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Mendenhall Glacier picture in Juneau
Dagny Willis / Getty Images

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Details

  • Natural Wonders, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.7
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Mendenhall Glacier welcomes more than 400,000 visitors each year, and it's easy to see why: aside from its stunning arctic beauty, the glacier is only 12 miles outside Juneau and it's the only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road (you can easily take a cab here). When you're not gazing at the icebergs, the Coast Mountains will likely grab your attention. Upon arrival, your first stop should be at the visitors center, where you can watch a 15-minute film describing the changing landscape, talk with forest rangers and relax in the warmth of the glacier observation area. You can also pick up a map detailing the various hiking paths around the glacier. 

Many recent visitors saw the glacier while on a cruise port stop and highly recommended sharing a cab with your fellow passengers to the glacier. Travelers also advised stopping at the visitors center to watch the informative film. Of all the trails, reviewers highly recommend the East Glacier Trail for its stunning views of the glacier and the falls.

You can reach the glacier several ways. Hopping on the city bus is your cheapest option (tickets cost $2 each way), but it's also the least convenient: You'll have to walk about a mile and a half from the bus stop to the glacier. You can also take a taxi or a shuttle; Juneau Tours and M&M Tours both offer round-trip shuttles between downtown Juneau and the glacier for $30 per person. You'll also need to pay $5 if you want to enter the visitors center (teens and children 16 and younger can enter for free). Fees are not charged during the offseason (Oct. 1 to April 30). For more information, check out the U.S. Forest Service website.

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#1 Tracy Arm Fjord A "fjord" is a Nordic term meaning a narrow waterway surrounded by sharp cliffs. So while Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier steals most of the tourist traffic, the 27-mile-long Tracy Arm ... Read more » Emily Riddell / Design Pics / Getty Images

#2 Mendenhall Glacier Mendenhall Glacier welcomes more than 400,000 visitors each year, and it's easy to see why: aside from its stunning arctic beauty, the glacier is only 12 miles outside ... Read more » Dagny Willis / Getty Images

#3 Whale Watching Tours Many travelers make the trek to Alaska for two things: glaciers and whales. The latter can be a bit more elusive to spot, which is why it's best to ... Read more » samchad / Getty Images

#4 Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventures Located between downtown Juneau and its airport, the Glacier Gardens offer a glimpse into Alaska's frequently forgotten rainforest. Here, you'll ride through 50 acres of lush vegetation aboard ... Read more » EdCorey / Getty Images

#5 Mount Roberts Tramway If your time in Juneau is limited, the Mount Roberts Tramway is the easiest and fastest way to gain an appreciation for the city's beautiful natural setting. Just south ... Read more » Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau

#6 Alaska Brewing Company Travelers who visit the Alaskan Brewing Company usually want to experience something different than normal port-of-call tourist shops. And here, they get it. About 6 miles north of the cruise ... Read more » WordRidden / Flickr

Tracy Arm Fjord picture in Juneau
Mendenhall Glacier picture in Juneau
Whale Watching Tours picture in Juneau
Glacier Gardens picture in Juneau
View from Mount Roberts Tramway picture in Juneau
Alaska Brewing Company picture in Juneau
Tracy Arm Fjord picture in Juneau
Mendenhall Glacier picture in Juneau
Whale Watching Tours picture in Juneau
Glacier Gardens picture in Juneau
View from Mount Roberts Tramway picture in Juneau
Alaska Brewing Company picture in Juneau

Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier steals most of the tourist traffic, but the 27-mile-long Tracy Arm Fjord is the bigger, better and more dramatic natural gem.  Emily Riddell / Design Pics / Getty Images

Mendenhall Glacier is the only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road (you can easily take a cab here). Dagny Willis / Getty Images

In Juneau, North Pacific humpbacks and orcas are the two most common types of whales migrating through these calm waters. Signing up for a tour is the best way to observe these spectacular animals. samchad / Getty Images

Located between downtown Juneau and its airport, the Glacier Gardens offer a glimpse into Alaska's frequently forgotten rainforest.  EdCorey / Getty Images

The view from the Mount Roberts Tramway, which includes the Gastineau Channel, amazes the thousands of visitors that flock to Juneau each year. Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau

Many visitors praise the brewery's sizable samples. WordRidden / Flickr

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