Mendenhall Glacier, a glacier that can be seen from within

Mendenhall Glacier
Do you agree with us that glaciers are among the most amazing natural formations on the planet? You only have to see the Perito Moreno Glacier, in Argentina, to realize it. Of course, we may find those that can be visited from the inside even more wonderful. Yes! Yes! You read that right! This is the case of the thick mass of ice that we are talking about today. We are referring to the Mendenhall Glacier, which is located in the Mendenhall Valley, in Southeast Alaska (United States).

Would you like to discover more details about this spectacle of nature ? Well then you can’t miss anything that we tell you below! We assure you that you are going to love it!


As we just mentioned, the glacier that we show you today is located in the Mendenhall Valley, 19 kilometers from the capital of Alaska. To be more specific, this amazing ice formation is located in the Mendanhall Glacier Recreation Area , which is a federal area located in the Tongass National Forest. The Amerindian tribe of the Tlingit called it Sitaantaagu, which means "glacier behind the town", although it was also called Aak’wtaaksit ("the glacier behind the small lake"). Later, the place was renamed Auke in honor of the naturalist John Muir, although in 1981 the glacier was renamed, this time with its current name, in memory of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, an important scientific professor in the region.

Mendenhall Glacier1


How could it be otherwise, one of the surprising things about the glacier is its size. And we are talking about an impressive mass of ice about 19 kilometers long. And although many are the visitors that each year come to contemplate this wonder, only a few dare to visit the interior, which can be explored thanks to the thaw has carved internal caves that change in size and colors constantly. Therefore, each visit is as if it were the first.

Contemplate the glacier from within

Contemplating the glacier from the outside is truly surprising, but discovering it from the inside is a truly magical experience, among other things due to the mixture of blue hues that can be glimpsed. In addition, you can discover two waterfalls sliding down an adjacent mountain. Of course, before embarking on the adventure, two very important questions must be taken into account. First of all, you should know that the way to the caves is not easy, since you have to go through a section in a kayak, go for a walk and climb on the ice. Second, no one can guarantee that the caves are not going to collapse at any moment, like the icebergs along the way. In any case, it is recommended to visit the place with the company of an expert guide.

Mendenhall Glacier2


As we have just mentioned, visiting the interior of the glacier is dangerous, since there is a certain risk of collapse. In fact, it is important to note that due to global warming, the glacier has retreated 2.82 kilometers since 1958. As you know, climate change causes glaciers to melt faster than necessary. Although this thaw is, logically, something negative, the truth is that it has allowed researchers to discover vestiges of ancient trees that have been frozen during the last centuries. The debris appears to be up to 2,350 years old. Then we leave you with our gallery , where you will find more beautiful images of the Mendenhall Glacier. Do not miss it!