Texas48 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful view
    We were in Juneau a couple of weeks so we were able to schedule our visiting time to avoid as much as possible all the cruise ship excursion buses unloading. This is a beautiful place the visitor center was clean with a great view. The gift shop was tiny, crowded, and frustrating.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 6, 2023
  • Joanne
    Lake Mary, Florida2,064 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must visit
    I'm glad I stopped at the Center before I walked the trails, as they can give maps and advice on what to do if you have limited time. Modern building and you can take the ramp or the elevator. The movie is informative, so don't miss it. It does get very crowded. Clean bathrooms. The trails around the Center are well-maintained with lots of signs about the local plants.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written August 10, 2023
  • sgregory711
    Dallas, Texas307 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gorgeous
    Exactly what everyone else has said. Beautiful views, easy trails. Just gorgeous and a must visit. If you are visiting from a cruise it is not easy to get to. You will need to rent a car, go by taxi, uber or visit as part of a tour. We traveled by uber to get there and flagged down a taxi to go back to town. It is so worth going but the transportation can be a bit of a math problem. Stay flexible and the numbers of a taxi service to call just in case you get stuck.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Mary V
    Mechanicsville, Virginia150 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magnificent scenery and worth it to go.
    While we were on the port call to Juneau, we took a shuttle to the Glacier. We did not go through the cruise line. We got off the ship and walked to the kiosks. We gave ourselves plenty of time to go and get back before we had to be back on the boat. This is worth every penny (and still cheaper than booking through the cruise line). The scenery is magnificent. If you catch a talk by a tour guide, listen up. They share lots of interesting bits during the talk. Sorry, not going to spoil the adventure and share too much. Suggest you go. The shuttle bus driver made a joke, "You're paying to go watch ice melt." yeah, maybe, but it sure is pretty spectacular. The gift shop in the Visitor Center is nice, and even toward the end of the season, it was well stocked with sizes, and a variety of merchandise. The things we saw in the Visitor Center were nice. We spent most of our time outside though, hiking to the falls, stopping to take photos, and enjoying the mild, sunny weather we had that day.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 7, 2023
  • Rockiroads
    Oshawa, Canada1,311 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Another great trip
    Great bus trip from the port we booked at the port. Lots of walking to see this Glacier. And we were glad we did. Fantastic views and trails, make sure you have rain proof clothing with you and have the ability to walk on long trails. The photos I took were from a less expensive cell phone so they came out good. Totally worth the the day trip to do this.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 11, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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duck8to
Montville, NJ6,835 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Located 12 miles from downtown Juneau. the Mendenhall Glacier is part of the 5,815 acre Mendenhall Glacier Recreational Area and part of Tongas National Forest. The area is managed by the United States Forest Service. The glacier extends from the Juneau Ice field to Mendenhall Lake. AT it's end point lies the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center which provides interpretive programs, an audio-visual presentation in their theater, a book store run by Discovery southwest Alaska, gift shop, tourist information and public restrooms. It is open year round.

There are a number of trails which start at the Visitor Center but it is the West glacier Trail that gives you access to the Glacier. The Trail of Time has historical signs and is handicapped accessible. Nugget Falls Trail will lead you to Fabulous Nugget Falls.

Mendenhall Glacier reached it's recent maximum length during the Little Ice Age in the 1700's and since that time it has been retreating. it has experience accelerated retreat in the last 50 years. Since 1929, it has retreated 3.25 miles.

From Juneau you can reach the glacier by Uber, tour bus, taxis or a public transportation bus which is the cheapest form of transportation to the glacier. Be mindful of the fact that the bus stop leaves you with a mile walk to the glacier.
Written March 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

