Situated north of Juneau and extending into British Columbia, you won’t want to miss the fifth biggest ice field in the entire Western Hemisphere. Taking up 1,500 square miles of coast range, it’s home to glaciers like Taku and Mendenhall, and it’s a favorite for winter sports. Here, you’ll find at least 40 big valley glaciers and over 100 smaller glaciers. It’s a major tourist attraction, but helicopter access is easiest, so start booking your Icefield trip today.

It’s possible to go on short treks (up to 4,590 feet depending on weather) to get up close and personal with the incredible crevasses and deep ice. Circa-1700, the Icefield reached “peak glaciation” and has been retreating ever since. Currently, only the Taku Glacier continues to advance. Visitors also take this opportunity to visit the Tongass National Forest which borders the Icefield.

Planning Your Trip

It’s likely you’ll find researchers and scientists en route to the Icefield. The Juneau Icefield Research Program has been keeping watch of the region since 1948. That’s how we know that in the past 60 years the Mendenhall Glacier terminus has retreated nearly half a mile. Keep an eye out for Herbert Glacier, which has retreated 0.34 miles and Eagle Glacier, which has retreated 0.43 miles.

Some of the most striking peaks include the Mendenhall Towers and Devil’s Paw, great spots for photos and taking in the beauty of the Icefield. When visiting Juneau, you don’t want to miss out on the awesome landscapes and unique horizons all around you.