13 Mile-Long Mendenhall Glacier – Juneau, Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier is Juneau's most famous attraction. Mendenhall Glacier can be reached just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. This makes it one of the most accessible spots in the state. It is possible to get there by bicycle, with miles of flat and easy trails connecting our hotel and glacier. The Tongass National Forest includes the glacier. It is also one of the many glaciers in the Juneau Icefield. Together, they cover a vast 1,500-mile area. The Silverbow Inn Hotel and Suites is pleased to serve as your home-away-from-home

while you explore Alaska’s capital, Juneau. You will find 12 modern guest rooms right in downtown Juneau. You can easily access the best restaurants, shops, and museums in the area while being close to the best hiking trails. This summer, Juneau is much quieter than usual, making it a great time to visit this fantastic city. We’d love the opportunity to show you around. Book your Juneau hotel room today!

7 Things to Do at Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier, a 13-mile-long river of ice, is massive. It begins high up in the Juneau Icefield’s coastal mountains and ends at Mendenhall Lake. This lake was formed during the glacial retreat in the early 1900s. As the glacier breaks off, blue icebergs flotilla in Mendenhall Lake. This reminds us of the natural and constant process of change. Visitors have the rare opportunity to see the Mendenhall Glacier, a massive remnant of the last Ice Age.

The Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area has a lot to offer. The Visitor Center is a great place to begin. It has a variety of state-of-the-art exhibits and a short film that gives a quick overview of environmental factors in the Tongass National Forest. Here are some things you can do in the Mendenhall Glacier area besides just looking at the vast field of ice from The Visitor Center:

1-Photo Trail

To capture some iconic photos of Mendenhall Glacier, walk 1/3 mile along the Photo Trail.

2- Hiking

You can take one or more of the hikes from the Visitor Center. This includes the Trail of Time which displays the effects of glacial movement on the environment. Steep Creek Trail is a great place to spot bears while fishing for spawning salmon. The East Glacier Loop is another hiking trail around Mendenhall Glacier. It’s a more challenging hike but provides beautiful views of the forest, waterfalls, and surrounding areas. The West Glacier Trail is the only trail that allows access to the ice. It’s recommended for experienced hikers.

3- Wildlife

The area is home to much wildlife. Many reports see black bears, porcupines, beavers, and bald eagles.

4- Nugget Fall

You can make the short hike to Nugget Falls, a stunning waterfall at the base of Mendenhall Glacier. It is a spectacular view of the waterfall at 377 feet with the glacier behind it.

5- Kayaking on Mendenhall Lake

Kayaking on Mendenhall Lake is one of the best ways to see this area. For the 2020 season, Alaska Boat & Kayak Rental Shop will no longer offer kayak rentals or tours of the site. This incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be provided by them again in 2021.

6- Heli Tour

A helicopter tour can take you to the top of Mendenhall Glacier. This is a great way to view the glacier’s deep crevasses and3 meltwater pools and enjoy the fantastic beauty of the area. These tours also allow you to take guided ice walks or dog-sledding excursions.

7- Guided Hikes

You can take a guided hike on Mendenhall Glacier and explore otherworldly ice caves. Many of these tours were canceled for 2020, but they still accept reservations for 2021.