Mendenhall Lake

Mendenhall Lake, Juneau, AK 99801, USA

Both beginner and experienced kayakers will have fun on this leisurely (and super-easy) paddle across Mendenhall Lake. (Both guided and unguided options are available.) The paddling is, really, just 10 percent of the fun—maybe 25 percent. As you cross the lake you’ll encounter icebergs aplenty that decided to skip out on their glacier parent in favor of a solo float. Paddle across the lake to the frigid waterfall and, of course, to the face of Mendenhall Glacier itself. Photos of the 13-mile-long glacier’s colors won’t quite do the real thing justice, but snap away anyway. Your eyes will be blasted and soothed and dazzled by all the icy crayon colors you can imagine, opaque white to clear ice to a stunning robin’s-egg blue. Just don’t get too close to the glacier or the icebergs: Glaciers calve and icebergs can flip. What you’re seeing above the water? That’s just a small part of the icebergs’ good looks.

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