Get up close and personal with the famous Mendenhall Glacier on this unforgettable canoe trip. No experience is necessary to paddle across a glacier-fed lake to within 200 yards of the gorgeous blue ice.
Canoe Across a Glacial Lake
The tour begins at the cruise ship terminal in Juneau; after being picked up, you’ll enjoy a narrated 30-minute drive to Mendenhall Lake. There, you’ll be outfitted with rain jacket, pants, boots, and gloves; get a safety briefing; and then climb into a canoe, which holds up to 10 guests maximum. No experience in a canoe? No problem! Anyone ages 12 and up can do it.
With an expert guide steering the canoe, you’ll set off on the lake, which was formed by the melting of the glacier; soon, the crowds fade away and for the next two hours you’ll be surrounded by water, mountains, and the serenity of Alaska’s natural surroundings.
With each stroke of the paddle, the mammoth blue wall of this half-mile-long glacier grows larger. You’ll keep paddling until you’re about 200 yards away—close enough to see the glacier’s rich blue color and all its cracks, but safely far enough away if the glacier calves. As you look for Alaskan wildlife—arctic terns, mountain goats, bald eagles, and more—you’ll paddle past the “ice falls,” where the glacier spills over the mountain side in spectacular fashion. You’ll also witness the dramatic “Nugget Falls” waterfall, which drops almost 400 feet over two separate segments.
You’ll paddle back knowing that you’ve experienced one of Alaska’s most popular glaciers from a viewpoint that few ever get to see. Plus, you’ll be building camaraderie with your fellow passengers, and maybe even finish the tour with new friends.
About Liquid Alaska Tours
Liquid Alaska Tours was founded in 2009, leading guests on a hike to a glacially fed stream just beyond downtown Juneau. Afterwards, they’d head over to Alaska Brewing, which uses glacier water in all of their beers. They still offer a shuttle service and brewery tour today, though the main focus is getting people up close to Mendenhall Glacier.