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Mendenhall Lake Canoe Tour

Prepare to come face to face with the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier on this ultimate Alaskan adventure. Traveling with a small group in a canoe, your guide will help you navigate past icebergs, waterfalls, and steep cliffs once carved by ice. You will help paddle the canoe as close as possible on the expedition toward the face of the Glacier.

This small, intimate adventure begins by meeting your professional guide at the Mt.Robert's Tramway building. You will enjoy a narrated scenic drive to a more remote part of the Tongass National Forest, where you will first lay eyes on the ever-changing Mendenhall Glacier. One of the most beautiful and accessible glaciers in North America, the Mendenhall Glacier is just 12 miles from downtown Juneau but feels like a million miles away from the everyday. The 13-mile-long river of ice, which ends on the far side of Mendenhall Lake, is one of Alaska's shining gems. A half-mile wide with ice up to 1,800 feet deep, it's no surprise that Mendenhall is the most-visited glacier in Alaska.

Gaze upon the other-worldly beauty and serenity of Mendenhall Lake from the seat of your canoe as you paddle across the lake. Keep an eye on the cliffs adorned with nests of Arctic terns, a giant waterfall, and wildlife while navigating past beautiful blue icebergs. You will come as close as possible to the face of the Mendenhall Glacier and be rewarded with front-row views of the "icefalls", where miles of glacier ice flow steeply over the mountainside, and continue down to the lake in front of you. Your guide will steer the canoe to the best viewpoints of the glacier's towering ice seracs and blue crevasses. So make sure you bring your camera!

Group sizes are kept small and personal, with a maximum of 10 to 14 guests. You will be equipped with top quality gear including rain pants, rain jackets, waterproof boots, and everything else you will need to ensure your comfort and safety. Each guest is provided a dry bag filled with bottled water and snacks, to be used to store personal belongings while canoeing.

Important notice: This tour is canoe only and does not include hiking on a glacier. For a glacier tour experience, please view our Mendenhall Glacier Ice Adventure Tour.

Included: Necessary rain gear and life jackets. Snacks and beverages.

Please note: Minimum age to participate is 12 years.

2023 Health & Safety Notice
We have increased the frequency of disinfecting surfaces and equipment between each tour, and hand sanitizer will be available to all of our guests. Staff will wear necessary protective equipment when applicable and guests will stay at a safe distance during all points of the tour. All staff members have been vaccinated and receive regular wellness checks.

Duration: 3.5-4 hours (Paddle time: 2 hours.)


  • Roundtrip transportation
  • Rain jacket, rain pants, Xtratuf rain boots, paddling gloves, and a dry bag for personal items.
  • Bottled water, snacks, and hot beverage


  • Minimum age: 12 years old
  • Minimum weight: 90lbs
  • Maximum weight: 240lbs
  • Not recommended for guests with back, shoulder or hip problems
  • Pregnant guests are not permitted on this tour 
  • Full use of limbs for up to 2 hours canoe paddling 
  • Signed liability waiver
  • Minimum of 4 passengers for all 2021 bookings

Duration: 3.5-4 hours. Tour times below are approximate:

  • 30 minutes - narrated transport to the glacier launch site
  • 15 minutes - equipment and safety briefing
  • 2+ hours - canoe paddling
  • 15 minutes - equipment unload & break with hot chocolate
  • 30 minutes - transport back to port

Meeting Instructions:

  • This tour meets in front of the Mt. Robert's Tramway building. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.

ADA Accessibility of Tour:

  • This tour is not wheelchair or limited mobility accessible. This is an active tour that requires guests to get in and out of a canoe in the water as well as paddle for a duration of 2 hours, so full use of limbs is necessary.

Do I have to paddle?

Yes, everyone is expected to paddle along with your guide.

How large is the canoe?

There are 2 different sizes of canoes that are used. One style holds up to 10 guests and the other holds up to 14 guests. 

How close will we get to the glacier?

Our guides will bring you as close to the glacier that is safe and accessible. The distance ranges depending on the weather as well as the group, but typically around 200 meters away.

Will I see any bears or wildlife on this tour?

