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Has anyone doen Mendenhall Glacier on their own (NO tour)?

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by Kwilson51, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Kwilson51

    Kwilson51 Guest

    Well, just one more week and we set sail on the NCL Star. With everyones great advise, I have booked the Orca Whale watch with Capt. Larry in Juneau. It is from 3-6:30. However, we dock at 7:00 am. We would like to do the Mendenhall Glacier but without a tour. Can we get transportaion to the glacier and just walk around on our own? Thanks for all the help!

    If you have any other suggestions for the morning and early afternoon, let me know. My teenage kids are looking for some COOL things to do.
  2. BarbaraK

    BarbaraK Guest

    Yes you can get a local 'school type' bus for $5.00 one way to the glacier. Just walk along the pier and you will see them :)
    We did this trip on our own and it was fine. :)

    Post Edited (07-25-04 19:28)
  3. alyce

    alyce Guest

    As BarbaraK says, it is VERY easy to take the $5 bus to Mendelhall Glacier. We were there last week and did the same thing. There are 3-4 different kiosks at the pier when you arrive in Juneau. Any one of them is just great. It is $5 per person each way, so $10 round trip. The buses run every 15-20 mins. if they are on time, so you have nothing to worry about.

    We also did the Capt Larry whalewatch. It was great. We saw a pod of at least 8 humped back whales!!! What fun! Weather was great! Hope yours is too! Have fun!
  4. cruisegary

    cruisegary Guest

    Scroll back through some old messages and you will note that many people have done the $5 bus, or the local bus for less - saves a few bucks, but you stop all along the way.

    Anyway, for $5, pay as you board takes you direct to the Glacier Visitors Center. There is an "unofficial" path you can walk that takes you up closer and right NEXT TO a waterfall. Well worth the walk and time. Take a light snack with you.
  5. Mbandy

    Mbandy Guest

    Yup, the local bus is just fine. We were regaled with stories about the bears that frequent the yards of the locals and some other local folklore. Pretty entertaining.

  6. dusty

    dusty Guest


    thanks for the tip about taking the snack for the glacier trip. it jogged my memory to order room service and having something with us for a snack while we are there. when i was in junea last sept i was busy on the capt larry whale watching tour , having a beer at the red dog saloon and then back on the ship. so i did not get to do any shopping in while there. this time we will be doing shopping and finding a good place to have lunch. i know we will have fun there and at the glacier.
  7. Griffen

    Griffen Guest

    cruisegary- yup, we did that path to the waterfall and it was definitely worth it!

    For $10 R/T the bus is a great deal.
  8. didan

    didan Guest

    I'm going on the Star cruise to Alaska a few weeks after you. I've been following reviews of this cruise and just wanted to caution you on the arrival time. The original arrival time when I first booked the cruise was 2 p.m., so all excursions started around 3. The time was then changed to 9, however most people posting reviews have stated they arrived around 12 noon. So while this would give you more time, I would necessarily count on having the whole morning in port.
  9. Jeana

    Jeana Guest

    How far is the Mendenhall Glacier from the pier?
  10. halfdome86

    halfdome86 Guest

    It's about 10 miles
  11. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    I've an excursion booked from 12:15 - 3:30 on the mining tour. But I believe our ship leaves around 9:30 at night. And would like to get back latest at 8pm to have supper on the ship. Is 4 - 5 hours sufficient if we take the $5.00 bus? Basically, we are interested in walking to the waterfalls and back. Is that do-able? Also, this may be a stupid question, but do we get a clear view of the Mend. Glasier? Are there any other trials besides the waterfalls? Do we have to worry about Bears/wild lifes? (first time in Alaska, wondering if it's a crazy idea to carry a maze bottle!) Thanks!
  12. cruisegary

    cruisegary Guest

    the local bus trip would be 2-3 hours depending on timing of the bus. It is about 15 minutes through town. You get a very good view right from where the bus drops you off. You then walk up a short hill to the visitor center. Then, you can walk to the falls which is much closer to the glacier. Walk is probably 20 minutes each way?
  13. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Hi thanks for the reply. Is 2 - 3 hours roundtrip back to the pier? I'm really surprise that it will take that long for a 10 miles trip. Any ideas on the timing if I use the 5.00 bus instead of the local buses? Thank you.
  14. Thankx everyone for the info
  15. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Hello again,
    So does anyone know how long it takes for the $5.00 bus to get to Mend. Glaciers? Also, once there, how long are the trails?
  16. cruisegary

    cruisegary Guest

    The bus leaves every 30 minutes, or is it on the hour. Anyway, drive is maybe 15 minutes. It returns at a certain time. Figure 15 minutes at visitor center. If you decide to take the trail to get closer, add 20 mins or so each way. This is how the whole thing can take some time.

    You could just ride the bus. Look out the window and see the glacier and ride back. Depending on the timing, you might be able to get out of the bus for 5-10 minutes before it returns to town. Some said the city bus is more frequent but longer due to all the stops. While we were waiting for the $5 bus, the city bus came and went a few times. The day we went, the $5 bus ran once an hour. Your mileage may vary.
  17. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Sorry to be a pest, but do we need to buy round trip tickets if we decide to take the $5.00 buses? Also for local buses, can we just get the tickets when we board the bus? Thanks again.
  18. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Local bus is $1.50 when you board. Takes a while to get to the Mendenhall stop which is just out in the middle of nowhere after the bus turns left at the top of its route through the valley. Tell the driver you wish to transfer if you don't manage to get on the right bus the first time. They don't hand out paper like big cities they just pass it on driver to driver...
  19. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Thanks all for the kind advice.

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