Alaska's famous drive-in glacier, Mendenhall Glacier, is Juneau's most popular attraction, flowing 12 miles (19 kilometers) from its source, the Juneau Ice Field. On a sunny day it's beautiful, with blue skies and snow-capped mountains in the background. On a cloudy and drizzly afternoon, it can be even more impressive, as the ice turns shades of deep blue.
Near the face of the glacier is the visitors center, which houses various glaciology exhibits, a large relief map of the ice field, an observatory with telescopes and a theater that shows the film, Magnificent Mendenhall. Outside you'll find a salmon-viewing platform overlooking Steep Creek, as well as 6 hiking trails, including a short photo-overlook trail to a longer trek up the glacier's west side. Another trail, the East Glacier Loop trail leads through the forest for views of a waterfall near the glacier’s face. Though a little steep, it’s perfect for school-age children. More experienced hikers should try the West Glacier Trail, which follows the edge of the lake and glacier, providing access to the ice itself.
Mendenhall Glacier is located just outside Juneau, at the head of Glacier Spur Road. You can reach the visitors center by bus, taxi, or car. The city bus drops visitors a mile and a half from the visitor center. Those choosing to walk should be prepared for changing weather conditions.
If you’re coming by car, take Egan Drive and turn right at Mendenhall Loop Road. Mendenhall Loop Road turns into Glacier Spur Road and ends at the visitor center. The parking lot has great views across the lake to the glacier's face.
Tours & Tickets
Escape to the Alaskan Wilderness on a small group Whale Watching Adventure from Juneau. This is your chance to see humpback whales, bald eagles, seals and ... Read more
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
Enjoy a Juneau sightseeing tour, whale-watching cruise and Mendenhall Glacier experience with this Juneau combo tour. Tour the city by coach to see highlights ... Read more
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
See the best of the Juneau area on this sightseeing and nature tour that combines historical landmarks with stunning natural wonders. Start with a narrated ... Read more
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Hike to Mendenhall Glacier on a challenging, yet exhilarating, full-day tour with a private guide! After leaving Juneau by minibus, take to the rainforest ... Read more
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Want to see the best Juneau has to offer in one day? First, get an up-close look at the ice wall at Mendenhall Glacier. Then, board a jet boat for an exclusive ... Read more
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)