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Kfrech

Mendenhall glacier worth seeing if going to Glacier Bay?

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Our first priority in Juneau is whale watching. I’ve found many tours that include Mendenhall glacier, but many people say they didn’t have enough time there (45 minutes to an hour).

 

Since we are cruising through Glacier Bay, should I worry about seeing Mendenhall?

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We did the whale watch and Mendenhall glacier combo tour. They aren't joking when they say it's difficult to do.  We got to Mendenhall about 45 minutes to closing time. We hiked/ran down to see it.  It's totally worth it because you can walk in the water and get really close to the waterfall.  It took us about 10 minutes to get down there, we had about twenty minutes to enjoy it and walk around.  We ran a bit faster on the way back, and then had five minutes in the visiting center before it closed.

 

If you aren't able/interested in running down the trail to see the glacier and waterfall,  then I would advise skipping it.  Just looking at the glacier from the visitor center in nowhere near as thrilling as Glacier Bay.  

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Is there any whale watch and Mendenhall glacier combo tour that is longer? I've looked at lots of excursions and the longest at Mendenhall glacier is 1 hour.

 

We'd like a bit more time to take pictures, etc.

 

Should we consider doing the two things separately? I'm just not sure how to fit in all in in one short day. We are in Juneau from 1 - 10 p.m.

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Mendenhall is underwhelming to me. I would not make it a priority. It has retreated quite a bit.

 

You will love Glacier Bay.

Edited by Coral

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I've wondered exactly what you said:  should I bother seeing Mendenhall?  But, to me, the Nugget Falls is the main attraction there.  I think I'd enjoy standing next to the waterfall with Mendenhall in the background.  My cruise is also doing Glacier Bay.  My plan for Juneau is to take it easy b/c it's my middle day of 3 ports in a row.  I booked a sled dog (on land) excursion around 1 pm.  I might do Mendenhall before or after that on my own.  It seems relatively simple to get transport from the port to Mendenhall visitor center.  If I feel like doing a lot of stuff I'll also do the tram, also on my own, since it's right next to the port.  Juneau seems to me like a place where you can do a lot on your own easily (although my disclaimer is that this is my first cruise).

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22 minutes ago, Kitty Ellas Mom said:

I've wondered exactly what you said:  should I bother seeing Mendenhall?  But, to me, the Nugget Falls is the main attraction there.  I think I'd enjoy standing next to the waterfall with Mendenhall in the background.  My cruise is also doing Glacier Bay.  My plan for Juneau is to take it easy b/c it's my middle day of 3 ports in a row.  I booked a sled dog (on land) excursion around 1 pm.  I might do Mendenhall before or after that on my own.  It seems relatively simple to get transport from the port to Mendenhall visitor center.  If I feel like doing a lot of stuff I'll also do the tram, also on my own, since it's right next to the port.  Juneau seems to me like a place where you can do a lot on your own easily (although my disclaimer is that this is my first cruise).

If one is doing whale watching - they should just take a taxi to Mendenhall from Auke Bay. To go all the way to Auke Bay to whale watch and then back to town and then back out to Mendenhall is wasting a lot of time. Both whale watching and Mendenhall are probably 30 plus minutes outside of town.

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So it sounds like if you can only see Mendenhall glacier from the visitors' center, it isn't worth doing.

 

If you can get down to Nugget Falls and spend some time, than it's worth doing.

 

Is my understanding correct?

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30 minutes ago, Kfrech said:

So it sounds like if you can only see Mendenhall glacier from the visitors' center, it isn't worth doing.

 

If you can get down to Nugget Falls and spend some time, than it's worth doing.

 

Is my understanding correct?

You can see it from other views (and most do). I have only done the visitor center once and don't recall the review from there.

 

If you have time, I would do it. I just don't think it is that great.

 

Some like to hike to Nugget Falls.

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13 hours ago, Kfrech said:

Our first priority in Juneau is whale watching. I’ve found many tours that include Mendenhall glacier, but many people say they didn’t have enough time there (45 minutes to an hour).

 

Since we are cruising through Glacier Bay, should I worry about seeing Mendenhall?

A must IMHO, seen Glacier, Tracy Arm, Hubbard and College Fjord, Mendenhal is a great hiking experience!

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If you watch you tube videos about going to Nugget Falls you can see the walk.  It isn't really a "hike" per se.  It looks doable by most people, just long.  Of course, disclaimer again, I haven't been there yet.  But I'm not that physically fit and the idea of a "hike" scares me.

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