Published: Apr 20, 2020
Last Updated: Dec 23, 2022
Experience walking on the Mendenhall Glacier, using the 360 video above. Walking atop a glacier is truly an adventure like none other! The Mendenhall Glacier is located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, and is renowned for its size and beauty.
As you take your first step onto the glacier, you’ll feel the crunch of compacted ice below your feet. Take a moment to realize that you are standing on a piece of history. The oldest glacier ice discovered in Alaska is about 30,000 years old! As you soak in the stunning views, you’ll also want to take a deep breath of the crisp glacier air. The temperature on the glacier is about 15-20 degrees cooler than the mainland.
While standing on the Mendenhall Glacier, you will notice the magnificent glacier features that surround you. One of the most remarkable features is the large crack in the ice, known as a glacier crevasse. Glacier crevasses form as a result of stress caused by ice movement. Some glacier crevasses have been measured as large as 66 feet wide, and 148 feet deep.
Now, take a look at one of the most stunning sights on the glacier, the blue ice. The ice appears blue, almost turquoise in color, because the densely compacted ice absorbs red and yellow light and reflects blue light.
Look down at the ice below your feet, and observe the sediment that has collected on parts of the glacier. Glaciers are constantly moving, and the Mendenhall Glacier moves an incredible 2 feet per day! As it travels, it collects silt and sediments, which you can see here.
If you are familiar with the Mendenhall Glacier, you have probably heard about spectacular ice caves. Ice caves are rapidly forming and changing at the base of the glacier, based on glacier conditions. Take a 360 tour of the Mendenhall Glacier ice caves here.
The best Mendenhall Glacier tours, the Mendenhall Glacier Guided Walk, and the Juneau Mendenhall Ice Adventure Tour enable you to touch and walk on the glacier. That said, the Mendenhall Glacier is only one of 10,000 glaciers in Alaska! Our glacier exploration tours include treks on the Herbert Glacier, Norris Glacier, Taku Glacier, Denver Glacier, and more. Read more about glaciers in Alaska here.