Saturday, July 27, 2019

Mendenhall Glacier - Photo Point Trail + Nugget Falls Trail

Photo Point Trail + Nugget Falls Trail at Mendenhall Glacier
Tongass National Forest
Trailhead Elevation: 83 ft.
Distance: 2.10 mi. (my Forerunner 230)
Start Time: 9:31am
End Time: 10:18am

Trip Report:
We set out from the parking lot and followed the signs for the Photo Point Trail. Its no more than quarter mile walk down a paved path to a looped end of the trail. There was a nice viewing area of Mendenhall Glacier. It was evident how much the glacier had receded since we visited 20+ years ago. While we were there a ranger showed up and was showing off pictures from the 60s when the glacier was even bigger.

My boys and I at Photo Point

Nearing the end of the Nugget Falls Trail

As we walked back down the Photo Point Trail most of our group was into hiking out the Nugget Falls trail with the time we had remaining. This trail was dirt from the start but very wide, a double track trail for sure. It was relatively flat the whole way and handled plenty of tourist traffic. It was roughly a mile out.
Nugget Falls
At the bottom of the falls was a large, flat sandy area just before the actual falls. Plenty of room here for great pictures and video of Nugget Falls as well as Mendenhall Glacier. Knowing we needed to return to our tour bus we set a hard turnaround time which left us only a few quick minutes at the Falls.
Looking south over Mendenhall Lake
We made brisk hike on the way back passing dozens and dozens more people making the hike out. The maps of the area show a handful of other great trail options near Mendenhall Glacier for those seeking more miles, more views and likely more solitude away from the crowds....


I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in a KML file that you are welcome to download and use (at your own risk).  

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