Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Facilities Improvement Project gets final approval to begin multi-year updates

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – A multi-year improvement plan at the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area got a final nod of approval today, officially kicking off the start of numerous updates to improve facilities at the world-class recreation center.

The Forest Service signed a final Record of Decision after several years of robust community involvement, partner feedback, and public comment.

“This decision reflects the substantial public input we received from the community, considerations from tribal consultations, and the exhaustive work of analyzing the diverse ecosystems of the Mendenhall Recreation Area,” said Tongass National Forest Supervisor Frank Sherman. “We received hundreds of comments through five separate public engagements which significantly improved the final plan.”

  • The effort seeks to increase visitor capacity, safety, and enjoyment while protecting natural resources and upholding tribal and cultural values of the living landscape at Mendenhall Glacier, an internationally renowned attraction that welcomes about 700,000 visitors each year.
  • Some of the significant improvements included in the decision are a new welcome center, an outdoor plaza with amphitheater, three enlarged main parking areas, three new trailhead parking lots, and up to five new public rental cabins.

The final environmental impact statement and decision can be found on the project website.