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East Glacier Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (6)

A wonderful three-mile loop trail in Juneau, AK.


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Map Key

2.9

Miles

4.6

KM

Point to Point

716' 218 m

High

86' 26 m

Low

644' 196 m

Up

641' 195 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Description

A beautiful loop through young rain forest with approximately 650 ft of elevation gain. Much of this trail was covered by glacial ice 100 years ago, yet vegetation has grown so rapidly that it's mostly a closed canopy already. This feature means less rain and wind to deal with, which is nice during inclement weather.

The trail can be accessed from Mendenhall Glacier parking lot in Juneau, AK. I always hike it counterclockwise, starting by the mini lake and finishing by the visitor center. The trail is somewhat rocky in places on the ascent in this direction. The first half is also the wettest, with a lot of hillside drainage during typical rainy weather. However, there is very little mud even in the worst conditions.

Once you reach the top of the long wooden stairs, it 's pretty much all downhill from there. It's really fun to push it to the summit, then quickly catch your breath and fly down the switchbacks. Just be careful not to trip over any of the occasionally protruding rocks. Once you've finished coming down the switchbacks, there is one obvious viewpoint where the glacier can be seen--at least for the time being.

Flora & Fauna

Bear, deer, porcupine. Alder and willow, spruce, and hemlock trees.

Contacts

Shared By:

Gary Spargo with improvements by Shannon Easterly

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 6 votes

#5

in Juneau

#8602

Overall
  4.0 from 6 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#5

in Juneau

#104

in Alaska

#8,602

Overall
57 Views Last Month
1,416 Since Jan 26, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

The creek flows rigorously along the East Glacier Trail in Tongass National Forest.
Jan 13, 2017 near Juneau, AK
This is looking up Mendenhall Glacier from the East Glacier Trail in 1980. Mendenhall Glacier has receded about a mile since then.
Jan 13, 2017 near Juneau, AK
Tall firs structure the moss forest along the East Glacier Trail.
Jan 13, 2017 near Juneau, AK
Moss forests (northern rain forest) adorn the East Glacier Trail.
Jan 13, 2017 near Juneau, AK
Mendenhall Glacier is stunning from above, as seen from the East Glacier Trail in 1980. Mendenhall Glacier has receded about a mile since then.
Jan 13, 2017 near Juneau, AK
Beautiful brown mushrooms grow along East Glacier Trail in late August.
Jan 13, 2017 near Juneau, AK

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Check-Ins

Jul 15, 2019
Robert Hoell
May 25, 2019
Aaron R
Mar 3, 2018
Eli Barsy
Apr 23, 2017
nic sev
Aug 26, 1980
Joan Pendleton