Alaska Glacier Trail Hike with optional Ice Climbing

 

Glacier Perspective

Hike through an ecological timeline and lush rain forest to the mighty Mendenhall Glacier! On this active adventure, you will be introduced to glacier trekking and the natural history of the area.

Your professional guide will instruct you step-by-step on how to trek in crampons and use an ice ax on glacial terrain.

The trip begins with a drive from your pick up point to the West Glacier Trailhead in the Mendenhall Valley. At the trailhead, you’ll be outfitted with a backpack that includes all of your necessary glacier gear before embarking on a 4.5 mile trail hike to the glacier through a temperate rain forest.

This hiking tour to Mendenhall Glacier begins with 4 miles through towering Sitka Spruce and Hemlock in the largest temperate rainforest in the world. The trail becomes less defined as you follow your guide through dense brush, beaver ponds, and up rock scrambles. The trail is strenuous with about 800 feet in vertical elevation gain, and requires you to be sure-footed while crossing slippery stones and rock screes. It is all worth it when you climb the final ridge, and the jagged face of the glacier bursts into view with its river of ice coursing behind it.

The glacier is in constant change and its features disappear and reappear over the course of the season. After strapping on your micro-spikes, your guide will take you on a tour of the glacier's accessible features which may include exploring the other-worldliness of an ice cave, descending into crevasses carved by melt water, or peering into the deep blue well of a moulin.

If you choose to experience the ice climb, your guide will help you suit up in your glacier gear and locate the safest point to access the glacier. Following a safety briefing, your group will spend about an hour on the ice (dependent on the group’s hiking pace and the weather). You will explore accessible features such as crevasses, ice caves, moulins, melt water streams, pools, etc.

After glacier play time, you will repack your gear and head back to the trailhead. Make sure you save energy for the return hike!

Hike duration will vary according to the speed of the group, so please expect the trip to take up to 8.5 hours from pick-up to return and do not plan any other activities immediately before or after this trip.

Privately Guided Hikes Available

Important Notes

Requirements

Other Information

Family Hike

Trip Activities: Hiking, Glacier trekking, Optional Ice Climbing

Glacier Trek/Ice Climb Time: Sample Itinerary (about 7.5 hours total time):

Tour Operator Provides: Certified guide, mountaineering gear, backpack, rain jacket and pants, hearty snack/bottled water, roundtrip transportation.

You Bring: Sturdy hiking shoes or boots, comfortable hiking pants (rain pants suggested), warm hat, fleece gloves, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Special Notes

Call or email to check pricing and request reservation: # ABAK-1 or ABAK-9 (privately guided hike)