Welcome to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Mendenhall Glacier


Summer Hours: During summer months (May - September), the visitor center is open from 8:00am - 7:30pm daily. During the winter, (October - March) the visitor center is open from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, excluding federal holidays. The visitor center will be closed during the month of April for staff training. The grounds surrounding the visitor center are open from 6:00 a.m. to midnight year-round. For more information about our schedule and access, please call the visitor center at 907-789-0097.

COVID-19 Information: The visitor center will remain open and following scheduled hours as long as the community risk levels related to the pandemic allow for safe entry for visitors and employees. USDA/Forest Service protocols are based around regularly updated CDC data and guidance. Based on CDC listed COVID-19 Community Level, facility masking protocols will be as follows- When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in Juneau, individuals are not required to wear masks in the visitor center. When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in Juneau, individuals are required to wear masks in visitor center. All individuals can wear a mask if they choose regardless of COVID-19 Community Level.

Visitors are required to purchase a pass from May 1–Sept. 30 to enter the Visitor Center. Passes can be purchased at the automated machines available in the Mendenhall Glacier parking lots or inside the visitor center at the Discovery Southeast bookstore. Day use passes sell for $5 per person and collectible season passes will be for sale for $15 for the card holder and one guest the entire season. Those age 15 and younger are free. The passes also allow access to the Pavilion, Photo Point and Steep Creek Trails. Fees are not necessary for accessing the parking areas, or hiking Nugget Falls Trail, East Glacier Trail, Powerline Trail, Moraine Ecology Trail, the Trail of Time, and all the Dredge Lakes and West Glacier Trails. Federal lands passes such as the “America the Beautiful” pass, Senior Pass, or Military Pass are also accepted.  

Visitor fees provide education, interpretation, and visitor services at the Mendenhall Glacier. This past winter, fees funded virtual ranger visits in over 40 Juneau pre-K to eighth grade classrooms and funded the popular winter fireside chat program. Fees also fund fish and wildlife restoration projects, the live cams that spotlight the Photo Point tern nesting area, Steep Creek salmon spawning, and local beaver activity, and all the various maintenance activities that make the Mendenhall an Alaskan treasure, such as keeping the sidewalks and Nugget Falls Trail plowed all winter.

For more information, call 907-789-0097.

Experience the splendor of Mendenhall Glacier at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Here, you can enjoy views of the thirteen-mile-long river of ice, which terminates on the far side of Mendenhall Lake, and watch blue icebergs floating in the water amidst reflections of southeast Alaska’s coast mountains. The Mendenhall Glacier is one of many major glaciers that connect to the vast Juneau Ice Field, a 1,500 square mile remnant of the last ice age, cradled high in the coast mountain’s lofty peaks.

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is accessible from the parking lots by stairs, elevators, and an easy ramp. U.S. Forest Service Rangers staff the center and are available to answer questions and 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 15-minute film featuring the dynamic interplay between the Tongass National Forest and its many glaciers, and the Discovery Southeast bookstore will enrich your Visitor Center experience.

Several 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 Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area (MGRA) Conceptual Development Plan will guide the development of recreation infrastructure in the MGRA accommodating the anticipated visitation needs over the next 20 years with a goal of addressing all anticipated demand, while providing a vision for the next 50 years. The geographic scope of this effort will include all three Units of the MGRA (Visitor Center, Dredge Lakes and West Glacier) a total area of nearly 6,000 acres.

The plan will include innovative planning solutions throughout the MGRA, to accommodate all that want to visit and experience the Mendenhall Glacier and its surrounding landscapes; while balancing the needs of the visitors with the directive for resource protection. The project will be developed within an inclusive process that allows public input and review of the Plan by residents, stakeholders and visitors. The project is expected to take two years to guide future facility developments within the MRGA. For more information about this project, please visit our project page at About Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area (MGRA) Conceptual Development Plan.

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2016 TripAdvisor Award