Greetings from the glacier,

Big things are happening at your favorite glacier!

First and foremost, the frozen lake broke up this weekend! Icebergs are drifting across the lake at an amazing speed. We can visually track their movement in just a few hours as the water current pushes them from the terminus to the far side of the lake. I have attached a photo taken this morning. The large flat iceberg with a rocky top has moved farther west. Its movement is very noticeable!

Second important thing: Wednesday, April 26 at 5pm please join us for a public meeting on planning for the future of the visitor center and immediate area. This is the more specific “master planning” meeting series focusing just on our side of the lake and the trails around the visitor center and Nugget Falls. I have attached a public service announcement with more details.

Third, the elevators are not yet operational so you will need to use the ramp or stairs to enter the building on Wednesday afternoon. The carved door is closed for the season. But work is really progressing! The wallboard is hung on the elevator entryways and the walls should be painted soon. We need to go through the formal inspection prior to allowing staff and the public to use the elevators.

Fourth, the new bookstore remodel is taking shape beautifully! If you come to the Wednesday meeting you can see the fixtures. It is still incomplete and no contents yet.

Fifth, on Monday, May 1, we open for the summer season with daily hours of 8am to 7:30pm. Passes will be required at that time for several outdoor areas excluding Nugget Falls Trail, Trail of Time and East Glacier Trail. A new 2017 Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center season pass with artwork by the late Juneau artist Sharron Lobaugh are available now in vending machines in the parking lot. They can be purchased at the bookstore when it opens. If you need a season, senior or any other national lands pass, they can be purchased at the Forest Service’s Juneau Ranger District office at 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road. That office is open Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm. Season passes are only $15. Other federal passes vary in price.

Sixth, bears are out! Last Wednesday’s Juneau Empire had a great photo of two cubs of the year on the front page of the newspaper. So please take care of garbage and other food attractants such as bird feeders, and be cautious and respectful of our ursine neighbors.

A lovely solitary swan flew past our window last week. I was lucky to get a photo with the glacier as backdrop!

swan-glacier 2017apr19

See you soon!

Laurie Craig
Lead Naturalist
Forest Service | Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, Juneau Ranger District