This exhilarating tour combines hiking and glacier trekking for a perfectly adventurous day!
Trace the path of glacial succession as you are introduced to glacier trekking and the natural history of the Mendenhall Glacier!
If you've got an appetite for adventure, then you definitely don't want to miss this tour! Embark on an exhilarating four-mile hike through the enchanting Tongass National Forest, and then strap on a pair of crampons and trek around on the incredible surface features of the Mendenhall Glacier.
This excursion will be lead by professional guides who will provide expert instruction and interpretation, while blending safety with fun. Your journey begins with a four-mile trail hike through the rain forest along Mendenhall Lake. The first mile of the trail is well maintained and relatively flat, with the exception of a short uphill switchback section, while the remaining three miles are on an unmaintained trail. This strenuous trail is uneven and includes areas of mud, slippery bedrock, loose gravel, rock scrambling, and multiple short, steep up-and downhill sections.
Once you reach the glacier, there will be a short safety briefing, and then you'll be outfitted in trekking gear (crampons and an ice axe) and assisted in locating the safest entrance to the ice. You'll have about and an hour (depending on your group's pace) of exploration on the moderate glacial terrain overlooking Mendenhall Lake. Get close-up views of ice caves, streams, crevasses, and other unique glacial formations during this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
- This tour includes the use of mountaineering gear, backpack, rain jacket and pants, as well as bagel/cream cheese, snacks, and bottled water.
- Please bring/wear: comfortable hiking shoes or boots, hiking pants, warm hat, fleece gloves, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- A specific amount of time on the ice cannot be guaranteed. The amount of time on the glacier is dependent on the group's pace and weather conditions for the day. For an average fit group, it takes about two hours to hike to the glacier.
- Visiting specific features such as ice caves, moulins, etc. cannot be guaranteed due to the constantly changing nature of the Mendenhall Glacier. Your guide will assess the hazards the day of the trip and determine if a particular area is safe enough to trek upon or enter.
- This tour operates April 28th - September 30th, though due to diminishing daylight hours, only morning departures will be offered after August 15th.
- There is a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 required for this tour.
- Minimum age is 10 years old.
- Our glacier trips cater to all ages and abilities, however, clients must be in good enough shape to hike for up to 6-6.5 hours, covering about 8 miles round trip. The hike is challenging and clients need to bring sturdy hiking boots that provide good ankle support while hiking on rocky terrain. All clients will need to hike with a backpack the entire tour. We provide the backpack and it weighs approximately 10-15 pounds and holds mountaineering gear, snacks/water, and any extra clothing that you bring.
- Maximum shoe size we can accommodate for the crampons is size 14. Minimum is size 2.
- All participants must sign a waiver form at the start of the trip. Participants under the age of 18 will need a parent/guardian to sign for them. Alterations and/or deletions to the waiver are not permitted.
Days offered: 7 days a week