West Glacier

Juneau, Alaska 99803

West Glacier

West Glacier Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A trail leading to views of a glacial lake, waterfalls, and a glacier, with options to hike beyond maintained trail to gain intimate views of the glacial ice. The West Glacier hike follows the west side of Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall Glacier, mainly through brushy woods of alder and cottonwood, to several viewpoints above the valley.

Last is best in this case: From the final overlook above the glacier, you get to look into the hall of the mountain king. This is a beauty of an area, but be prepared for frequent helicopter noise, as the glacier is a prime destination for flight-seeing tours."

West Glacier Trip Reports

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This trail is just gorgeous. It’s a strenuous hike, but the effort is worthwhile as it is rewarded with an incredible view that simply cannot be matched. This trial provides hikers with an opportunity to get an up-close view of Mendenhall Glacier and the beauty of the surrounding area. If you’re visiting Juneau, be sure this incredible hiking/sightseeing opportunity is on your list of must-do items.
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This is an amazing trail. Takes you up the left side of Mendenhall Lake to the to the top where you actually can walk under the glacier and into the ice caves (at your own risk). This is a grueling trail though. Lots of wet slate, difficult terrain and the final climb up the ridge to the glacier is slippery, steep and difficult. But the view and the experience of being under the caves was amazing. It took us almost 4 hours round trip and we burned over 2,000 calories. Bring extra socks. We got wet!


West Glacier Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,300 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Best late May through September
Tongass National Forest, Juneau Ranger District, 8510 Mendenhall Loop Rd., Juneau, AK 99801; (907) 586-8800; www.juneautrails.org
Local Contacts
USGS Juneau B-2 (NW); Alaska Natural History Association Juneau Area Trails Guide
Local Maps

Trail Log