We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An absolute must see”

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Juneau Shore Excursion: City and Mendenhall Glacier Tour with Seafood Lunch or...
More Info
and up
Mendenhall Glacier Rafting Tour from Juneau
More Info
and up
Mendenhall Glacier Smartphone Photography and Hiking Tour
Ranked #2 of 87 things to do in Juneau
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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 s 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.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed February 21, 2013

So we ventured off of our cruise ship and immediately were able to talk with several tour operators about our trip. We were able to set up a tour for a fraction of the cost of cruise ship offered tours. Upon arrival we walked out to the bear observatory which was very interesting because you are on an elevated boardwalk basically and feel relatively secure if there are bears there. Then there is just a wooden gate that you walk through to travel down a path and you realize that you are no longer in Kansas anymore and you are only about 20 feet from where the bears could have just been....

There is a great little path that gives you some great photo opportunities and you see some great wildlife. Then you can make it to the guest center which offers the ability to travel to the glacier by foot. I strongly recommend this but only if you have good footwear and understand that it is not a short walk.

The views are breathtaking though when you get to the end of the trail and there is a really nice waterfall. This was possibly my favorite spot on the trip.

Bring rain gear and good shoes and you will be fine. All i recommend is catching a bus to the park, tours may be fun but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know which piece of ice is the glacier and the pure beauty of the area doesn't need a tour guide spoiling the view with a lot of talk. I highly recommend.

11  Thank RugbyTraveler1213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (5,995)
There are newer reviews for Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

5,158 - 5,162 of 5,997 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2013

Mendenhall Glacier is an absolute MUST see in Juneau, Alaska. Plan ahead and visit this treasure! I traveled here with my boyfriend in May, and we shared one of the greatest experiences in our lives. We went on an Alaskan Cruise with Carnival and loved it. Juneau was our stop mid-way through our cruise, and we had read other user reviews on here before going, so we knew ways to save money and how to make the best use of our time.I knew I wanted to visit the Waterfall, the Glacier, and do some shopping. We barely had enough time to do all of that, but we managed and enjoyed every second of it. Most transportation to the glacier was expensive, except the City bus. The only thing is, it will take you a little longer to get there as the city bus makes several stops. On a time-limit, it still worked out for us and we saved a lot of money to visit the glacier that way. We walked down to the glacier first. Be careful around the edges of the water, and watch out for pools. In May, it was a little slick, but nothing that being careful and watching your step won't fix. My boyfriend and I went to the edge of the water to view Mendenhall Glacier, and seeing it in person is breathtaking. Seeing photos did not do it justice! Pieces of icebergs were floating around, and there were tiny chunks within reach, so we got to touch a piece of an iceberg! We then walked to the waterfall, and it was one of the most memorable moments in my entire life. It was my first waterfall! The sound it made, the look of the water falling, it was amazing. We dared and got close to it, getting wet from the waterfall. It was worth it, we collected many beautiful pebbles from the stream of the waterfall and we kept them. We were, at first, afraid that we wouldn't be able to take them on the plane back to Tulsa, but we had no trouble at all keeping the pebbles in our carry on luggage. We were on a schedule to take the city bus back into Juneau so that we could do a little shopping before getting back on the cruise. We made it to Juneau's downtown tourist shopping and we bought our favorite souvineers in Juneau. I'm so glad we didn't purchase souvineers on the cruise, because the SAME souvineers on the cruise ship were available for a fraction of the cost in the local shops of Juneau. We found beautiful parkas that said "Alaska" on them for clearance in Juneau's shops. The original price was $75 and we got them for $19.99. It is the warmest parka that I've ever owned and I wear it every time it's cold enough to snow. Great deals on items. We used up all of our time and made it back on the boat in time for dinner. It was a successful, memorable, beautiful day. I'm so glad we visited Mendenhall Glacier, and I can't wait to go back.

20  Thank Ashley E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

This was the first stop on our tour of Alaska two years ago. It is absolutely breathtaking! I have never seen anything like it, and probably never will again! A running waterfall is next to a frozen glacier! = like a Hot Fudge Sundae on Cold Ice Cream! I took the l mile walk each way with a young woman on our bus ---none of the other Seniors wanted to try it! It was definitely worth the hike; you cannot find such a feeling of peace and contentment anywhere else I have been, except maybe on Kauai or in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia! "Back to Nature" is my cry! My husband flew over us in a helicopter, but did not get to experience the thrill of standing next to a natural wonder -- he saw it from the top, and did not know the feeling of awe standing under something l00 feet tall and 2 miles back from the mainland. I would do this trip all over again if I could!

6  Thank Marilyn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

If you go to Juneau, you must take the trip to the Mendenhall Glacier especially if it is a clear day. The first time I was there it was overcast with low clouds. We were still able to enjoy the view. The 2nd time we visited was a clear day and even better. There is a interpretive center located there. They charge a small admission fee which includes a short movie. For the more adventurous, you can even hike to the edge of the glacier where there is a large waterfall. While at the glacier, we saw a lot of wild life as well: a number of eagles, 3 black bears (one was a cub in a tree and one catching salmon) and a porcupine. Heads up - they do not allow ANY food here (keeps the bears away), so eat before you visit!

4  Thank Susan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Stunning. Spectacular. A reason to visit Juneau. If you expect to be wowed in Alaska, Mendenhall Glacier won't disappoint. A must visit.

Thank AroundWorld300KDays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center also viewed


Been to Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing