We'll do our very best to ensure you'll GoBe an explorer in Alaska. Please note there is very limited space available on this tour and all reservations must be reconfirmed. Thanks for your understanding.
Mendenhall Glacier Guided Canoe Adventure
Juneau, Alaska, USA
- Mendenhall Glacier: Join a limited number of adventurers allowed by special permit to approach the face of this gleaming blue, mile-wide river of ice in Tongass National Forest.
- Alaskan wildlife: As you paddle a stable, 28-foot Tlingit canoe, keep a lookout for black bears, eagles, arctic terns, foxes, coyotes, mountain goats and other wildlife.
- Nugget Falls: Feel the thrill of skirting your canoe along the base of this powerful waterfall, which originates at Nugget Glacier and drops 377 feet in two tiers.
- Snack: Keep up your energy with an authentic – and hearty – Alaskan snack that includes reindeer sausage, salmon spread, crackers and a beverage.
About this Juneau, Alaska Tour
Here's some interesting perspective: The goliath Mendenhall Glacier started forming about 3,000 years ago – somewhere around the time that a little guy on the other side of the world knocked off his giant foe with a small stone. That may seem like a long time ago, but the Tlingit people – or at least their ancestors – had already occupied this corner of the world for perhaps 9,000 years.
The massive, 12-mile-long river of ice grew and flowed southward at its glacial pace until the year 1500, carving a path through the rugged terrain. Then, scientists believe, it began receding. It's backtracked between two and three miles to its present position, and continues to lose up to 150 feet per year.
But the backtracking has an upside: crystal-clear Lake Mendenhall, formed from the glacier's meltwater. The lake will continue to grow as the climate warms, feeding the river that snakes six miles southwest (including about a mile of whitewater rapids) to Auke Bay. Over the centuries, salmon, porpoises, and other aquatic creatures have made their way upriver into the lake, while the surrounding woods, cliffs, and skies are home to foxes, mountain goats, arctic terns, and more.
Mendenhall's curious blue color is caused by a unique crystalline structure that absorbs and reflects blue light, most noticeably in crevasses and when the ice calves (breaks) from the face. The blue fades when the ice is exposed to air. And if it's overcast or even raining a bit on the day of your tour, consider yourself lucky. That's when this frozen goliath is at its deepest blue.
Model of stability
As you paddle around Mendenhall Lake's boulder-sized icebergs in your Tlingit-style canoe, you'll marvel at its maneuverability and rugged stability. Canoes are a symbol of harmony in Tlingit culture, with the whole tribe working together to make one. Think your 28-footer is big? The Tlingit used to make ocean voyages in canoes up to 70 feet long.
Please make your way in the direction of Mount Roberts Tram. Our representative awaits in the sidewalk area, under the cables. Look for our displayed logo sign.
Travelers must be able to get in/out of canoe and paddle for approximately 2 hours. Not recommended for travelers who are in their third trimester of pregnancy or those with back/neck issues.
Adventure, Boat Tour, Scenic, Family Friendly, Wilderness/Wildlife
Motorcoach, 15-seat Canoe
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Children must weigh at least 40 pounds in order to fit into required life jackets.
Special Medical Restriction
Travelers must be able to fit comfortably in the canoe and get in and out of the canoe easily. Not recommended for travelers who are in their third trimester of pregnancy or those with back/neck issues.
All travelers are required to sign a waiver before participating. Travelers must be able to walk up to 300 yds and use upper body strength to paddle approx. 2 hrs.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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