Yes! Don’t worry; the glacier is still here.
An estimated 1 million people will visit it this year. Will you be one of the lucky ones?
Did you know the glacier is actually advancing around 2 feet per day? Although, it does melt a little faster than that. If you have visited Juneau before then the glacier may look different than you remember, but that is because glaciers are always moving and changing. You would not think a giant slab of ice, which has been around for a while, would be known for its ability to change, but it’s on the move.
We always advise our customers and friends that people come to Juneau for two main things: glaciers and whales. We make sure you get a chance to see both. Mendenhall is just one of the 38 glaciers that make up the Juneau Icefield. Right behind the mountains that surround Juneau is a 1500 square mile icefield which is larger than the size of Rhode Island. In other words, it is HUGE and will be here for a long time. Spending time at the glacier is a highlight of any vacation to Juneau because it’s a once in a life time opportunity. The Mendenhall glacier has been sculpting the mountains you see by its side and the lake in front of it for a long time.
Thats one big ice field!
The glacier sits just about 8 miles away from the where the cruise ships dock in Juneau and is a short 20-minute drive. There are lots of different trails for you to experience. These levels range from, “I do not want to walk very far” to “how can I get on that glacier!” You can learn more about Mendenhall in the visitor center, which is just a few steps from where we drop you off. Inside, they can tell you more about glaciers, wildlife, and the area around you. I would suggest that you take the 1 mile (1600m) trail from the visitor center to Nugget Falls. I have never met anyone who was disappointed or who would not recommend it to someone else.
Want to head to the glacier? We can make that happen!
There are thoughts about improving visitor’s experiences at the glacier. Just last month, an article was posted with ideas from the United States Forest Service that ranged from a new visitor center to boat rides to the glacier.
You can read all about it here: http://juneauempire.com/news/local/2018-04-27/new-ambitious-plan-unveiled-deal-surge-tourists-mendenhall-glacier