Juneau’s most popular attraction is Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska’s famous drive-in glacier. The river of ice flows 12 miles from its source, the Juneau Icefield, and has a 1.5-mile-wide face. On a sunny day it’s beautiful, with blue skies and snowcapped mountains in the background. On a cloudy and drizzly afternoon, it can be even more impressive, as the ice turns shades of deep blue.
Near the face of the glacier is the USFS Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, which houses various glaciology exhibits, a large relief map of the icefield, an observatory with telescopes and a theater that shows the film, “Magnificent Mendenhall.” Outside you’ll find black bear and salmon-viewing platforms overlooking Steep Creek, as well as six hiking trails, ranging from a 0.3-mile photo-overlook trail to a trek of several miles up the glacier’s west side.