William B
Ocala, FL71 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This is operated by the Forest Service and Ranger Ranger gives a talk often and leads a tour to the edge of the lake where you can see the Glacier very close. Also, there is a 15-minute film (see it first) explaining what you are seeing. No need to take an "Excursion" here; the city bus line passes by hourly.
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PBlyth
Tampa, FL255 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Impressive and beautiful views of the Mendenhall Glacier both from the visitors center and from the ends of the walks thru the woods. The trail off to the right that carries you to the base of an ice cold roaring waterfall is a worthwhile 1 mile stroll. Small pieces of glacier float up to the shoreline so you can pick them up for photo opportunities. Easily reached by taking one of the many small buses from the cruise docks that will drop you off within a few 100 ft of the visitor center and return multiple times for a return trip. You can set this up yourself and save quite a bit of money from the cost charged by the cruise ships. Simply get off the boat and walk up to one of the many booths selling tickets.
Written January 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MdWeekender
Severna Park, MD214 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
The tours to visit the mendenhall glacier are sold out - so we had two choices- take the city bus and walk 1.5 miles each way (we saw a lot of people walking), or rent a car which is what we did. Totally worth it. By driving we saved our walking legs for the trail to nugget falls. And we went in early evening when there were no crowds. Very beautiful. Was nice to get out and walk on a beautiful day.
Written July 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tammyBaltimore_Md
Baltimore, MD3,819 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
From the ground or at highest point inside the visitor center, you can't go wrong with these breathtaking views of the glaciers, mountains & waterfall. If you're adventurous you can rent a canoe and get up really close to all.
Bus driver said can be mama bear with cubs at times, but no such luck during my visit.
To save money take the $2 each way city bus and walk over a mile, very doable if your in good shape, otherwise the city tour operators are so much more, but they can shave off 1/2hr of time going & coming vs the typical hour on city bus.
Written July 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tanksmon
Spartanburg, SC544 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
This is a very nice center. Very good and informative displays plus a very good 15 minute overview. The location offers excellent views of the glacier and the rangers were just great with kids. The maps were very easy to interpret and trails were very easy to follow. One key thing is that there are no concessions of any kind - not even vending machines. They also do not allow you to take your own food into the park. Other than that, it was a great experience and I would do it again.
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Drek
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Friends
I loved the Visitor Center. The staff are super friendly, helpful and if you ask them they will tell you of bears have been seen recently or how many salmon have been counted in the stream on any given day. A great little video in their theater room on the Juneau Ice Fields is full of information as well. Worth the stop!
Written July 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

shahara C
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
We were in Juneau for 6 days, we went to the Glacier 4 of those days. It is breathtaking. We got to see Romeo the wolf in the visitor and his rock near Nugget Falls. If you go to Juneau read A Wolf Called Romeo! You will want to explore every inch one this beautiful glacier. I completely understand why he loved this place so much. My son loved Nugget Falls, we did that short hike 2 times. We hiked the East Glacier trail, a deck hand on a fishing trip we took advised us to start at the bottom of that trail rather than at the visitor center. It was great advice, it was a little challenging because it rained quite a bit while we hiked but we had the trail to ourselves and it was a highlight of our trip. We really wanted to explore the ice caves but were unable to hire a guide while we were there. We will definitely return!
Written June 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Choobyrooesq
Los Angeles, CA274 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
This is a must do while in Juneau. We did this while on a stop on our cruise - and like everyone who is visiting by cruise ship , they give you very little time in port. Do yourself a favor and save some money and control your time by booking bus tix to Mendenhall via Big Blue Bus. $45 round trip booked thru TripAdvisor/Viator and they pick up and drop off every hour and half hour on the clock. We spent as much time as we wanted taking pics of the glacier , going thru the visitor center and walking to the falls (none of which is strenuous). It’s about 0.5 mi flat walk to the falls (you can get right up to it). You won’t be able to get super close to the glacier btw, but some broken off pieces of ice will be within reach that you can touch. My dad was just so amazed by the beauty - he has come to Alaska via cruise before but never went here. And this definitely was his favorite thing on this cruise. FYI there is another restroom in the visitor center and a little hike in a loop near the parking lot area. Also if you come by prepaid bus, that covers any fees for entering the park.
Written June 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mlorahga
Augusta, GA1,507 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
All the helicopter rides to the Mendenhall Glacier were sold out, so I went to the Visitor Center. The Center had several good presentation and a lot of good displays. Also had really good views of the Glacier.
Written September 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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