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My boyfriend and I got incredibly lucky and this trek turned out to be the highlight of our trip to Alaska, though our experience was a bit unique. We were originally set to hike with 5 other travelers, but when we met the guides in the morning they informed everyone that due to very poor weather conditions, we likely wouldn't make it to the glacier they offered everyone the option to cancel with a full refund. After a pretty convincing you-should-probably-cancel pitch from one of the guides, who we think may have been exaggerating a bit the other 5 travelers canceled and we ended up with a de-facto private tour with another guide Madisyn, who was awesome and just as gung-ho as we were to attempt the climb despite the torrential rain.
Madisyn did so much to make our trip great and get us onto the glacier despite the earlier warnings that it was perhaps inaccessible. She thought to bring waterproof boots, which made it possible for us to hike through the flooded terrain. We never would have made it in sneakers or even hiking boots... we were literally hiking through 8-9 inches of flowing water at times. She was friendly and helpful, and really made the extra-wet adventure fun. She even brought hot chocolate for us, which was a fantastic touch.
After a couple of hours spent hopping across quick-running streams and scampering up slick rocky terrain, we reached the glacier and ice caves underneath, both of which were stunning. Madisyn plus other guides from the company who had hiked earlier to scout the area worked to find an alternative way for us to get onto the glacier, since the river between the trail and the access point was flooded. We were eventually able to explore the ice caves and climb the glacier itself, and while the micro-spikes we strapped onto our boots took a little getting used to, the gear all worked fantastically on top of the ice.
We really couldn't believe how lucky we got -- not only were we able to complete the whole hike in surreal and wild conditions and walk on the glacier itself, but we practically got the whole mountain to ourselves because so many other tours were cancelled due to the weather. Madisyn was instrumental in making this happen, and she was super fun to hike with. Our trip may not have been 100 representative of the larger group tour that it should have been, but we definitely got the impression that Above and Beyond Alaska works hard to make their treks fantastic for their clients, and we were so glad we didn't miss this.
Stunning hike, helpful and experienced guides, lots of time on and in the glacier. We were able to walk through ice caves, rappel into holes in the glacier, drink from glacial streams - absolutely amazing!
The hike was amazing!! Our guides (Katie and Emma) did a wonderful job and very informative! Would highly recommend this.
Very impressive view. This trip is amazing even it's raining in Juneau.
This excursion was probably the best I have ever done on any cruise and I completed it with my wife on our honeymoon. Our tour guides were Kit and Casey and they were awesome! We really got to experience everything throughout the 8 mile hike including the rainforest, the Mendenhall glacier, and even got to go inside of an ice cave. My only recommendation is that you definitely have to be in pretty good shape as you truly do scale walls, climb down rough terrain, and scale the glacier throughout the advanced hike. You get all of the necessary equipment provided i.e. raingear, backpack, harness, walking stick, and spikes for your shoes and they give you plenty of snacks and water. I would recommend this excursion highly as it is WELL worth the price! Thanks so much for an awesome time and memorable experience!
This hiking tour was fantastic. Our guide Brad was so knowledgeable and helpful for this difficult hike. The company gives you snacks for the trip and gets you rain gear and equipment so all you need is good hiking boots and maybe some gloves if its cold. The ice cave was truly a surreal experience and won't be open for many more years because the glacier is receding. Book this trip while you still can!
It was best adventure we did on out Alaska trip.
Hike was little bit challenging with beautiful views and beautiful nature, constantly changing trail.
Hiking boots recommended!
Great great great, its is hard and lots of up and down but at the end you feel happy that you did it.
Amazing Experience and Guides!
Brad went above and beyond to ensure everyone enjoyed the hike to the glacier and that we were safe while on it. My sister said she could never have made the full hike without him as a guide.
imply awesome experience with my 12-year old daughter and guide Sam. Brisk and tough 1.5 hour hike followed by gearing up for the Glacier and capped off with some ice cave spelunking. Tougher vertical climb up from the Glacier getting back. All in a tough 7-hour day, but well worth the effort. The quicker you tough it out to the Glacier, the better the experience. Thanks Sam - an experience we'll never forget. Recommend for those up to testing their limits.
Visited July 2014
Our guide Brad was great. Best trip we had while we were in Alaska. Loved it. If you like to hike this is a must.
We were fortunate enough to schedule this excursion prior to leaving for our cruise. Boy are we ever so happy we did. Simply put this excursion was well worth every minute and beyond description. We were hoping for a nice excursion where we would hike, climb and trek to and on the glacier as advertized and we were not disappointed. As a matter of fact we were surprised to the extent of time we spent on the glacier. Not only did we hike through the forest, climb bedrock, manage switchbacks, trek on the glacier but we also got to explore underneath the glacier and go into the ice caves. What an amazing sight it was walking into the ice caves. Words cannot describe the beauty, the colors and the feeling you get when you enter and walk into the ice cave.
