Mendenhall Calving March 19, 2016

 

Welcome to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
Trails and other outside areas open year-round
6 a.m. to midnight

Mendenhall Certificate of Excellence 2016

 

 

 

Come experience the splendor of Mendenhall Glacier at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Savor the outstanding views of the thirteen-mile-long river of ice, which terminates on the far side of Mendenhall Lake. Gaze upon blue ice bergs floating in the water amidst reflections of Southeast Alaska’s magnificent Coast Mountains. Envision the vast Juneau Ice Field, a 1,500 square mile remnant of the last ice age, cradled high in lofty peaks and spilling forth 38 major glaciers, including the Mendenhall.

To access the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, stroll up the easy-walk ramp, climb the stairs, or ride the elevator. Prepare to marvel as U.S. Forest Service Rangers interpret the landscape around you. The story of Mendenhall centers on a changing climate and retreating glacier, but includes the return of a forest and wildlife. State-of-the-art exhibits, a spectacular 15-minute film, featuring the dynamic interplay between the Tongass National Forest and its many glaciers, and the Alaska Geographic book store (open May-September) will enrich your Visitor Center experience.

Several excellent trails of varying distance and challenge bring you close to cascading waterfalls or salmon streams. Be prepared to meet wildlife, including black bears, porcupines, beavers, bald eagles, and seasonally returning arctic terns, waterfowl, and sockeye and coho salmon. Stroll through a moist rainforest laden with moss or meander along the shore of Mendenhall Lake to Nugget Falls, counting ice bergs as you go. Explore the ever evolving landscape of the Mendenhall Glacier and experience the changes brought about by decades of glacial activity and the annual turning of the seasons.