Get up close to the Mendenhall Glacier and explore all the features along the edge with your professional guide. Your private excursion begins with a 4-mile hike through the largest temperate rainforest in the world, the Tongass National Forest. Surrounded by towering Sitka Spruce and Hemlock trees, walk through the dense vegetation passing beaver ponds and rock scrambles. YouÃll see the true wilderness as you hike through the trail.
Upon approaching the final ridge from the end of the forest trail, the awe-inspiring Mendenhall Glacier is a site to see with its many icebergs that are floating down the river. WeÃll start on a guided adventure trek to explore an array of glacial features found along the edge. You will be up close to the glacier and exploring the unique landscape of bedrock recently exposed by the receding glacier. Follow your guideÃs directions and safely explore all other views of the Mendenhall Glacier including deep blue crevasses, icefall created at the toe of the glacier, and many more. The Mendenhall Glacier is receding daily and not all features may be present or accessible. We will continue to explore the edges of the glacier from the bedrock. After the glacier rocky moraine hike, weÃll trek back via the West Glacier Trail and provide transportation back downtown.
This private hiking tour is rated as strenuous and requires excellent balance and endurance. You will increase about 800 feet in elevation but the terrain is steep, uneven, slippery, and rocky. The hike is 4 miles each way, in approximately 4-5 total hiking hours. If your private group needs to go faster or slower, or spend more time taking the perfect photo, your guide can customize this experience to meet your needs.
Please note: This tour does not include trekking on the glacier. Minimum of 2 passengers required to book. Maximum of 12 passengers per departure. If you would like to book a larger group, please inquire to make a special departure.
Duration: 8 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal. Hiking time: 5.5-6.5 hours.)
- Roundtrip transportation
- Aluminum water bottle, water, and hearty snack pack
- Gear/equipment: rain jacket, rain pants, rubber boots, waterproof backpack
- Helmet and trekking poles if needed
- US Forest Service permits
- Minimum of 2 passengers required to book
- Minimum age: 8 years old
- Guests must be able to hike for at least 6 hours/9 miles round-trip on steep, rocky, slippery, uneven terrain carrying a 10lbs backpack, and provide their own hiking boots with adequate ankle support
- Not recommended for guests with limited mobility, heart, and respiratory issues
- Pregnant guests are not permitted
- Signed liability waiver
Duration: 8 hours. Tour times below are approximate:
- 30 minutes - Van transport to the trailhead
- 30 minutes - Gear outfitting and orientation
- 2 hrs 45 minutes - Trail hike to Mendenhall glacier
- 1 hour - Glacier’s edge exploration
- 2 hrs 45 minutes. - Trail hike back to parking lot
- 30 minutes - De-gear and return van transport
- This tour meets near 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.
I have an injury/problem with my back/shoulder/body. Can I still take this tour?
Due to the intensity of this tour, we recommend injured guests do not take this tour. Tour guides may deny participation on the day of the tour if they are made aware of any physical problems that would compromise the group's safety or progress.
How close will I get to the glacier? Will we visit any ice caves while on this tour?
Due to recent flooding and glacial ice erosion, this tour does not include walking on the glacier. Instead, the tour will explore the edge of the glacier.
Will I see any wildlife or bears on this tour?
Bald eagles, herons, shorebirds, artic terns and waterfowl are all common sights, however this is not a designated wildlife tour and specific wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
Is it cold near the glacier?
The temperature really depends on the weather, but expect the temperature near the glacier to be 5-10 degrees cooler.
Can I bring my own food or drink?
Food and drink are allowed during this tour, but there are no waste bins, so you are responsible for transporting your own garbage.
What type of clothing should I wear?
Weather depending, you are encouraged to wear gloves and light layers. We'll provide you with waterproof jackets, pants, and rubber boots.
How many passengers does the tour van hold?
We operate 12 passenger vans.
Are there any age restrictions for children?
The minimum age on this tour is 8 years old.
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