Our guide Brad was stellar. Not only is he a trained guide he is full of local infromation, knowledge and facts of the area and glaciers and supportive of the entire group. It is obvious why Brad is a guide. He took us to areas we would never have thought we would get to see. This guy ROCKED.
Hiking and treking on top of the glacier is an experience everyone should do once in their life. Add to that going into the ice caves and you have the best excursion ever. No doubt about it. We took several excursion during our week in ALASKA and this was by far the best.
This was worth every penny! The guides treated this as more than just a job- you would have thought it was their own business. We had a good, scenic hike to the glacier, and then once one the glacier it was truly unique. I'm in my mid 30's and decent shape, and was not exhausted at the end. You need to come prepared as the brochure recommends. I had great weather on my trip but it would be much more challenging in the rain. Check the forecast even though they bring gear to cover you. Pictures will not do this amazing trip justice. I cannot be more in favor of this trip than this, and I am a tough judge!
Absolutely amazing! We were very fortunate that the weather was great with lots of sunshine and no rain. The trek to the glacier was formidable but not outrageously difficult. I would recommend anyone visiting Juneau to check this tour out, it was the highlight of my trip.
Amazing Hike! We had two guides for a group of 11. They worked well with each other and made sure everyone enjoyed the hike and made sure we were safe, Brad and sarah were awesome! They were very knowledgeable and enjoyed what they were doing. I would recommend this hike! You must be in great physical shape...it is a difficult hike...however the most breath taking hike i have ever done!!! My only recommendation is more water is needed, they provided snacks and water. But, one water bottle in not enough for this 7 hour hike! This hike was the highlight of my Alaska Cruise trip!
We got to see inside a glacier cave...the most amazing! Wonderful views....this hike is a must! By far, one of the best exciting, breath taking things I have done!!!
Wow. What a breathtaking tour! I didn't know being speechless could be so literal. It was really amazing to actually walk on the glacier, while everyone at the visitor's center was so far away. This is definitely not an easy hike, it is very long and strenuous, but definitely worth it. My friend and I got lucky and it was just us two and the tour guide, so we went at our own pace. The guide was great! He stopped when we needed to, and took photos of us. He even readily jumped in the water of the streams to help us across. Being on the glacier was unbelievable; we even got very crisp water from a glacier stream! :) I would definitely do this again. Everyone should have this experience. Worth the price and then some!!!
Oh my god it was the most amazing experience we had, as a family. We were a group of six and we had three smart tour guides answering all our questions helping us specially me because I was afraid of hiking. Also one of the girls took her boots of and gave them to my daughter. When we finally got to the glacier it was breath taking, we had time for pictures and we also played with the snow. Absolutely recommend, but you need to be in shape for the walking and climbing, it’s worth every penny that we paid for the tour. Thanks for every thing. Melon family
It's hard to know where to begin. If you love glaciers, mountains, hiking, or want to try ice climbing for the first time this is THE trip to do in Juneau. Our guides, Travis and Connor, are extremely charismatic, bright and knowledgeable individuals who made my first glacier trek and ice climb the trip of a life time. I seriously had one of the best times of my life, I was grinning like an idiot when they took us into glacier caves and had us ascend a vertical wall of ice. Everybody tried it and got to the top. Bring a GoPro if you've got one or have someone film you from the bottom. This trip alone has inspired me to get into more technical mountaineering. I do a lot of backpacking/day hiking in my spare time and this is a good way to cross into the more technical aspects of mountaineering. All the while you are trekking on top of a glacier in Alaska. I had most of the gear prior to the trip but they provided quality technical gear. Petzyl, Black Diamond, Mountain Hardwear. This was the highlight of my trip!!
Fantastic experience as we hiked, trekked and climbed on all 4! Day was approx. 8 hours and lunch/snacks were provided along the way. I would recommend wearing layers as you cross various terrains and are presented with different weather conditions. Good hiking shoes is definite! I had a blast and took with me my sportif brother and 60 year old uncle who is in reasonable shape - he had a walking stick to assist him.
I was actually super excited for this excursion after reading the reviews and especially after hiking on a glacier earlier in my trip. I would have given this review more stars if it was advertised as a Hike and possible glacier viewing because that would have been accurate. 90 of this trip was spent hiking through the woods to get to the glacier, and according to our guides some groups don't even make it that far depending on the fitness levels of the group. From the description I was expecting a glacier trek AND climb and in reality we stepped on the glacier for all of 20 minutes. Meanwhile we spent 6 hours on a hike which was a GREAT hike but when you are expecting the trek and climb on glaciers durng an 8 hour excursion expectations are to be on a glacier. I guess if the glacier wasn't receding so fast over the years we may have gotten there sooner and had more time to explore the glacier. I understand there isn't much a tour can do about global warming effects, but the title of the excursion needs to be changed to provide a more accurate expectation. This was definitely a mountainess hike, not a glacier trek and climb.
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