Welcome to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Mendenhall Glacier


Visitor Center and Discovery Southeast Bookstore Hours of Operation:

  • WINTER HOURS: October 1st - March 31st Friday - Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Closed Holidays

  • SUMMER HOURS: May 1st - September 25th Monday - Sunday 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Open Holidays


Please click on the below image to view the 2019 Fireside Lectures schedule larger or print out. As always, our Fireside Lectures are FREE and open to the public. Lectures begin at 6:30 & 8 p.m. We hope to see you there!

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center 2019 Fireside Lecture Schedule

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 numerous 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 Discovery Southeast book store 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.

Facilities Master Plan

The Alaska Region is working through Corvus Design to create a Development/Facility Plan for the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area and Visitor Center. According to Regional Recreation Director James King, this plan will look 50 years into the future to create a vision that matches increasing demand with changing landscapes, updating infrastructure to meet those challenges. The Visitor Center accommodates over a half-million visitors and their needs for basic amenities, inspirational views, engaging displays and memorable moments of wildlife watching. Director John Neary looks forward to working with the community and partners in creating sustainable solutions to meeting these needs.

The planning started in September 2016. Discussions to this point addressed changes to the transit system, trails, viewing platforms, buildings, and more. As the glacier continues to recede from the visitor center, discussions also address how to respond; should a new observatory be built somewhere else? How should tours on the lake and to the glacier be handled? How do we preserve quiet places and opportunities to see fish and wildlife while considering increased access for all?

Corvus is conducting a survey of residents and visitors at their website www.mgra-mgvc.us. At this site, you can also see results of past surveys and meetings. 

Follow the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on Facebook Facebook Logo or Twitter Twitter Logo 2for all the latest news and happenings.


2016 TripAdvisor Award