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Camping at Mendenhall Campground

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Location and Access

Mendenhall Campground is located in Southeast Alaska within the Tongass National Forest, which is the largest national forest in the United States. The campground is situated near Juneau, Alaska's capital city, and it is nestled along the shores of Mendenhall Lake, providing breathtaking views of Mendenhall Glacier.

Campground Features

The campground features a variety of sites, including standard with no hookups, tent-only sites, and some sites that are accessible for individuals with disabilities. Each campsite usually comes with a picnic table and a fire ring. Bear-proof food containers are also provided throughout the campground to ensure safe food storage.

Amenities

  • Restrooms
  • Potable water
  • Firewood for sale (when available)
  • Bear-proof food lockers
  • Day-use facilities with covered shelters and BBQ grills

Activities

The Mendenhall Campground offers numerous outdoor activities such as:

  • Hiking: Numerous trails are available, including the Nugget Falls Trail, which leads to a stunning waterfall view near the glacier.
  • Fishing: Mendenhall Lake and nearby streams offer opportunities for fishing when in season, with proper licenses and observance of regulations.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Visitors can often spot bears, eagles, and other wildlife near the campground.
  • Boating: Non-motorized boating is popular on Mendenhall Lake with spectacular views of icebergs and the face of the glacier.
  • Interpretive Programs: The nearby Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center features educational displays about the glacier and the surrounding environment.

Reservations and Fees

Reservations for camping sites can usually be made through the recreation.gov website, which is advisable especially during peak seasons. There is a fee for camping, and rates may vary depending on the type of site and the season. Day-use areas may be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Regulations and Safety

  • Bear Safety: Due to the presence of bears, visitors are required to store food properly and be bear aware.
  • Campfire Safety: Only light fires in designated fire rings and ensure all fires are completely extinguished before leaving.
  • Pets: Pets must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles to preserve the environment.

Weather and Climate

The climate in this region is typically a cool maritime climate. It can be quite wet and rainy, even in the summer. Layered clothing and waterproof gear are highly recommended. Weather can change rapidly, so be prepared for varying conditions.

Accessibility

Some campsites and facilities have been adapted for wheelchair access. Check the specific site description when booking for more details on accessibility.

Nearby Attractions

Besides the Mendenhall Glacier and Visitor Center, visitors can also explore:

  • The Mount Roberts Tramway for panoramic views.
  • Downtown Juneau for shopping, dining, and cultural experiences.
  • Whale watching tours that operate out of nearby Auke Bay.

It's important to check the latest information on opening dates, any possible closures, and updates on facilities and services from the USDA Forest Service or recreation.gov before planning your trip to Mendenhall Campground.

Location of Mendenhall Campground
Other Campgrounds in Tongass National Forest
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