Mendenhall Glacier is located near Juneau, Alaska. It is a 13 mile ribbon of ice that flows from the Juneau Ice Field which is a 1,500 square-mile frozen plateau.
Seeing a glacier is a special experience. While glaciers are not really rare, they are only found in a relatively few locations around the world so experiencing a glacier is something that not everyone gets a chance to do. The Mendenhall Glacier is one of the easiest glaciers to access.
When I visited the glacier, I felt like I was getting a glimpse at the world from the past. Just knowing that this glacier has been here from the time of the ice age made me feel like I had stepped back in time and I was seeing something that has changed very little over a long period of time.
The main focus that everyone comes to visit is the glacier but the surroundings close to the glacier are also very beautiful. The mountain adjacent to the glacier is a really beautiful scene especially when the mountains are reflecting off the waters of Mendenhall Lake as shown in the following pictures.
Next to the Mendenhall Glacier is Nugget Falls. Nugget Falls is a powerful waterfall that sends water rushing into ice filled Mendenhall Lake. The waterfall itself is a nice but it gets overlooked because of it closeness to the glacier.
Mendenhall Lake is full of floating chunks of ice that really adds to the scenic effect of Mendenhall Glacier and the surrounding mountain. The floating ice is all sizes from small to large and some of the ice still has a light blue color. The blue color of the ice indicates that it has not been exposed to the air for very long. The bluer the ice is means that it has been exposed to air for less time.
The trail from the Glacier viewing station to the Nugget Falls is only about a 15 to 20 minute walk but it is a nice path that makes for a beautiful hike as you walk to the waterfall. Just like the waterfall, this beautiful hiking trail doesn’t get much attention but it really is a pretty hiking trail. The pictures below are a few of the scenes that I photographed along the trail.