Behold the magnificence of the Mendenhall Glacier – a 21 km long sheet of ice formed about 3000 years ago. We all know that the ice on this planet is melting fast; like really fast. But not all of its effects are so bad.
These caves exist only because the glacier is melting. But only till the glacier doesn’t recede entirely onto the land. Sadly enough, it will recede on to the land eventually. And so, we have very little time.
To begin with, it is a beautiful landscape under the blue ceiling of a partially hollow glacier, where water runs over rocks.
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So, without further ado, let us quickly go through this Go-Pro video of the blissful icy haven
If you think it is all about the beauty of the caves, Think Again!
It is a strenuous 13-km hike before you reach the ice glacier.
“Over rough, steep, uneven, unmarked, and slippery terrain” – U.S Forest Service
You will need Micro Spike Crampons to walk on the Ice Glacier
And many more equipments to complete the trek.
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If you thought the trek to glacier was tough, try finding the Mendenhall ice caves yourself.
This video describes the hike to the caves by Joanne Lee, an adventurer who took a weekend trek with four friends.
How To Reach Mendenhall Valley?
Flights To Juneau
The flights to Juneau are easily available from cities across the globe. So, worry not!
From Airport to Skaters Cabin Road
The trek begins from the Skaters Cabin Road, located about 10 km from the airport. Cabs can take you to the base-camp in 15 minutes.
How is the Weather like?
The temperatures are sub-zero throughout the day during December – Mid February. This makes these months the best time to explore the glacier.
Other Things To Know Before Taking The Mendenhall Ice Cave Trek
- The ice on the lake is never safe to walk on. The ice thickness may vary due to the flowing water.
- Icebergs can roll over without warning. And yes, it is possible even when the lake is frozen. This may lead to cracking of the ice sheet.
- The glacier is constantly splitting into smaller fragments.Ice near the face of the glacier is weaker due to the same reason and result in people falling through the ice.
- Hurry, before they melt. Yes, the caves are melting and much faster than you could imagine. So, if you are really into visiting this natural wonder, plan it soon.
Fellas! You have little time before the Mendenhall Glacier recedes away from the lake, entirely onto the land. So if you wish to visit these caves, and we suggest you do, plan a trip to Juneau soon.