The free shuttle dropped us in town from the dock. When we got off there were lots of local operators at little stands vying for our business. Similar prices, we went with guy who got our attention first. Bus arrived within 10 minutes and the warm & friendly driver welcomed us aboard. He gave us a funny and informative talk on the way to the glacier. We had a wonderful afternoon at the glacier and doing creek walk (followed a mother bear with 3 cubs for 30mins around the boardwalk).
Booked glacier and whale watching as 1 tour. Went to Mendenhall glacier state park where you could bo any of several hikes in forest. Hike to Falls is about 45 min round trip but you are right at falls. The glacier hikes can be as short as 10 minutes for pictures but glacier is still a ways off. Nice informative tour
Juneau might be a very pleasant town on a summer’s day, but it was wet, misty and not very welcoming when we visited. We booked an excursion to the Mendenhall Glacier with an optional ride on a cable-car (mysteriously described as a ‘tram’). We enjoyed viewing the glacier, but we must warn other potential visitors that with 4 large ships discharging passengers intent on visiting the glacier on a rainy day, the Mendenhall Visitor Centre was overwhelmed. The visitor area itself was easy to navigate with paved paths and plenty of look-out spots, but the Centre was heaving with people. This was most noticeable at the washrooms, where the usual gender disparity was on display. Men could simply walk in and complete their ablutions while the ladies were shuffling uncomfortably in a line that snaked along the corridor and out into the foyer! TIP: ladies, if you intend to come here, forget that extra cup of tea/coffee for breakfast!
We decided to give the cable-car a miss because it disappeared into the mist at the top of the mountain, and we reasoned that if we rode up to that height all we would see was a valley filled with cloud. TIP: we think Juneau might be more enjoyable earlier in the season.
We took a hike to the glacier which was just ok. The glacier is very far off in the distance. Then we took a boat out to try and see some whales. Saw a few going through the water but no tails or breaching. Did get to see some stellar sea lions up close and that was really cool.
The guide, Keira, was outstanding. She knows her town and was able to give information about its history, culture all peppered with a wonderful sense of humor. The Mendenhall Glacier is beautiful and we felt near - but were not actually on the glacier. We also visited some gardens on the tour the couple that owns the gardens gave us lots of background on Alaska, the original inhabitants, the oil industry etc...
Not a lot to see. You hike up a mile and see a waterfall and the end of a glacier. The best part was watching a mama black bear with her three cubs catching salmon. We also saw a couple of porcupines up in the trees. I got a great picture of a bald eagle way up in a tree. Didn't go in the book shop building. Spent all our time waiting for mama bear to wake up. That was worth it.
This is a beautiful park. Had about an hour to take the 2 mile round trip walk to the bottom of the waterfall with the glacier in the background. While this was fantastic next time I would take the helicopter tour to the top of a glacier and get out.
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