Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center


Hours of Operation

May 4th - September 24th
8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., 7 days a week
Open on Federal Holidays

September 25th - March 31st
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Friday - Sunday
Closed on Federal Holidays / Closed the month of April

Trails and other outside areas are open year-round from 6 a.m. to midnight

2016 Fireside Lecture Schedule

Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area Prospectus 

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Map & Information - Downloadable PDF file

  Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area Map & Information Front Page  Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area Map & Information Map






















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.

For additional information, please use the Quick Links to plan your visit to the Tongass National Forest and the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. We look forward to sharing in your discovery of this exceptional national treasure.

For information on the Crystal Lake Day Camp program, please visit


Greetings Explorers! The U.S. Forest Service needs your help unlocking the secrets of the glacier. Bring this expedition on your visit to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and answer the questions at each stop.  Before you leave the visitor center, show your work to a ranger and become a member of the Glacier Expedition Club.  Below you will find the 2-page expedition and an answer key for the ‘Take the Mendenhall home!’ portion.  No printer at home? Just ask a ranger when you arrive for a copy of the expedition!

Glacier Expedition in PDF format

Glacier Expedition answers in PDF format



Eric the Erratic Movie

    Eric the Erratic
    This fun movie shows how erratics end up on the landscape.