Mendenhall Glacier at Tongass National Forest – Juneau, Alaska

After our incredible morning of whale watching, we made it to our final adventure in Juneau – The Mendenhall Glacier.  DSC_0387 (1)

Immediately upon our arrival, we could see the Mendenhall Glacier looming in the background. In these pictures, as well as in real life, the glacier’s immensity was really not fathomable. Even with the snow-capped mountains giving the glacier some context, it’s grandeur still wasn’t comprehensible. DSC_0275We took some photos in front of the glacier then started our “hike” to the Nugget Falls via the Nugget Falls Trail. The hike itself is 2 miles roundtrip but to call it a hike is a bit misleading as it is paved the majority of the way and is flat – Perhaps the only thing that could constitute it as a hike is the beautiful greenery and small brooks that enveloped us.

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View of Nugget Falls from the beginning of the trail. Those little dots are people.
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Jacqueline and I walking the paved trail

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Walking over the top of coarse sand, we arrived at Nugget Falls, along with a bunch of other people. But even with all the people, it wasn’t too crowded and it didn’t take anything away from the beauty, or our ability to get some great pictures.DSC_0313 (1)IMG_9033

Seeing these researchers kayak and climb onto this ice berg was super cool and really gave us some context on how large the  floating piece of ice was. It also gave us a slight frame of reference on the size of the glacier from which the ice berg came. DSC_0312

We walked as close as we possibly could to the waterfall, feeling its mist and hearing and seeing its power. We even climbed up the side of the waterfall to get a better look and grab some cool pictures.

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Tayler trying to take it all in

It was amazing that even with all the sublime beauty that was the Mendenhall Glacier, right next to it was the powerful Nugget Falls.

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And with that our Alaskan adventure was over, save for 3 hour stops in both Ketchikan and Victoria that weren’t worth writing about. But Juneau was awe-inspiring and if I could go back to Alaska, Juneau is where I would go. I hope to make a trip back there sometime in the near future to really get a feel for Alaska and hopefully hit up Denali National Park and to see some bears and orcas in the wild.

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BONUS PICTURE: Even in the land of Sarah Palin, we spotted this sticker. I think its pretty self-explanatory.

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