The piercing blue glacial shades and the magic at the Medenhall Ice Caves will overwhelm your entire being. The dreamlike experience and the ethereal beauty of the caves await you. By Ritika Dixit
Ever-changing but an absolute wonder to explore, the Mendenhall Ice Caves are located at a distance of 12 miles from Juneau, the capital city of Alaska. The glacier is 13 miles long, which eventually ends at the Mendenhall Lake — a prime tourist spot in itself. The water from melting ice flowing under the glacier regularly leads to the birth of new caves. This, over time, collapses from the glaciers’ retreat and shifts formations.
It will be hard to not fall for the panoramic views of the mountains, glacier, waterfall and wildlife. Every summer tourists from around the world flock to Alaska in large numbers via cruise ships, ferries and aeroplanes to witness nature at its best. While the views of the glacier are comparatively easy to access, the Mendenhall Ice Caves are only accessible by a kayak followed by a short but exhilarating hike.
The Mendenhall Ice Caves are not a natural wonder that you can put off seeing for a very long time, owing to its ever-altering nature and rate of glacial recession. On the outside, views of the Mendenhall Glacier, Nugget Falls, and Mendenhall Lake up close will have you marvelling at nature’s works of art. After paddling for three miles, and hiking for another mile to reach the insides of the caves, a frozen bright blue cavern under the glacier will lead your mind into a charmed trance. The flowing shades of blues — from aqua, sapphire to even cobalt — will enchant your heart, mind, and soul.
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It is highly recommended to hire a guide here as the ice caves can be just as dangerous as they are thrilling. The opening of the ice cave might not be obvious, and you might also have to duck down or crawl to enter. Ensure to dress in layers and carry necessary gear with you. Rest assured, Mendenhall Ice Caves are a dream sequence everyone deserves to witness!