Juneau Wildlife Viewing
Mendenhall Glacier

photo of Mendenhall Glacier area wildlife The Mendenhall Glacier area is Juneau’s most popular recreation area, for residents and visitors alike. The glacier clearly is the focal point, but there are a wealth of wildlife viewing opportunities as well. Graceful arctic terns migrate over 10,000 miles from Antarctica to nest on the ground in clear view of the Photo Point trail. Beavers have transformed the landscape with their dams, lodges, and tree-cutting in Steep Creek and the Dredge Lake area, and black and brown bears are drawn to Steep Creek when the salmon are spawning from July through September. Mountain goats can also be seen here year round on the surrounding mountains.


The varied habitats and extensive ponds and trails make the Mendenhall Glacier area a rich birding area.


  • Beaver
  • Black Bear
  • Brown Bear
  • Mountain Goat
  • Terns


The Mendenhall Glacier is a very popular destination during the summer season. Visit in the early morning and late evening hours (when there is less human activity) for the best chance to see wildlife.


  • Hiking Trails
  • Interpretive Signs
  • Restrooms
  • Wheelchair Accessible


The wheelchair accessible Photo Point Trail leads to a lookout with excellent views of the glacier, and of the nesting grounds of arctic terns.

Plan to spend at least: 2 hours - full day

Best Months

█ Best Month

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • Best Month May
  • Best Month June
  • Best Month July
  • Best Month August
  • Best Month September
  • October
  • November
  • December


Follow the Mendenhall Loop road (becomes Glacier Spur road) to reach the USDA Forest Service Visitor Center at the Mendenhall Glacier.


USDA Forest Service, Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center - (907) 789-0097 or http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/districts/mendenhall/

Additional Information

Living with Bears