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 Kayak Adventure
Juneau, Alaska, USA
- Mendenhall Glacier: Paddle across Mendenhall Lake, navigating past icebergs, surrounded by one of the richest samplings of Alaskan wildlife you’ll find anywhere. Venture within a safe distance of the massive, awe-inspiring face of the living Mendenhall Glacier.
- Nugget Falls: Feel the thrill of skirting your kayak along the base of this powerful waterfall, which originates at Nugget Glacier and drops 377 feet in two tiers.
- Paddle power: Paddle for approximately 2 hours across Mendenhall Lake in your stable 2-person kayak, navigating the iceberg studded pristine water that is truly one of the jewels of the Tongass National Forest.
- No experience necessary: Kayakers are arranged by skill level, and if you are new to kayaking you'll get professional instruction. Your guide will maintain an easy pace throughout.
- Alaskan snack: Refuel and recharge with an authentic Alaskan snack that includes reindeer sausage, salmon spread, crackers and a beverage.
- Special access: This tour operates under a special use permit with the USDA Forest Service. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the Mendenhall Glacier as only a select few lucky adventurers can.
About this Juneau, Alaska Tour
The lucky few on this tour will get close-up views of a 3,000-year-old glacier on a small craft with roots even older.
Because of the danger of calving ice (when big chunks break off from the glacier and fall into the lake), the U.S. Forest Service issues a limited number of permits that keep visitors out of the splash zone. So this tour offers an experience that few people ever get.
Measuring more than 12 miles long, 1½ miles wide, and several hundred feet thick, Mendenhall Glacier is the largest glacier accessible by road in southeast Alaska, and one of 38 major glaciers that flow from the Juneau Icefield. You'll be approaching this ancient glacier the way the Aleut Indians once did – in a kayak, originally developed by the Inuit, Yup'ik, and Aleut peoples to hunt on rivers, inland lakes, and coastal waters. In fact, the word kayak means "hunter's boat." That's why they're an excellent way to quietly approach – and get a great look – at animals in the wild. On any given day, you might see black bears, eagles, arctic terns, foxes, coyotes, and mountain goats.
The incredible diversity of Alaskan wildlife, a little native history, and a close-up view of a magnificent river of ice. How special is that?
Fits like a glove
The Native Americans who depended on kayaks for travel and trade custom-built them to the size and shape of the owner. The craft's length was three times the distance of the owner's outstretched arms; the width was his hips and two fists or less; and the depth was his fist plus an outstretched thumb. Because each kayak was different, early European explorers were totally confused when they tried to duplicate them.
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.
Please meet for your tour 10 minutes prior to departure. Look for our representative wearing a red hat, red jacket/shirt and black pants.
Rain gear is provided
Be prepared to paddle. The more you paddle the farther you will go!
Travelers must be able to get in/out of kayak and paddle for approximately 2 hours.
Adventure, Boat Tour, Scenic, Family Friendly, Wilderness/Wildlife
14-seat Climate-controlled Van, 2-seat Kayak
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages provided all other restrictions are met.
Travelers over 6'3" tall will not be able to use rudder pedals to steer and will have to use their oars instead.
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 kayak cockpit and get in and out of the kayak easily. If your legs are very long or your waist is very large, this tour may not be suitable for you. 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 kayak 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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