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Mendenhall Glacier

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Our group of four will be renting a car in Juneau - main event - Mendenhall Glacier.  We also have other things planned to drive to.

 

I am usually in the drive to the furthest point (Eagle Beach) and make your way back to port camp.  However - we get in at 9 AM on the Radiance and have three other ships in with us that day - QE, Ovation (!) and Coral Princess.  Thankfully the QE and Ovation don't get in until the afternoon.

 

Is there a best time to go to the Glacier?  Should we make haste to do it first thing?

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Mendenhall is the most popular site, so I'd go there first to avoid the clogged trails and a hundred people in my waterfall photos !   Then you could go to Roads End and work your way back to the pier.

 

Pg 26 of the town Visitor Guide has a map of the Greater Juneau area along with distances to a few popular locations.  Even from Roads End, we're not talking about huge distances:  http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/10785063#/10785063/26

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If you plan on going to the visitor center, get their early - once the tours start arriving, the visitor center will be packed as in shoulder to shoulder people. Most people seem to stay close to the visitor center, so the path to Nugget Falls or other trails will have people on them, but they won't be a mob scene. 

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I would go to Mendenhall first, then Eagle Point Beach. If the weather cooperates, you can grab lunch on the way to Mendenhall (before leaving Juneau) at someplace like Subway, or even the deli of the grocery store, and eat it at Eagle Point Beach. I don't think most people go to EPB unless they rent a car, and it's really pretty there. Worth the drive and the time exploring for sure. My kids loved crawling and climbing on the downed tree trunks.

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I would recommend you go to mendenhall first also.  Later on in the day, buses will be dropping off cruise passenger tours.

 

Have fun this summer in alaska.  We will be there in 3 months.  See you two on another cruise soon!

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Definitely the glacier before the other ships arrive. Then Eagle Beach, and stop at the arboretum and the Shrine of St. Therese on the way back. You should have time for all of these things. Beware the wet mud at the beach. You can easily sink and lose a shoe at low tide. 

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We went to Alaska 7 years ago and layers really work.  I don't like being cold, wet and cold is worse so the outer layer was a longer to the low hip waterproof rain jacket with hood but the one thing I wish I had had was a beanie/hat for my head.  So I got one from Lands End, it goes over my ears which I think will be really nice for our next cruise in 3 wks.

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how cold is it by mendenhall ? last tiem we were in Alaska we did not go there but when the ship was by hubbard glacier it was really cold so wondering if it will be the same?

 

Thanks

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2 hours ago, ourfamilylovescruising said:

how cold is it by mendenhall ? last tiem we were in Alaska we did not go there but when the ship was by hubbard glacier it was really cold so wondering if it will be the same?

 

Thanks

 

IME, it was colder at Hubbard because we were on open water. We walked the paths at Mendenhall and near the Visitor Center, but it was colder ON the water at Hubbard. HTH!

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17 hours ago, ourfamilylovescruising said:

how cold is it by mendenhall ? last tiem we were in Alaska we did not go there but when the ship was by hubbard glacier it was really cold so wondering if it will be the same?

 

Thanks

 

We did not find it really cold at Mendenhall.  We went in late May and it was rainy and cool when we got there but by the time we left, three hours later, it was much sunnier and warmer.  We did the Nugget Falls trail and were warm by the time we were done.  I would wear layers, we had short sleeve shirts with a light fleece over and a waterproof shell over that.  We were down to short sleeves when we were done while others had heavy coats, hats and mittens on.  It really depends on what you consider cold.  We live in Massachusetts and are used to cold weather.  Consider how you tolerate cold and pack according to your needs.  Time of year makes a difference too.  We had a cold day when we sailed to Hubbard Glacier and had a warmer base layer on because of it.  We would have been way to warm at Mendenhall had we worn the same clothes there.  Go with layers and adjust accordingly.  

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