Alaska is a nature lover’s paradise, and one of its most spectacular natural wonders is the Mendenhall Glacier Cave. It is located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier is a stunning sight that should not be missed. This guide will explore the Mendenhall Glacier Cave, including two outdoor activities, two must-see places, and one unusual tip for travelers.
The Mendenhall Glacier Cave is a unique and awe-inspiring natural formation that is created by meltwater flowing through the glacier. The cave is ever-changing, and its colors and shapes are constantly evolving. The cave is only accessible by guided tour, and it is essential to book in advance. The tour will take you through the cave and explain the geology and history of the glacier.
Ice climbing is one of the most popular outdoor activities at the Mendenhall Glacier. This is an exhilarating way to experience the glacier up close. Guided ice climbing tours are available and are suitable for all skill levels. The tour will take you to the best ice climbing areas on the glacier and provide you with all the necessary equipment.
Another great outdoor activity at the Mendenhall Glacier is kayaking. The nearby Mendenhall Lake is a beautiful and peaceful place to paddle. Guided kayak tours are available, and you will have the opportunity to see the glacier from a different perspective. The tour will also take you to nearby islands where you can see wildlife like seals and eagles.
One of the must-see places at the Mendenhall Glacier is Nugget Falls. This beautiful waterfall is located at the glacier’s edge and is a spectacular sight. The waterfall is accessible by a short hike, and the trail is suitable for all skill levels. The trail takes you through the beautiful Tongass National Forest and offers stunning views of the glacier and the surrounding mountains.
The Visitors Center
Another must-see place at the Mendenhall Glacier is the Visitors Center. The center is located at the trailhead for the glacier and offers excellent interpretive exhibits about the glacier’s history and geology. The center also provides information about the surrounding area, including hiking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities.
For a unique experience, consider taking a night hike on the Mendenhall Glacier. This is a guided hike and an excellent opportunity to see the glacier in a different light. The hike is available during the summer months, and it is a great way to see the glacier’s colors and shapes in a different way.
More hiking options find here.
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum
Located in the heart of Juneau, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the area. The museum features exhibits on the Tlingit people, the first inhabitants of the region, as well as the gold rush and the city’s relationship with the Mendenhall Glacier. The museum also has a beautiful collection of artifacts and photographs that capture the spirit of Juneau and the surrounding area.
The Juneau-Douglas Fish Creek Bear Observatory
Just a short drive from the Mendenhall Glacier, the Juneau-Douglas Fish Creek Bear Observatory is a unique opportunity to see Alaskan brown bears in their natural habitat. The observatory is located in the Tongass National Forest and offers excellent viewing opportunities for bears as they come to fish in the nearby creek. Guided tours are available and provide visitors with a safe and educational experience while observing these magnificent animals.
The Glacier View RV Park and Campground is a good choice for those on a budget. Located just a short drive from the Mendenhall Glacier, this campground offers RV and tent camping sites. The campground features clean restrooms, hot showers, and a laundry room. The campground also offers a stunning view of the glacier and the surrounding mountains, and it’s a great place for those who want to immerse themselves in the area’s natural beauty.
A great choice for those seeking a mid-range option is the Prospector Hotel. This hotel is located in downtown Juneau and offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. The hotel also features a restaurant, a lounge, and a fitness center. The Prospector Hotel is a great base for exploring the city and the surrounding area, and it’s a convenient option for those who want to be close to the Mendenhall Glacier.
The Westmark Baranof Hotel is an excellent choice for those seeking a luxury option. This hotel is located in the heart of Juneau and offers spacious and elegantly appointed rooms. The hotel features a restaurant, a lounge, and a fitness center. The Westmark Baranof Hotel also offers a stunning view of the Mendenhall Glacier and the surrounding mountains.
Mendenhall Glacier Lodge is an excellent option for those looking for unique accommodation. This Lodge is located within a short distance from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. The lodge also features a restaurant, a lounge, and an outdoor hot tub. The Mendenhall Glacier Lodge is an excellent base for exploring the glacier and the surrounding area, and it’s a perfect place for those who want to be close to the glacier and nature.
Overall, the Mendenhall Glacier Cave is a must-see destination for any traveler visiting Alaska. The natural beauty and outdoor activities make it a perfect place to explore. The Visitors Center and Nugget Falls are also must-see places, and the night hike is an unusual and unique way to experience the glacier. With proper planning and preparation, visiting the Mendenhall Glacier Cave will be a lifetime trip.