Bald eagles, herons, shorebirds, arctic terns, mountain goats, porcupines are all common sights, but this is not a designated wildlife tour and nothing can be guaranteed. 

Is it cold on the canoe?

This really depends on the weather. Typically the wind coming off the glacier causes it to be around 5-10 degrees cooler. We suggest you to be prepared for everything!

What should I wear on my canoe trip?

We provide everything you need to stay dry. Rain pants, rain jackets with hood, "Alaskan Sneakers" a.k.a Xtratuf  rain boots, as well as paddling gloves. We suggest dressing in layers and according to the weather that day. Sunglasses if it is sunny and if you tend to get cold, please bring a hat/beanie as well as gloves. 

May I bring a backpack?

Small backpacks are allowed on this tour. We provide dry bags that contain bottled water as well as snacks that may be used to store your personal items during the paddle.

Are there any physical requirements for this tour?

Minimum weight is 90lbs and maximum weight is 240lbs to fit into the required lifejacket. You must be able to get in and out of the canoe and full use of limbs. You must be able to paddle 2-2.5 hours on the canoe. We take frequent breaks to enjoy the surroundings and take photographs.

May I take photographs?

Yes, we encourage you to take photographs. We take frequent breaks to enjoy the glacier, the waterfalls, as well as the beautiful Alaskan wilderness.

Want to learn more about our Mendenhall Glacier tours?

Check out our page for more details on all of the Mendenhall Glacier tours we offer: Mendenhall glacier!

Not seeing answers to your questions?

Check out other frequently asked questions here!

Customer Reviews
May 2023 - Belinda S.

We had an awesome tour on the Mendenhall Lake. We were exceptionally lucky with good weather and a fantastic knowledgeable tour guide Alec. All weather gear was provided and a decent bag of snacks and hot chocolate or coffee provided after the tour. We were fortunate enough to get up close to the Mendenhall Glacier which is amazingly beautiful. Highly recommended tour!

Sep 2022 - Rose C.

Totally enjoyed this excursion. Our guide Mike was great. We got very close to the glacier. Would do it again! Much better choice than kayak.

Sep 2022 - Ching H.

Kalbi our guide was professional and informative, felt like he was also on the trip with us because of how much fun he was bringing to the tour. Smooth and enjoyable experience with him, totally recommend this trip!

Sep 2022 - Ashley M.

The canoe tour was phenomenal!! Even though the weather was the worst they had seen in years, we still got to go on the excursion! You get to go SO CLOSE to the glacier, it s truly incredible. Mike was a fantastic guide! I would highly recommend this excursion if you want to see the glacier up close, and you are up for an adventure! They provided lots of extra waterproof clothing and boots for us as well!

Sep 2022 - Jasmine A.

Was a different type of excursion. Got to use our muscles and paddle the canoe up close to the glacier and to the base of nugget falls. Definitely need to be physically fit to paddle but was amazing to be out there. Guide was amazing (thanks Mike!) and the nature is magnificent!

Aug 2022 - Angineh T.

Paul was our tour guide for this one-of-a-kind excursion. He was very knowledgeable and friendly and gave us so much information about the area and the wildlife. We didn't know anyone in our group but Paul made it feel like a family. This is an excursion that you MUST do if you are in the area. They provided waterproof clothing, boots, binoculars, and snacks.

Aug 2022 - Janet U.

Was an amazing adventure. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. A must when in Alaska!

Aug 2022 - Tammy D.

A great experience and Mike was an excellent guide. This excursion requires you to work but the views are completely worth it. Alaska Shore Excursions was easy to deal with and provided our group (7 people) with exceptional service.

Aug 2022 - Denise B.

This was an amazing excursion, even in the rain. Our guide was awesome! Definitely recommend this excursion.

Jul 2022 - Lea W.

Awesome! Informative and fun! Thank you for showing us the beauty of Mendenhall lake and the spectacular glacier. Totally recommend this excursion to anyone visiting Juneau. You will not be disappointed!

Jul 2022 - Arlene A.

We had a great time canoeing towards the glacier and passing by icebergs on the lake. Kevin was a great guide and full of information. It was the perfect Alaskan experience!

