Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, Juneau

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor CenterThe Mendenhall Glacier is one of Southeast Alaska’s most popular attractions. Located a short drive from downtown Juneau in the Tongass National Forest, the glacier is twelve miles long from its origin on the Juneau Icefield to its terminus at Mendenhall Lake.

Tips for Visitors

  • Explore models of Mendenhall Glacier and an icefield research station.
  • Attend a Fireside Chat Lecture or Kids Program.
  • Check out the glacier cam and the salmon cam.
  • Hike one of the many trails emanating from the visitor center.
  • Paddle up to the glacier on Mendenhall Lake.
  • For a thrill, fly over, land on, or ride a dogsled across the Juneau Icefield.


Natural Highlights

  • Polished rocks, fine “flour” sediment, and plant succession in the valley serve as visual evidence of the glacier’s continual grinding, flowing, and retreating motion.
  • From late summer to early fall, red and silver salmon return to Steep Creek to spawn, drawing black bears and eagles close to the visitor center where everyone can enjoy the show.


Historical Highlight

Glacial ice at the terminus of Mendenhall Glacier has flowed for 200-250 years on its 13-mile trek to Mendenhall Lake across from the visitor center.


Cultural Highlight

John Muir originally named the glacier “Auk” for the local Tlingit Native people. The glacier was renamed in 1892 in honor of Thomas C. Mendenhall, Superintendent of the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey.

 

Fireside Lectures
Since 1962, the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center has brought local people together to hear experts talk about human and natural history. Almost 50 years later, this tradition is stronger than ever. Learn more about this years lecture series.



For more information visit Explore Alaska! or www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/districts/mendenhall

 

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