Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. $139.75 per adult. There was a problem with your submission. In 1892, this glacier was renamed to honor Mendenhall. The 3.5-mile East Glacier Trail loop has 500 feet of elevation gain, offering a elevated views of the ice and surrounding terrain. Visitors can walk to Mendenhall Lake at the foot of the glacier via the wheelchair-accessible Photo Point Trail. https://juneaucapitaltransit.org/, How and where to find Alaska’s glac­i­ers — some of the state’s most beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al attractions. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. For ambitious backcountry hikers, the 3.4-mile (one way) West Glacier Trail skirts the western shore of the lake, leading to a trail junction with a route to Mt. Mendenhall Glacier (also Sitaantaagu) is a glacier about 13.6 miles (21.9 km) long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles (19 km) from downtown Juneau in the southeast area of the U.S. state of Alaska. The forest (being USA’s largest national forest) was lush and green and although we didn’t come across much wildlife on our very brief visit in May, we saw some beautiful waterways and Continuing our service to you while doing our part to address the COVID-19 pandemic is very important to us. Daily, hundreds of visitors see a glacier up close, just up the road in Alaska’s capital city. The glacier is named after Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, a noted scientist, who served on the Alaska Boundary Commission that was responsible for surveying the international boundary between Canada and Alaska. Mendenhall Glacier lies just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska, which explains its popularity. This is a must-do activity for travelers who appreciate the grandeur of nature. Please try again. The Mendenhall Glacier visitor's center was built in 1961 and is the most visited attraction in the Tongass National Forest today, with tourists traveling from all across America for … 7-10 days is the most common. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. Overwhelmed by choices? Forest: Tongass National Forest. The glacier itself is over 3,000 years old and easily one of Juneau’s most popular tourist stops. The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center — the hub of activities in the Recreation Area — af­ fords the most spectacular view of North America's most accessible glacier. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Another very rugged route extends further from the main trail toward the glacier itself, but is recommended only for experienced backcountry travelers prepared for route finding. Description: Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Wildflower Viewing Area offers a unique opportunity to observe plant succession in action. The glacier and surrounding landscape is protected as part of the 5,815 acres (2,353 ha) Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, a federally designated unit of the Tongass National Forest. Wildlife can often be seen along the river’s shore, look for bald eagles, black bears, otters. The city bus drops visitors a mile and a half from the visitor center. Its active face regularly calves big icebergs and brash into its lake. It is part of the Juneau Icefield, located within the Tongass National Forest. TTY: 907-228-6222 Spotting scopes will bring the glacier’s shimmering face close. The Trail of Time, a .5-mile paved interpretive walk, features signs marking the glacier’s recession. Here, you can enjoy views of the thirteen-mile-long river of ice, which terminates on the far side of Mendenhall Lake, and watch blue icebergs floating in the water amidst reflections of southeast Alaska’s coast mountains. About the Mendenhall Glacier. The plan will include innovative planning solutions throughout the MGRA, to accommodate all that want to visit and experience the Mendenhall Glacier and its surrounding landscapes; while balancing the needs of the visitors with the directive for resource protection. Visitors may reach the visitor center by city bus, taxi, tour bus or rental car. Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Tongass National Forest, Juneau Ranger District 6000 Glacier Spur Rd, Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: (907)789-0097, Email: tongass_webmaster@fs.fed.us The pace will be brisk, the day unforgettable. The Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area (MGRA) Conceptual Development Plan will guide the development of recreation infrastructure in the MGRA accommodating the anticipated visitation needs over the next 20 years with a goal of addressing all anticipated demand, while providing a vision for the next 50 years. Stroll through a moist rainforest laden with moss or meander along the shore of Mendenhall Lake to Nugget Falls, counting ice bergs as you go. The geographic scope of this effort will include all three Units of the MGRA (Visitor Center, Dredge Lakes and West Glacier) a total area of nearly 6,000 acres. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? Overlooking the Mendenhall Valley, the visitor center was built in 1962 and was the first in the National Forest System. ◼ The glacier and its surroundings are protected as the 5,815 acre Mendenhall Glacier Recreational Area, a federally designated unit of the Tongass National Forest. Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. Stumps and logs have been popping out from under southern Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier — a 36.8-square-mile (95.3 square kilometers) river of ice flowing into a lake near Juneau — for nearly the past 50 years. Take in views of the spectacular Mendenhall Glacier as you board your raft lakeside and begin your journey down river. Visiting Mendenhall Glacier Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. Signs have been posted at all Tongass National Forest offices with guidance for obtaining entrance to conduct business, which may include setting up an appointment in order to enhance social distancing and minimize the number of visitors in offices at one time. Preserved stumps and trunks, many still rooted and even bearing bark, sit in a gravelly mix of stone churned up by the glacier. Visit September to April to see the Northern Lights, Best Northern Lights Viewing Spots Near Anchorage, How to Travel to Alaska in January and February, The Best Large Family & Group Vacations in Alaska, How to Get from Anchorage to Your Cruise Port in Whittier or Seward (or the reverse!). The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. Use our calculator to find out, Stay casual, dress in layers, and get proper footwear, Guides to the best locations around the state to view wildlife. Take Egan Drive out of town past the turnoff to the Juneau International Airport and turn right on Mendenhall Loop Road. