“Have a taste,” my guide on Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier says, handing me a canteen cup he’s just filled at a tumbling freshet on the slope we’re climbing.“It’s pretty good.”
The frigid, aquamarine water is indeed quite good — as cold as water can get, highly oxygenated by bouncing down the ice, tinged with minerals from the heights above through which it has passed as snow, ice, then glacier-melt.
Located just 20 minutes outside downtown Juneau, the Mendenhall is among dozens of coastal glaciers that Alaska travelers encounter on journeys in the Great Land’s southeast and south-central regions, from Ketchikan to Anchorage. One nickname for America’s 49th state is “The Great Land,” and glaciers are among the greatest of its facets.
A research study years ago determined that seeing glaciers is among the top three objectives for visitors — whales and bears are the other two — and unlike those two, glaciers are basically guaranteed. It’s impossible to sail the Gulf of Alaska coastline and not see glaciers; they are as intrinsic to the landscape as the mountains that birth them. Most famous are those in Glacier Bay, the national park that draws about 1 million visitors a year aboard vessels ranging from day-tour boats to larger ships. Hubbard Glacier near Yakutat and Tracy Arm near Petersburg are also common destinations to see tidewater glaciers; locales with glaciers on land and sea, popular for off-boat excursions, include Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Juneau, Whittier, and Seward.
Tidewater glaciers tower over the sea hundreds of feet high and are the terminuses of ice rivers that may stretch more than 50 miles. TheHubbard is an exceptionally immense glacier, 75 miles long, 6 miles wide at its end, 400 feet high (that’s about 40 stories). Even the biggest cruise ships look like toys next to the Hubbard, which they approach within a quarter-mile.
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RIDING THE STORM
THE BEST TIME FOR BIRDERS TO SEE THE FASCINATING STORM PETREL IS DURING A STORM. IN FACT, SOME LEGENDS CLAIM THE SEABIRD CAUSED THE STORM.
APPRECILOVING THE HARMONY
DIVE DEEP INTO RASTAFARI PHILOSOPHY AND TRADITIONS AT THE RASTAFARI INDIGENOUS VILLAGE.
SENSES WORKING OVERTIME
Be sure to utilize all ve to fully appreciate Alaska’s glaciers.
A Tale of Two TRANSATLANTICS
Cruising for days on the open ocean truly has everything you could want … and more.
A DEEP DIVE INTO OCEANIA EATS
How Oceania Cruises’ gastronomy stays impressively on-trend
Regent’s newest and most resplendent ship, Seven Seas Splendor, goes to lengths that leave other ships behind.
THE PEARL OF THE ADRIATIC
SIX WAYS TO SPEND TWO DAYS IN DUBROVNIK
EARTH AND INSPIRATION
The organic forms of Cocoa Vintage ceramic jewelry bring life to your look.
Music to our ears! The entire Crystal River Cruises fleet — Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler, and Crystal Ravel — has earned Green Award certification.
BEYOND THE BED
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS CABIN FEVER WHEN YOU’RE STAYING IN THESE AT-SEA ACCOMMODATIONS.
US HOLDS FIRST OIL LEASE SALE FOR ALASKA'S ARCTIC REFUGE
The U.S. government held its first-ever oil and gas lease sale for Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an event critics labeled as a bust with major oil companies staying on the sidelines and a state corporation emerging as the main bidder.
Voice of the Northwest
A haunting call and fancy feathers make this thrush stand out.
Junco family tree
Meet the many variations of this beloved snowbird and popular wintertime visitor.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DENIES PLANNED MINE NEAR ALASKA FISHERY
The Trump administration on Wednesday effectively killed a contentious proposed mine in Alaska, a gold and copper prospect once envisioned to be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and could produce enough waste to fill an NFL stadium nearly 3,900 times — all near the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.
Even if you log thousands of vertical feet at your local mountain beforehand, heli-skiing can wreck you after one day. Here’s how to beat the bonk.
Who's Afraid of Winter?
Two fair-weather enthusiasts tear down their fear of the fourth season.
See the world through the viewfinder of one of the world’s foremost adventure photographers.
Studying Nature's Impact on Ancient Civilization and Tuning In Online to Make Sense of Meteorites
Okmok. In remote Alaska. A strange name and a strange place for what some scientists and historians now say caused the downfall of the Roman Republic and the Egyptian Ptolemaic Kingdom shortly after the demise of Julius Caesar.
JUDGE PUTS BITE ON TWISTED TOOTH FAIRY
Dentist locked up for riding hoverboard while yanking teeth
HIMALAYAN IN THE MID WEST
The 3,500-Mile Royal Enfield Summer