Jul 2022 - Paula L.

This was so much fun! The guide was funny and very knowledgeable about the area. They provided all the equipment (rain gear, life vests, shoes) and even snacks and coffee/hot chocolate at the end to warm up. We were able to see the glacier clearly. My family really enjoyed it!

Jul 2022 - Katie C.

Amazing experience, amazing guide. It was our favorite part of our trip in Alaska!

Jul 2022 - Grace Y.

We are by no means professional or even recreational canoers. Frankly, we signed up mostly for the pictures. Our guide Paul took care of every detail to ensure we had an optimal experience from the moment we hopped into his van. During the ride to and from the lake, not to mention the canoe trip, Paul shared insightful knowledge about Alaska along with tips and tricks on how to navigate the canoe itself. The company provides all the equipment you may need including boots, gloves, lifejackets and stores your belongings safely while you are on the water. An added bonus was the snacks and drinks provided as this is a longer excursion. Paul did a good job of ensuring we were paddling where we needed to go on the lake but balancing it out with breaks and photo opportunities as the conditions allowed. We walked away with some epic pictures and unforgettable memories.

Jun 2022 - Julie K.

Our family had a great time! Matt and Paul were wonderful guides. Highly recommend!

May 2022 - Samantha O.

Matt and Elena made our day amazing! We had the most outstanding sunny and warm day in Juneau! The tour group was very small and we were able to access parts of the lake that nobody else reached. It was a once in a lifetime trip that if I was back again, I would do again. Skip the helicopters, try the Canoe!

Sep 2019 - Jerry M.

Excellent canoe paddle to the glacier. The tour operator was first rate,with the best equipment. Our guide was Ally and she was very knowledgeable about our tour.

Sep 2019 - Chung-der Y.

excellent! All outfits were provided, rain coat, boots, pants and life jackets, personal items were all securely locked up in their van and the tour guide ended the tour with a cup of hot cocoa drink.

Aug 2019 - Susan N.

We loved this excursion! Such a peaceful ride out to the glacier and the canoe glided through the water almost effortlessly. Our guide, Abby, was friendly and considerate. She gave narration from the back of the boat to tell us about our surroundings. We also paddled over to the waterfall and saw a Beaver! This company has top of the line equipment and furnished us with head to toe rain gear to make sure we were comfortable. The snacks and hot drinks they provided were a nice bonus. We are in our 60's and would definitely recommend this company and tour.

Aug 2019 - Connie S.

This was a fabulous excursion! The beauty of the day was priceless. Our tour guide Abby, was so informative. She treated everyone with such kindness and patience. I would recommend this excursion to everyone.

Aug 2019 - John G.

Outstanding view of the glacier from close up. Our guide Spencer was wonderful. Lots of fun.

Aug 2019 - David G.

Our tour of this fantastic place was made extra special by our very pleasant guide Abby, whose knowledge of the location was exceptional & her concern for our safety was first & for most. Our equipment for the journey was also in very good order.

Aug 2019 - Karen B.

This is an awesome adventure . My favorite of all I did. I would sometimes forget to paddle because the scenery was so peaceful and serene. Guides were great.

Aug 2019 - Joachim B.

We had an amazing experience on the lake. We were able to get within a couple hundred yards of the glacier. We also rowed near the base of Nugget Falls. We saw a couple of beavers along the edge of the lake. The weather was perfect: sunny, light wind, smooth waters. There were a total of 7 guests in the canoe: myself, my wife, my 3 teen sons, and another couple. Snacks and all equipment were provided.

Aug 2019 - Fernando L.

An amazing tour, a great guide, awsome views

Aug 2019 - Ernie Z.

I chose the canoe trip because it is the closest one can get to the Mendenhall Glacier without hiking on it. Our leader, Ben, was a fountain of information about the flora, fauna & history of the area. I also appreciated that the refreshments were not salmon and reindeer meat products, but healthy and environmentally friendly choices. I highly recommend this venture!

Jul 2019 - Peter H.

The guide was outstanding in his knowledge of the area and especially the impact of climate change on the environment around the glacier. we actually paddled for about six miles, exhausting but worthwhile. This was a highlight of our trip.

