Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, AK

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau’s top attraction, is a 13 mile drive from town. While there are numerous tours that include excursions to the glacier as well as transport, it is also easy to drive there if you have a car for other reasons.

The glacier is first seen from the road that dead ends at the park. A short walk to the photo point affords open views of Mendenhall Lake and the glacier at the far end. The information at the visitor center will tell you that back in 1935 the glacier used to be near where the front end of the lake is today.

East Glacier Trail

1935 was about the time that they built the East Glacier Trail which back then ran parallel to the glacier. Now it’s a beautiful wooded 3.5 mile walk but only select viewpoints look over the lake and glacier.

Nugget Falls

The other worthwhile walk is the short, level 1 mile track out to Nugget Falls, a raging explosion of water in late May. A beach along the lake gives a good vantage point of the falls.

We arrived at the park at about 11AM. Crowds were minimal at this hour with only a few busloads of visitors roaming. Leaving the park at 2:30, after hiking the East Glacier Trail, there were a number of busses dropping off guests.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Alaska page.

May 26, 2019