The Mendenhall Glacier is located within the Mendenhall Valley. This area is approximately twelve miles from the city of Juneau. So you can experience the great outdoors not too far from one of the bigger cities. The glacier itself is about thirteen and a half miles long.
One of the best places to see this glacier is from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. When you are inside the visitor center, you can also watch a movie, explore the interactive exhibits, and listen to different ranger talks.
Outside the visitor center, there are multiple trails you can wander along to see the lush forest and sparkling lake. One of those trails will lead you to Nugget Falls, while others will lead you to where the mountain goats and bears spend most of their time.
The best trail to take though is the West Glacier Trail. That trail is approximately seven miles long and it takes you right to the face of the glacier. There is an excellent viewing platform about a quarter mile away from there too. So you can see this spectacular sight from many different vantage points.
When you are visiting the Mendenhall Glacier, you may think that the glacier is the only thing to do there, besides hiking. However, this is one of the best places in Alaska to see a dog camp and do a little dog sledding.
Participating in a tour is the best way to reach the dog camp at the Mendenhall Glacier. Your tour guide will take you via helicopter to the dog camp. When you arrive, you will meet the professional mushers, as well as the sled dogs. While you can simply sit back and soak in the ambiance, I recommend getting behind a sled and joining in on the fun. Afterwards, you can easily take pictures with the dogs on your team.
Just make sure you do not forget to spend a little time with the sled dog puppies. They will be the ones pulling the sleds the next time you visit!
Are you ready to do a little dog sledding with your family during a vacation near the Mendenhall Glacier?
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