If visiting Juneau in Alaska then a trip to Mendenhall Glacier will more than likely be on your list of places to visit whilst there. There is usually the option of an organised tour which will always work out more expensive than touring independently. However your time at the Glacier itself will then be very limited – the day I visited there were some people on a tour who were given twenty minutes total which is not enough time by far to see most things.
There is however a very easy way to visit the Mendenhall Glacier and to make things even better, it works out much cheaper than the tours that are offered. The blue MGT Glacier Express bus picks up from just outside the entrance to the Mount Roberts Tramway. This is where most ships dock too. However if your ship arrives in Juneau at the AJ Dock (I sailed on the Disney Wonder which did) then there is a shuttle bus from that drops off right by the Tramway.
To buy your bus tickets, head to one of the many booths which offer tours of Juneau. Look for the large white sign that says “Glacier Express $8 Each Way” – the booth is situated in the very centre of the row in this photo. I bought return tickets here to save buying them on the way back.
When buying the tickets, they will let you know what time the next bus is due and point you in the direction of the bus stop which is located by the ticket booths. The bus really is blue in colour so it is very easy to spot so you do not need to worry about boarding the wrong bus. The journey takes about twenty minutes and goes direct to the Mendenhall Glacier with no stops along the way. The driver gave us a lot of information about Juneau itself as well as the return bus times.
The bus will drop you off just across the road from the Visitor Center. At the Mendenhall Glacier, you only have to pay if you wish to go inside the Visitor Center – there is no charge to walk the trails or go to the photo points.
You can read about my trip to the Mendenhall Glacier in this blog post.
The bus picks up at the same place where it drops off on the other side of the road to the Visitor Center – you can see the bus stop in the last photo. I hope some of you will find this information useful – enjoy Juneau!