We're interested in going to Mendenhall Glacier Lake for canoeing or hiking. Has anyone taken a shuttle bus up there and just hiked around? How is the trail system? Would we be better off booking the canoe excursion there? Anyone been up there to give us an idea of the area and what our options are?
You can take a city bus from the dock to the glacier for less than $2.00. This allows you to stay and hike in the area and spend as much time as you want. There are great trails from the visitor center with many views for the glacier and the rain forest. Also, the bus give you a perspective of the city not available from a tour. The bus run every half hour so there is very little wait to return to the ship. The walk from the bus stop to the vistors center is less than a mile and is enjoyable.
If I am not mistaken the canoe is picked up on the west side of the lake where the rafters leave from??? Anyway- you can take the city bus, pick up is on Franklin st up and across from the Red Dog. There is a little sign on the street. It takes an hour by city bus to get to the Mendenhall stop. You then have a level 1 mile walk to the visitor center. For door to door service there is the MGT glacier shuttle (not their tour bus) will run $10 round trip and run once per hour for a 20 min transfer (half hour downtown, on the hour at the glacier or vice versa depending on the schedule). They do add buses during peak usage. Be sure to get your tickets from the dock booth when you get off the ship. If you don't you may have to wait for a later bus. At the glacier there are 2 trails that start from behind the visitor center- you can walk through and out the back door. the 3/4 mile Interpretive trail- pick up the guide sheet and the excellent 3 1/2 mile East Loop trail. Also be sure to check out the ranger activities - varied and free!!!