Experience | Juneau, Alaska: Glacier Gardens + Mendenhall Glacier

Monday, August 20, 2018

"Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the soul of the world, and it will one day return there."- Paulo Coelho

Glacier Gardens | Glacier Gardens was another magnificent and life changing excursion that I will never forget. A man named Steve bought this 50 acre plot of land after it had been devastated due to a landslide. As a landscape architect, he was able to envision its potential, even though it was filled with overturned trees. His solution was to create "flower towers" with these trees, which utilized the roots as the vase/garden to plant flowers. 

When you first arrive at Glacier Gardens, you are greeted with several flower tower floral arrangements along with beautiful, exotic gardens filled with flowers and greenery that are not grown in northeast Pennsylvania. Since Glacier Gardens is located in the Tongass National Forest, much of the land is still untouched. The tour gathered into large Jeep-like vehicles without a roof or doors and made the way up to the apex of the area. From there, we were able to look down at the town of Juneau, which was extremely scenic and beautiful. The air was crisp and clean and the temperature was cool and airy.

The Tongass National Forest is filled with trees, bushes, skunk cabbage, flowers, creeks, and little animal friends. Its expansive lifeforce really puts into perspective the beauty of the Earth and how much respect it deserves. If there were no humans, the world would be covered in these luscious woodlands. This trip was a wonderful reminder and educator on the importance of protecting our National Forests, as well as triggered a desire within me to make it a point to visit many more in the future.


Mendenhall Glacier |  Mendenhall Glacier is a retreating glacier located in Tongass National Forest. Due to climate change, it is possible that this beautiful glacier will one day no longer exist. 

Our time at Mendenhall Glacier was only about an hour, as we arrived in the evening when the visitor center was about to close. We watched a 15 minute tour video before making our way down to the glacier. Due to the limited time, we were unable to spend much time exploring. We took the 15 minute walk down to the "photo opp" area of the glacier. There was a longer walking trail, called the Nugget Falls trail, that was supposed to be breathtaking, but unfortunately the bus driver warned us that he would leave even if not all tourists were accounted for when our allotted time was up. 

I was a bit underwhelmed by our trip to Mendenhall glacier, but it was due to the fact that we had limited time and also that it was beginning to get very chilly. I'd like to return to the glacier during the day and be able to explore more, including the Nugget Trail. Mendenhall Glacier is extremely beautiful and I know that I was unable to give it the appreciation it deserves.



  1. Those flower trees are really beautiful!

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