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. Experience the splendor of Mendenhall Glacier at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Start at the visitor center, with an indoor viewing area and a 15-minute film about the glacier’s dynamics. McGinnis. Back at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau, the U.S. Forest Service is demonstrating how melting glaciers provide an opportunity to connect people to the seriousness of climate change. Mendenhall Visitor Center is only 13 miles from downtown Juneau. 2-5 day small ship explorations. Is the glacier retreating? The only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road, Mendenhall’s grand edifice plunges from the immense Juneau Icefield, dropping 4,500 feet over 13 miles. Drop in at the Forest Service managed Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center when you start your exploration if this area for information on trails, trail conditions and interpretative activities. You will need to walk 1.5 miles from the bus stop down the sidewalk along the Glacier Spur Road to the end. Discover The Upside-Down Forest of Glacier Gardens in Juneau, Alaska: Upside-down trees serve as natural flower pots in this hanging garden of Alaska. Highlights plus less visited destinations. An ancient forest has thawed from under a melting glacier in Alaska and is now exposed to the world for the first time in more than 1,000 years. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map, PDF of short hikes near Mendenhall Visitor Center. Follow the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on Facebook  or Twitter for all the latest news and happenings. Public Transportation: You can take the city bus from Juneau for a small fee, but it does not leave from the cruise ship dock or come all the way to the visitor center. Mendenhall Glacier is a massive and mighty river of ice that extends 13 miles. Car, train, or group tour. Experience majestic scenery and abundant wildlife on this exclusive Juneau shore excursion that combines a whale watching exploration with an easy hike on a secluded rainforest trail at the Mendenhall Glacier. Federal Building One of the most accessible glaciers in North America, the Mendenhall Glacier is located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. Situated just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is a very accessible point to view the massive glacier. We will continue to serve you via email, phone calls, and appointments as needed. Forest natu­ ralists of the center are your hosts during your visit. Featuring vivid blue ice and awe-inspiring views of the magnificent Coast Mountains, the Mendenhall Glacier is a natural wonder. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. U.S. Forest Service Rangers staff the center and are available to answer questions and interpret the landscape around you. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. Several trails of varying distance and challenge bring you close to cascading waterfalls or salmon streams. The glacier slowly scours the bedrock and grinds down its 13-mile journey to Mendenhall Lake. Ketchikan, AK 99901-6591, Phone: 907-225-3101 They provide you with informative programs of the glacier, the new forest… Be prepared to meet wildlife, including black bears, porcupines, beavers, bald eagles, and seasonally returning arctic terns, waterfowl, and sockeye and Coho salmon. The only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road, Mendenhall’s grand edifice plunges from the immense Juneau Icefield, dropping 4,500 feet over 13 miles. The Mendenhall Glacier is one of many major glaciers that connect to the vast Juneau Ice Field, a 1,500 square mile remnant of the last ice age, cradled high in the coast mountain’s lofty peaks. ◼ The glacier is about 12 miles (19 km) long, located in the Mendenhall Valley. Several other trails offer opportunities to view the glacier and the wildlife of Alaska's Tongass National Forest. 648 Mission Street Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier is shrinking, and its retreating ice has bared the remains of an ancient forest. Why Go. Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area Prospectus, About Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area (MGRA) Conceptual Development Plan. FILE - In this July 31, 2013, file photo, tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest are reflected in a pool of water as they make their way to … It is 12 miles (19 km) from downtown Juneau in the southeast of the U.S. state of Alaska. Don’t forget your camera, as it boasts the perfect vantage point for … Travel through the glacial-carved Mendenhall Valley while taking in the views of the lush Tongass National Forest. An ancient forest which is thought to have been hidden for at least 1,000 years has been discovered beneath a melting glacier. How to Get There. The project will be developed within an inclusive process that allows public input and review of the Plan by residents, stakeholders and visitors. Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. Can I bring and consume food and beverages inside the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area and surrounding trails? Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. Therefore, we are limiting our face-to-face meetings and limiting walk-in access to our offices. The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center features exhibits, interactive videos and a panoramic view of the glacier. A relic of the Little Ice Age that lasted until the mid-18th century, the Mendenhall Glacier is an example of a receding glacier (about 100 to 150 feet [30 to 45 metres] a year), displaying raw glacier moraine with exposed remnants of a long-buried forest. NOTICE: Limited access, continued service at Tongass NF offices. The trailhead on the lake’s southwest corner off Skater’s Cabin Road beyond the Mendenhall Campground. Cascading waterfalls, quiet forest glens, and breathtaking glacier views are just a few of the treasured places reached only on foot. Fax: 907-228-6215. The Juneau Icefield's most visible ambassador, 13-mile long Mendenhall Glacier ends at Mendenhall Lake and is easily viewed from the Forest Service's historic visitor center. We visited the Tongass National Forest Recreation Area on our way to the Mendenhall Glacier. After about 2 miles, the Loop road makes a sharp left turn while Glacier Spur Road continues straight toward the mountains. Self-drive vacations. