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Mendenhall River Rafting

Borough of Juneau, Alaska, USA (August 1995)

Also be sure to see the Travel/Geography Blog

Whitewater Rafting

Mendenhall River Float Trip

The Route

We have a lot of experience with whitewater rafting so we were excited to hear about rafting in Juneau. There are indeed float trips down the Mendenhall River. It runs from the glacier with the same name down to the Gastineau Channel. Notice that I am wearing rubber boot up to my knees. This water is extremely cold, barely above freezing, having just melted off the glacier The raft does catch some water and you don't want to be dangling your feet in it. This gives rafters a whole lot of incentive to keep their vessels upright too.

Float Trip

Rafts Assembled

The entire length of the river is just a few miles with small sections of mild whitewater. While it's not a white-knuckle thrill ride, it's a good time and a relaxing trip. Here we are putting into the water on a trip that will terminate down near the Juneau International Airport.

Sandy Shoreline

Sandy Beach Along the Riverbank

It's a nice little trip and a pleasant afternoon through some Class II and II rapids with names like Scott's Latola Hola, Tourist Trap, and Pin Ball Alley. It's generally tame and a good beginner trip for those without much experience or for those who simply want to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.

River Scenery

More Scenery Along the Mendenhall River

Here is one final stretch of scenic river for your viewing enjoyment.

You may also be interested in my New River Gorge Rafting in West Virginia page.