Mendenhall Glacier. Alaska. USA
This amazing natural phenomenon will amaze you with its grandeur and beauty. Mendenhall Glacier is located in the Mendenhall Valley near the city of Juneau (19 km), Alaska, USA, and stretches for 19 kilometers from the Juneau Icefield, then to the Mendenhall Lake and the Mendenhall River.
However, it wasn’t always called like that. The glacier has gained its modern name in honor of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall in 1891. This physicist conducted here the geodetic survey of the state border between Alaska and Canada. At first, it was known as Sitaantaagu or Aak’wtaaksit. Later, it was renamed as Auke (Auk). Of course, this is not the most significant waterway on the territory of Alaska, but certainly one of the most beautiful and spectacular.
The Mendenhall Glacier is available for tourist visits. There are several routes that will lead you to the glacier: East Glacial Loop – runs along the line of greatest advancement of the glacier, and West Glacial Trail – leads to its western wall. Morain Ecology Trail will share information on the special boards about the restoration of vegetation on the ground, which became free of ice. Photo Point Trail is the best place for panoramic shooting of the glacier; all the surrounding views of the sparkling splendor contribute to this!
It is also one of the famous underwater glaciers, popular for its caves. New caves are constantly formed by the thawing waters; melt waters partly destroy walls and wash away the cracks, gradually forming the underwater passages-labyrinths. Depth and length of galleries of the underwater ice can sometimes reach several hundred meters. These mazes resemble a tree structure, where small channels serve as branches flocking into the trunk – main place of the cave. However, you should be very careful here. The caves are fragile enough. Constant thawing creates instability in the structure of the glacier.
The Mendenhall Glacier is only a small part of a huge ice field Juneau which area is over 2,400 sq km. 36 great glaciers originate here.