Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
4.5
Visitor Centers • Geologic Formations
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8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
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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.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
7,063 reviews
Excellent
5,260
Very good
1,542
Average
223
Poor
27
Terrible
11

Choobyrooesq
Los Angeles, CA53 contributions
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.

sweetpeasue
Morgan City, LA499 contributions
Couples
We stopped that Juneau on our cruise and wanted something inexpensive and beautiful to do. We took a bus ($45 ea) to the glacier and walked the path to the falls and glacier (free). It’s was absolutely breathtaking and left us speechless at times. I would highly recommend this venture.
Written September 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Previa1994
Chicago, IL5,704 contributions
We visited Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau on a 3+hr excursion from our cruise ship in June. The Visitor Center is built up on a hill which makes for a picturesque setting. The Visitor Center provides a great introduction to Mendenhall Glacier and Tsongas National Forest where the glacier is located. The walk from the parking lot to the Visitor Center is lovely with far away views of the glacier and Nugget Falls. An elevator takes visitors from grade to the Visitor Center level. But, the walk up the switchback path is also very scenic and one should take this path on the way down, at least. The exhibits in the Visitor Center are very informative; the exhibit showing the progress (or regress) of the glacier through the decades is striking. They also have a movie about glaciers.

A variety of trails start from the visitor center, with the trail to Nugget Falls being the most popular. It is about a one mile trek to the amazing falls. The shorter Photo Point trial provides a great view of Mendenhall Glacier. These two trails are absolute must dos in this place. The Steep Creek trail is mostly a boardwalk trail in the creek area through the rain forest. There are two other trails, but we did not go on them.

If you are visiting Juneau, do not miss a stop at this beautiful spot.
Written August 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

duck8to
Montville, NJ6,810 contributions
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.

perrypickerign
85 contributions
We have enjoyed the majestic scenery of the mountains oceans and rivers. Our canoe ride to the base of the glacier was the icing on the cake. We canoed to the base of the Mendenhall Glacier. It was a fun adventure that included an hour longboat ride a short hike through the woods and then paddling a canoe to get closer to the glacier. It was a fun excursion. You really can not capture the beauty or scale of things. The water fall looks small but is about 300 feet high.
Written August 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tanksmon
Spartanburg, SC544 contributions
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.

Ocean 215
Coopersburg, PA66 contributions
Nice little visitors center with lots of information concerning the Mendenhall Glacier and nugget falls. They have exhibits and videos to check out and great views from high up of the surrounding area. There is an elevator for easy access if you are unable to use the stairs or ramp. Cute gift shop and restrooms. There were also staff at an information desk ready to assist visitors.
Written September 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TeacherTraveler
16 contributions
Family
If you are up to a small walk (1.5 miles) this is the best way to get to the visitors center!!! We arrived in Juneau on a cruise ship. Luckily I ran into a fellow traveler who had great advice. The cruise ship wanted $68 per person for transportation to and from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center. She recommended the public bus! We hoped on at the Transportation Center downtown and took the 4 bus to Mendenhall Valley for $2!!! The bus driver could not have been more pleasant, pointing out places of interest and stopping for us to see a black bear on the side of the road. He told us how to get back to the bus after our visit to the glacier.
At the visitor center the kids earned a free ranger patch for answering questions about what they had learned. It was a great day!
Written June 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dvitale2015
Hershey, PA134 contributions
If you have kids or teenagers you have to visit. It's only $5 to enter but I suggest getting two season passes for $20. We made several trips to the visitors center to walk down the steep creek trail to see if there were bears. You can access most trails without paying for a pass but you get neat little membership cards for keepsakes if you get the season pass. The bathrooms are decent too. If your in the area go now before the glacier recedes out of view of the visitors center which may happen within the next five years.
Written August 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Drek
6 contributions
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.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 4 Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center tours on Tripadvisor