What You Need To Know About Alaska Ice Caves

4 mins read
Francesco Ungaro

There are never enough destinations to explore for all my travel lovers out there, and the one place that never fails to astonish us is absolutely delightful to look at Alaska ice caves.

When the snow falls and accumulates at a place for a very long time, it forms glaciers, but when the ice starts melting, it leaves behind hollow spaces forming tunnels making glacier caves or ice caves. This phenomenon itself sounds so exciting. Now imagine visiting the place yourself! So, here is all you need to know before you visit the most famous and mind-blowing Alaska ice caves.

Alaska Ice Caves
By gutarphotoghaphy/Unlimphotos

Let’s Learn a Bit More About These Beautiful Ice caves in Alaska, Shall We?

1. A Must Visit Glacier

Ice Caves Alaska
Brady Knoll/Pexels

There are some ice caves one can visit. One of the most famous ice caves of all time is the Mendenhall Glacier ice caves formed by the outflow of the Mendenhall glacier. This cave constantly shifts and changes and reforms itself from time to time, making it very dangerous and beautiful.

Due to the constant changes, this glacier’s location also keeps on changing because of which you cannot find the glacier all by yourself, and it is also not recommended to do so. The risks are high because of which it is advised to always be with a tour guide instead of exploring these Alaska ice caves all alone.

As the cave keeps on changing its shape, the way to the cave is also dangerous. This glacier cave is located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau which is the capital city of Alaska. It is also named “Sitaantagu” as it is located behind the little town of Juneau, Alaska.

There is a visitor center located in Juneau with exhibitions, which help plan the glacier tour to the Alaska ice caves in more detail. The time on the glacier is absolutely breathtaking and a life-changing experience.

2. Hike to the Glacier

The glacier trek is an 8-mile long trek, a very challenging trek on all kinds of terrains guided by the tour guides, which rewards the trekker with beautiful rainforests’ views Mendenhall lake, along with the ice caves. The hike takes you past along a 377-foot waterfall that cascades into a glacial lake of icebergs.

Proper gear and equipment like boots and helmets should be carried before starting with the caves’ hike. Pieces of equipment such as ropes will be needed to climb glaciers and firm boots and give proper support.

Headlamps are also important when moving through the caves. The name itself says Alaska “ice” caves, so I don’t think I have to brief you much about the clothing, do I? You can also see large chunks of glaciers floating around but not accessible due to their dangers.

Cave In Alaska
Tomáš Malík/ Pexels

3. Other Famous Sites to Visit

The Mendenhall lake is proglacial in the Mendenhall Valley, and it is located 3 miles north of Juneau city. This lake is usually frozen during winters and can be crossed through by walking, but the lake melts, and kayaking occurs during summers.

The Tongass national forest protects the Mendenhall glacier. The Tongass national forest, located in southeast Alaska is the largest US national forest. It is 7.2km from the Mendenhall glacier. This forest can be viewed while on the hike to the caves. The visitor center is actually a part of this Tongass national forest, which executes all kinds of travelers’ activities. 

Alaska Caves
Pixabay /Pexels

Coming back to the beauty of these Alaska ice caves, walking through the blue walled glacier is just pure bliss and an unforgettable life moment that everyone should experience at least once in our lifetime. You look at these ice caves and wonder how nature can cause such phenomenons to happen and then turn out to be absolutely stunning and a delight to the eye. The glaciers formed are such that there are not enough words to describe the beauty of it.

Who says you can explore only one of these Alaska ice caves? You can’t get enough of its beauty, and to continue your journey, more glaciers like the Matanuska glacier and Kennicott glacier are waiting for you!

4. More Alaska Ice Caves to Explore!

The Matanuska Glacier is a valley glacier near the Glenn highway about 100 miles northeast of anchorage in glacier view. It is the largest glacier in the United States which can be accessed by car. The Matanuska river lies at the end of this glacier. This glacier trek is comparatively less risky than the Mendenhall glacier, but it is still necessary to have a guided tour. But the view is still astonishing.

The Spencer Glacier is also near the anchorage, but it is less easy to walk through it than the Matanuska glaciers. It is well known for ice-cave kayaking. Another one of these stunning blue ice caves is the Kennicott glacier or ice cave, located near McArthy, Alaska. The Kennicott caves pair with the Root caves, making them a big glacier ice cave. The view from outside is not eye-catching, but it is known for its adventurous hike.

Alaska Caves
S Migaj/ Pexels

5. How to Get There

The most fun way to get to these places is the Alaska shore excursions. The term specifically means special picnics arranged by cruise companies as an extra package and better way than fun cruise liners to get to the desired place for glacier travel. Different cruise liners help you get to your desired place on your own selected dates, making it convenient to travel to these places.


Alaska White Polar Bear
By porbital/Unlimphotos

With all these details and help provided, it becomes one of the most magical and wanted destinations to go to!

Alaska ice caves are one of the most unforgettable and stunning places to visit because no one forgets a view from beneath a frozen canopy, now do they? So what are you’ll waiting for, plan your tour right away, walk through the blue walled glaciers in Alaska, and experience one of the best places in the world!

Still not sure? Find out more about Alaska here and get more information on this link and plan your tour!

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