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Mendenhall Lake

Mendenhall Lake: Our most recommended tours and activities

Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

1. Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

Meet your guide at the cruise ship docks to start off this adventure. Hop in the van and listen to live commentary while driving through Juneau into the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States.  Once at the lake you'll have a meet and greet with the second guide who helps you put on the gear. You receive a rain jacket, rain pants, and rain boots. Along with everything needed to stay safe, including but not limited to paddling gloves, life jackets, helmets, trekking poles, and dry bags.  Your guides go over safety and paddling instructions before stepping into the canoe. This journey across the lake is a team effort, so it is not necessary to have paddling experience.  Mendenhall Lake is a glacier-fed lake that is surrounded by mountains and the famous Nugget Falls. The wind coming off the Mendenhall Glacier will officially welcome you to the Alaska wilderness.  Once the canoe is docked on the beach, there's time for a quick break before starting the hike to the glacier. During the hike, you can learn about the history of the area and listen to all the information your guides can share. Enjoy quiet moments to soak in the calmness of Alaska.  Once arriving on the rocky shore next to the glacier, follow your guides on an exploration trek around the rocky moraine to view the glacier up close.  The professional guides are in the wild every day and thrive on showing off what nature has to offer. One of the most unique aspects of the trip is that the glacial environment is in a constant state of movement and change, meaning no one tour is the same as the next. After your hike back to the canoes, be sure to soak in your last moments with the Mendenhall Glacier as the group paddles back to the shore.  Once arrived your guides will provide a hot beverage while you take off the gear. After a short drive back to the cruise ships, you will walk away with memories of Alaska that you will never forget.

Juneau: Mendenhall Lake Canoe Tour

2. Juneau: Mendenhall Lake Canoe Tour

Come face to face with the famous Mendenhall Glacier on this once in a lifetime Alaskan adventure. Meet your guide at the Mt.Robert's Tram building near the cruise pier. Your guide will take you on a scenic tour by minivan to the Tongass National Forest where you can gaze upon the stunning Mendenhall Glacier. This small group canoe tour takes you past icebergs, waterfalls, and steep cliffs once carved by ice. Paddle up close to the face of this 3,000-year-old glacier, 13 miles long of ice, half a mile wide and up to 1,800 feet deep. This is Alaska's most visited glacier! The paddle time is around two hours from start to finish, providing plenty of time to take advantage of capturing the memory through scenic photos. You will be equipped with top quality gear including rain pants, rain jackets, waterproof boots, and everything else you will need to ensure your comfort and safety. You'll get a dry bag filled with bottled water and snacks, to be used to store personal belongings while canoeing. Please note this is canoe tour only and does not include hiking on a glacier. Throughout the day you are offered snacks and beverages.

Juneau: Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Day Trip

3. Juneau: Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Day Trip

This half-day adventure is a combination of the two of the best experiences in Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier by bus and an experience watching whales by boat. The tour starts with a scenic ride through the historic town of Juneau on the way to the Mendenhall Glacier. Here you will enjoy a 45 minute visit to explore the area on your own. A short walk from the bus and you will have picturesque views of the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier towering mountain peaks. As you explore on your own, you will have access to walking trails, waterfalls, and an indoor visitor’s center with glacier exhibits. During salmon spawning season, you may also catch a glimpse of a bear fishing for salmon on the elevated walkways. At the conclusion of the time at the glacier, your driver and guide will meet you to continue on to the whale watching harbor for the second part of this excursion. On the next adventure, you will participate in the search for whales and other animals living in the ocean waters around Juneau. You are guaranteed to see a whale as these waters are the highest populated area for humpback whales during the summer months. Your captain and crew will make sure you are comfortable for the exciting journey ahead. Your boat has a heated cabin, outdoor viewing decks, and a marine restroom onboard for your comfort on this journey. You will be surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges in the distance as your boat navigates the water. The crew will interpret the sites and animals you see along the way. Aside from whales, you might also see eagles, sea lions, seals, or other water wildlife while while on this adventure. For the safety of the animals, your crew will always keep a regulated distance from the animals while allowing you spectacular views of these creatures in the wild. This is an Alaskan adventure you cannot miss! Once the boat returns to the boat harbor, your driver will greet you and take you on another scenic ride back to downtown Juneau.

Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Lake Canoe Day Trip and Hike

4. Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Lake Canoe Day Trip and Hike

See for yourself while this tour is one of the most popular adventure trips to the world-renowned Mendenhall Glacier. Paddle across the Mendenhall Glacier Lake and uncover an array of natural features on the edge of the receding Mendenhall Glacier on a guided hike.  Enjoy pickup and drop-off from a meeting point in downtown Juneau or from major hotels in the Mendenhall Valley. Hop aboard a comfortable and climate-controlled van for the transfer to the starting point of your canoe trip.  Begins on the shore of the Mendenhall Glacier Lake with paddle instructions from your guide. Load your gear into the large canoes and paddle together across the cool waters along the Mendenhall. Glide past Arctic Tern nesting grounds and observe the mist generated by Nugget Falls. Travel in 8-person or 12-person canoes skippered by 1 to 2 guides. As you approach the glacier, keep your eyes open for freshly calved icebergs and feel the cool breeze generated by the ice. navigate to the beach and land the canoe. Stop along the way to refuel with a hearty and tasty snack pack. After landing by the glacier, follow your guide across the rocky landscape. See crevasses filled with a deep blue color and an icefall at the toe of the glacier. Due to the glacier's state of constant change, not all features may be present or accessible, making each hike a unique experience.  Return to the canoes and enjoy paddling back with the wind at your back. Arrive on the shore, de-gear, and transfer back to downtown Juneau or your hotel in the Mendenhall Valley.

Available activities

  • Water activities

Other Sightseeing Options in Mendenhall Lake

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What people are saying about Mendenhall Lake

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 19 reviews

Bryce and Kelsey were incredible guides. They really engaged our 12 and 16 year old daughters early on and hooked in their attention for the day of adventure! People with teens know exactly how important this is! We canoed, we hiked, we learned, we stopped for photos. We explored and had an amazing up close adventure at the Glacier and Nugget Falls. I am amazed at how much knowledge the guides remembered and shared. It was really one of the most incredible and memorable days for our family. Thank you so much for everything you did to keep everyone warm and comfortable while also having a lot of fun!

It was one of my favorite adventures I’ve ever done! Canoeing across Mendenhall Lake was so exciting! We saw a Seal swimming. Beautiful scenery all around and floating icebergs! The hike to get to the glacier was a great! The guides Kelsie and Kelby were the best! Touching the actual glacier ice was awesome!

we had a problem with the meeting point, it was wrong in the voucher, we almost lost the excursion

The guide was excellent. Answered all the questions and never pressure by the time

Excellent activity. Bryce and Kelby made the experience so much fun.