Be careful and take it in while you can. We did a variation of this hike, and with the occasional loss of GPS, downloading this alltrails map and carefully reading the reviews were both invaluable to our experience. *a lot of reviews are saying distances are incorrect, I found this to be untrue. This might be one of my most favorite hikes here in Juneau. It is best to see the ice caves in the winter season if you really want to see them ! Difficult and longer but worth it. The wind off of the glacier is cold and strong. The term ice cave, it turns out, is sometimes used by geologists to describe a regular bedrock cave that features year-round ice, but as its usually meant when discussing Alaska, ice caves refer, well, to caves within a body of ice, namely a glacier. If you choose to continue on west glacier trail, then you will continue hiking uphill adjacent and above the glacier. It's a one-mile scenic walk to the glacier face along Byron Creek. Pepper Peak – One of Eklutna Lake’s best… July 2, 2020 July 2, 2020 This is where you will be parking and is the trailhead for Byron Glacier. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. WARNING about this... if you continue on west glacier trail, there will be another fork that IS NOT A MARKED TRAIL. It’s been raining so there are a few puddles and slick rocks. Obviously, the glacier itself is rewarding and awe-inspiring and not just a little bittersweet. The most famous Alaskan ice caves are located under Mendenhall, Root, Spencer, Matanuska, and Kennicott Glaciers. Great hike and very tiring when coming back ! Mendenhall Lake, mostly frozen over, and the Mendenhall Glacier. Located a short 12 miles outside Alaska’s capital city of Juneau, the Mendenhall Ice Caves are ever-changing due to melting ice and glacier recession but an absolute wonder to explore. Mendenhall Glacier is a very popular tourist destination, conveniently located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska, so if you happen to be in Juneau or are planning a trip there, a visit at least to the glacier is a must. Your Cruise Ship / Edit . You will need more than micro or nano crampons. You will be scrambling around without a trace of a trail. The 3.2-mile (5.1 km) Byron Glacier Trail is flat and well-maintained. Allison and Paul from Liquid Alaska Tours were greet tour guides. The Mendenhall Ice Caves are situated behind Mendenhall Glacier, 12 miles outside of Juneau, Alaska. The trail continues in and out of brush and along the top of the moraine, above the glacier. I recommend sturdy, grippy hiking shoes and a willingness to use your hands for boulder scrambling. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. *Jessica a reviewer below, tells you not to take this hike and to take the west glacier trail to the west glacier spurt trail. Also, going inside the caves is not recommended. I followed along with my AllTrails Pro app and my Garmin Fenix 5x watch. The path is a mile and a half long but to get to the ice caves you'll jump off the path (to the left towards the glacier) after about a mile and start heading through the trees. That said, accessing them is no easy feat. You should add about .5 miles or so to the end of the trail each way. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. My hike to the ice caves was a crew tour that was led by one of the personal trainers onboard who’s hiked this route many times and knew where to take us. Alaska has several huge fields that are larger than some states. The second half of the trail is rocky and features a small stream crossing. August 2013 - We thoroughly enjoyed our ten hour trail, glacier, and ice cave hike with our ABA guides, Brigit and Chelsea. The Erie Mine Trail continues past the turn to the Root Glacier, running parallel to the glacier for approximately 2.5 more miles. My Cruise Planner . Glacier City Snowmobile Tours will take you on a 30 mile Snowmobile tour of Glaciers and Ice Caves in Alaska. In winter, you have to hoof it across the frozen lake. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. The route is easy to follow up a creek bed, which takes you right to the cave, with its huge arch of blue ice. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map. The only cave we found was too deep with glacier water. A lot of rock hiking and scrambling up some steep cliffs. 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