Jul 2019 - Carolyn S.

This was an incredible adventure. Our guide Ryan was informative and entertaining. Would highly recommend this tour. The paddling was not too strenuous as we had 60 and 70 year olds in our group. We saw several eagles and arctic terns which was so cool. And the glacier was breathtaking. Thanks again.

Jul 2019 - Sue S.

Top notch from start to finish. Quality guide (and from our hometown!), equipment, and snacks! We truly enjoyed our paddle to Mendenhall Glacier.

Jul 2019 - Scott H.

Excellent all around! Easy logistics with pick up and drop off near the cruise dock. Great tour and top of the line gear and healthy snacks too! I was most impressed by the new and high quality equipment and gear they used. Our guide and all the staff at the starting point were very personable and knowledgeable too. I'm not normally a guided tour company sort of client but I was most pleased and impressed with my experience. Only hiccup was the one person in our party that wanted to take off his life preserver a few times! Significant safety violation on account of the tour company guidelines and for personal safety too considering the water is 34 degrees. Our guide handled a difficult situation firmly and well

Jun 2019 - Mitch B.

Mendenhall Lake Canoe Tour was a fabulous experience. Our tour guide Casey's knowledge of the area was excellent and made our experience a memorable one not to forget.

Jun 2019 - David R.

Spencer was awesome! Had a fabulous time! Beautiful scenery and a great trip!

May 2019 - Samuel S.

This is a highlight of the day! A wonderful experience and a good exercise to burn all calories from the ship buffet! The tour guide very informative and friendly.

May 2019 - Laine T.

I totally enjoyed the experience! It was a great way to get out in Nature, get some exercise, and see the glacier up close. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable, skilled, and well prepared. I would recommend this excursion to anyone, in a heartbeat. :-)

Sep 2018 - Michael S.

Would have been a good experience except there were 5 children( ages 10-15) in our canoe and they did not paddle which make the trip harder on everyone else. Should be an age limit of of 16 or older. It was twice as hard as it needed to be which affected our enjoyment.

Sep 2018 - Dana Marie F.

wonderful experience-guide was knowledgeable and pleasant

Sep 2018 - Rhiannon I.

Tour guide was great, lots of good information, beautiful views, and TONS of fun! Would definitely recommend to others.

Aug 2018 - Linda N.

Great excursion, highly organized and enthusiastic member who guided us. I recommend this tour excursion to anyone who is interested. You won't be disappointed.

Aug 2018 - Darlene T.

OMG, this excursion was wonderful, our tour guide Mitch was well educated in the glaciers and surrounding area. Our canoe only had 8 people to canoe to the glacier, but Mitch was wonderful. Got us up close to the glacier and the falls. This is a must see and do excursion, a break at the falls with a light snack. I would book again with Alaska Shore excursions without a doubt. Thanks to Mitch and I wish him success with his future endevours. The excursion goes rain or shine, lucky for us, we had great weather!

Jul 2018 - Mark C.

Colin and Mitch we're great guides. Together with the beach crew we were suited up and on our way in a unrushed but quick manner. Was a great tour with a few funny jokes and a great visit to the glacier and nugget Falls where are we got pretty darn close to the base of the waterfall well paddling to the beach!

Jul 2018 - Penelope F.

Our family loved Alaska and we loved the canoe trip with your company. We had the best guide, a young guy finishing his degree in Kentucky, so fun and he had so much information he sounded like a local ( a local with a slight southern accent).

Jun 2018 - Isaac D.

Most beautiful excursion! We had great weather and the canoe ride was very enjoyable. The glacier was beautiful and really cool to see up close. We did not walk on the glacier, but it was still a lot of fun. Rain gear is provided so no worries about getting wet.

Jun 2018 - JULIANNE E.

Nice excursion Did not get as close to the glacier area as expected Knowledgable guides Felt safe in the canoe

Sep 2016 - Jennifer W.

Extroadinary.up close and personal to nature's wonders. Great guides. Thank you

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Duration: 3.5-4 hours

Number of Passengers *

Adult: $219.00

Child (12-17): $219.00

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