Privately Guided Glacier Kayak Paddle and Trek
Explore the beauty and wonder of the Mendenhall Glacier wilderness area at your own pace! Just your family and a guide will kayak through ice bergs to the Mendenhall Glacier terminus. There you will don your hiking gear for a 1 mile hike to the glacier for a walk along the toe of the glacier or, if conditions are favorable, climb on the ice of the Mendenhall Glacier!
You will be introduced to glacier trekking on this active adventure, if conditions are safe, as you learn about the natural history of the area.
Your professional guide will instruct you step-by-step on how to paddle, trek in crampons and use an ice ax on glacial terrain.
Your trip begins with a drive from your pick up point to the edge of Mendenhall Lake where you'll gear up, listen to a safety briefing and board your tandem kayak. As you paddle across the lake keep an eye out for blue ice bergs, arctic tern nesting cliffs and giant waterfalls. Crossing the lake to the glacier's terminus, you'll leave your sea legs behind, don your hiking gear and trek about a mile where you'll venture onto the glacier ice. After your trek, return to your kayak and paddle one more time across the lake with a new understanding of Mendenhall's natural history.
While on the constantly changing glaciery terrain you will see features that 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.
With a limit of 2 to 4 participants, this family-friendly adventure is a wonderful way to experience several uniquely Alaskan activies. Have a larger group? This activity is available with a lake canoe option for groups of 5 or more.
- This is a strenuous activity and is only recommended for highly active and physically fit clients.
- Must be in good shape and conditioned to paddle for up to 5-6 miles round trip and hike on uneven terrain for 2 to 4 miles round trip.
- Recommended to wear sturdy hiking boots that provide good ankle support while hiking on uneven, rocky terrain.
- Minimum age of 12 years.
- All participants will be required to sign a waiver form before beginning the activity.
Trip Activities: Paddling, Hiking, Glacier Trekking
Glacier Paddle/Trek/Ice Climb Time: Sample Itinerary (about 8 hours total time):
- 30 minutes transportation from cruise ship harbor to trailhead
- 1 hour for gear up and orientation
- 1 hour guded paddling in tandem kayaks on the lake
- 3 hours hiking and glacier trekking
- 1 hour paddling across the lake
- 1 hour gear and kayak return
- 30 minutes transportation back to cruise ship harbor
Tour Operator Provides: Professional guide, all necessary paddling equipment & glacier gear, rain jacket and pants, rubber boots permits, round trip transportation from cruise ship harbor, hearty and healthy snack, bottled water.
You Bring: Sturdy hiking shoes or boots, comfortable hiking pants, warm hat, fleece gloves, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- The amount of time on the ice cannot be guaranteed. The time available is dependent on the group's pace, skill and weather conditions.
- The glacier is always changing, so the features available to explore will vary over time. Specific features cannot be guaranteed. Your guide will assess the hazards on the day of the trip to determine if a particular area is safe to trek upon or enter.
- This trip operates in all safe weather conditions as determined by your guide. Please dress appropriately.
- Participants must disclose shoe and outer gear sizes, ages, pertinent medical conditions/history, allergies and any type of restriction or limitation that might introduce a higher challenge level on this trip.
- A rescue fee of $250 per client will be charged for any rescue based on the client’s inability to complete the trip due to undisclosed medical conditions/limitations or an insufficient level of physical fitness that significantly inhibits the group’s pace. Clients that require a rescue due to an injury incurred on the trip will not be charged rescue fees, nor will those who have disclosed information regarding medical conditions (and have been approved to participate) prior to the trip date.