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. One of the founding board members of Ohio State University, Mendenhall never actually visited Alaska, however it was his techniques that ended a long-standing dispute over the actual boundaries of the country. Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The story of Mendenhall centers on a changing climate and retreating glacier but includes the return of a forest and wildlife. Please check your email to verify your subscription. A small group size sets the stage for a personable and interactive tour. Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area Map & Information, Forest Service Home | USDA.gov | recreation.gov | Recreation Customer Service Standards | USA.gov | Whitehouse.gov, Plug-Ins | FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | Information Quality, https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/about-forest/offices/?cid=stelprdb5400800, Getting from downtown Juneau to the Visitor Center & Recreation Area, Recreation Area Permitted Tour Companies & Wedding Venue Company. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? Five other trails feature short hikes near the visitor center, including the one-mile trail to Nugget Falls along the shore. Which one is right for you? A paved, flat .6 mile trail leads to Photo Point with a head-on view of the face across the lake against a coastal mountain panorama. As well as humpback whales, there's a good chance of spotting bald eagles, blue heron, and other animal and bird life. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is accessible from the parking lots by stairs, elevators, and an easy ramp. District: Juneau Ranger District. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. The Mendenhall area is as good as it gets. The Forest Service has ambitious plans for the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, the area around Mendenhall Lake, the glacier and Dredge … Mendenhall Glacier is one of the many large glaciers that flow from the 1500 square mile expanse of rock, snow and ice known as the Juneau Icefield. This Ancient Forest In Alaska Is Melting Out Of The Ice The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau is one of the most beautiful and accessible glaciers in Alaska. Stumps have been thawing from beneath the Mendenhall Glacier for about 50 years, but recently, considerably more have been found in upright positions with roots still intact. Be amazed by the 13-mile (21-kilometer) Mendenhall Glacier, and take to the water on a whale-watching cruise. Enjoy one of our scenic Mendenhall Glacier Tours. This natural setting—both summer and winter—is one of the most spectacular and interesting in the Alaska, and the visitor center is considered world class with museum quality exhibits that draw about 500,000 visitors a year. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. From its origin to its terminus at Mendenhall Lake, the glacier stretches some 13.6 miles. Punctuated by waterfalls and lush forest, the glacier’s rugged and crevassed reach anchors an extraordinary mountain vista. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. On this Mendenhall Glacier shore excursion, put on your hiking boots, fill your lungs with fresh air, and experience a day of world-class hiking. Located in Tongass National Forest, Mendenhall is one of 38 glaciers that originate from the massive 1,500 square mile Juneau Icefield. You can also take a taxi from downtown Juneau (12 mi), Juneau Airport (5 mi), or the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal (7 mi). Explore the ever-evolving landscape of the Mendenhall Glacier and experience the changes brought about by decades of glacial activity and the annual turning of the seasons. Yes. The trees are being … We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of the COVID-19. Please call 907-789-0097 to reach the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Offices. Take the spur road another 1.5 miles to the visitor center. State-of-the-art exhibits, a 15-minute film featuring the dynamic interplay between the Tongass National Forest and its many glaciers, and the Discovery Southeast bookstore will enrich your Visitor Center experience. An ancient forest has thawed from under a melting glacier in Alaska and is now exposed to the world for the first time in more than 1,000 years. Glacial movements have, and still are influencing where, when, and what plants may occur. The Mendenhall Glacier is one of many major glaciers that connect to the vast Juneau Ice Field, a 1,500 square mile remnant of the last ice age, cradled high in the coast mountain’s lofty peaks. For more information about this project, please visit our project page at About Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area (MGRA) Conceptual Development Plan. The glacier has been retreating for 300 to 400 years, since the Little Ice Age, and has peeled back another 1.75 miles since 1929. The area is notorious for lone hikers getting lost or injured and then requiring rescue. Live view of nesting Arctic terns at the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. The U.S. Forest Service staff offers a wealth of information on glaciers during your 75-minute visit to the glacier. Step away from the crowds with narrated transportation to a remote part of the Tongass National Forest to get your first views of the breathtaking, ever-changing Mendenhall Glacier. No visit to Juneau is complete without a close-up look at the Mendenhall Glacier. As glacial ice continues to build, gravity pulls the ice down slope. The Mendenhall Glacier is located just north of Juneau, in the Tongass National Forest, and is part of the Juneau Icefield. Logs and stumps can be … One of 38 glaciers that emerges from the 1500 square mile Juneau Ice Field, runs 13 miles long into the Mendenhall Valley eventually ending in the Mendenhall Lake where it is primarily viewed today. The project is expected to take two years to guide future facility developments within the MRGA. A strong tourism industry around Alaska’s glaciers provides the state with substantial economic benefits. Its active face regularly calves big icebergs and brash into its lake. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. Mendenhall Glacier In summer, a highlight is the Arctic Tern breeding colony. The USDA Forest Service Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is located in the Mendenhall Valley, 12 miles from downtown Juneau.