Kind Reader, have you ever dreamt of walking on glaciers? If yes, then you must visit Juneau helicopter glacier walkabout, where adventure and natural beauty converge. This breathtaking excursion offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk on glaciers, explore scenic landscapes, and witness the beauty of natural ice formations. The Juneau helicopter glacier walkabout is a must-try adventure for both nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
What is Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout?
Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout is an adventurous way of experiencing Alaska’s glaciers. Walkabouts are led by experienced guides who specialize in hiking across glaciers. They offer an opportunity to explore the spectacular beauty of Alaska, a state renowned for its magnificent glaciers. On a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout, visitors will fly over lush forests, serene lakes, and frozen landscapes only reachable by air to the mighty glaciers.
The advantages of a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabouts give visitors the opportunity to hike across one of the world’s spectacular glaciers and see the beautiful scenery from a unique perspective. Tourists can see other secluded glaciers, rocky mountains, and even wild animals from the sky during their helicopter ride. In addition to the helicopter ride, visitors can experience the thrill of hiking on a giant natural ice sheet. Visitors also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the glaciers, where photogenic ice caves, rivers, and crevasses abound.
What to expect duringÂ a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout?
Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout Tours typically last two to four hours, depending on the participant’s experience and the package. After collecting the necessary safety gear, participants will board a helicopter for a ride to the Juneau ice fields glacier. After landing on one of the glacier’s flat areas, they begin their guided tour of the glacier, exploring ice caves, natural ice formations and seracs, and glacial rivers. Instructors provide important safety tips and education about the glacier’s characteristics before taking the hike. Hikers should expect a vigorous physical activity as it involves walking on uneven, slippery, and unstable terrain. This tour requires stamina and suitable clothing and footwear to keep warm. In other words, the walkabout may not be for everyone, especially those with mobility issues or impaired physical condition.
The average cost of a helicopter glacier walkabout tour in Juneau, Alaska, is between $250 and $500 per person. However, the price may vary depending on the specific package, duration, group size, and company you chose to travel with. The tour company typically includes a complementary round-trip transportation package from your cruise ship dock in the price quoted. It is advisable to book in advance and shop for the best rates or deals available for online bookings.
The Safety Tips
While a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout is exhilarating, hikers should prioritize safety at all times to avoid unnecessary injuries. Therefore, visitors are required to check with their physician if they have health restrictions before embarking on the tour. It is essential to wear proper footwear, such as hiking boots with ankle support and rubber soles, that will provide traction on the slippery and unstable terrain. Tourists should dress in layers, with waterproof and wind-resistant clothing options, accessorized with hats, gloves, and sunglasses. Visitors should also remember to stay well hydrated and avoid consuming alcohol before or during the tour.
The Weather Conditions
Juneau’s weather is known to be unpredictable, and conditions can change dramatically from tour to tour. Visitors should be prepared for the worst since the weather can abruptly turn for the worse as weather changes are pretty standard. In the event that the guide determines that the weather conditions are too adverse or unsafe during the walkabout, hikes might be postponed or rescheduled. Having the right clothing gear is thus necessary for all weather conditions.
What to Expect from a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
A Juneau helicopter glacier walkabout is an exhilarating experience that is undoubtedly on many peopleâ€™s bucket lists. You should expect to see stunning views of glaciers, mountains, and the Juneau ice field as you soar through the air in a helicopter. While in the helicopter, you will get a birdâ€™s eye view of the glaciers, crevasses, and icefalls. The panoramic views that you will experience are breathtaking, and they will leave you in awe of the beauty of nature.
The Helicopter Ride
The helicopter ride to the glacier is an experience in itself. The ride is a chance to view the beauty of the area before touching down on the glacier. The journey is typically around 20-25 minutes long from Juneau to the glacier. However, the ride duration varies based on the weather and the location of the glacier. The helicopters are specifically engineered for the low altitude flying required for these types of tours.
The Walkabout on the Glacier
After the helicopter lands on the glacier, you will be given a safety briefing and fitted with crampons. Then, you will spend around 30 minutes to an hour walking on the glacier with a guide. During the walkabout, you will be able to see crevasses, moulins, melt streams, and other glacial formations up close.
The views are spectacular, and you will be amazed by the shades of blues and whites of the ice. You will walk on the glacier in a group, and your guide will stop to provide you with information about the geology and history of the area. The walk is easy, and you donâ€™t need any previous glacier hiking experience. Although walking on the glacier is relatively easy, it can be a bit chilly, so it’s important to dress appropriately.
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The Best Time to Experience Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout adventure is a unique experience that you wouldn’t want to miss. To make the most of your visit, it’s important to know when the best time to go is. Generally, the tour runs from mid-May to mid-September, during which the weather is warm and glaciers are visible. While the months of June to August are the busiest, this may be the best time to visit for many tourists. The helicopter may have to make multiple landings to make your way through the glacier, so it’s important to dress appropriately. The average temperature at the glacier is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so bring warm clothes and a waterproof jacket.
The Busiest Months: June to August
June to August is considered as the peak season to do Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout. This is the time when the weather is warm and the glacier is easily accessible. Although, these months can be busy, it can provide a more fun-filled experience as there will be more guests and possibilities for a larger group.
The Quieter Months: May and September
The best months to visit Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout are May and September. These months are quieter than the others, providing a more peaceful experience. With fewer crowds, you will have more time to enjoy the serene beauty of the Alaskan glaciers and get the chance to see the wildlife that Alaska has to offer. The weather may be slightly colder, but it is still a great time to enjoy the experience with the right gear and clothing.
What to Wear and Bring on a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout?
Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout is an exciting adventure, and you must come adequately prepared for your comfort and safety throughout the tour. Here are the things you need to bring and wear when going on a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout tour.
What to Wear:
- Warm Clothing – The average temperature in the glacier is around 32F, so wear insulated pants, layers, long sleeves, and a waterproof coat to keep you warm.
- Waterproof Hiking Boots – You’ll need to walk on ice, so make sure to wear insulated waterproof hiking boots.
- Sunglasses and Sunscreen – The sunlight reflecting off the glacier ice can be bright, so bring sunglasses and sunscreen.
What to Bring:
- Cameras – Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture stunning views of the glacier and wildlife.
- Extra Batteries and Memory Cards – You don’t want to run out of space for photos during the tour.
- A small Bag – Bring a small bag to store your extra batteries, memory cards, phone, and other small items.
What to Wear on a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
When preparing for a Juneau helicopter glacier walkabout, it is essential to bring and wear the right gear. You want to be prepared for the cold temperatures of the glacier but also be mobile enough to walk around and explore. Here are some of the must-haves when it comes to clothing and gear:
Insulated Jacket and Pants
You will want to bring an insulated jacket and pants made of waterproof and breathable fabric to protect you from the cold weather. Layering underneath your jacket is essential to keep your body warm. Your pants should also be waterproof and stretchy so you can easily walk around the glacier.
Waterproof & Warm Boots
It is better to bring insulated waterproof boots with you if you don’t own any, you can rent them from the helicopter tour company. Avoid wearing sneakers, flats or any footwear that doesn’t completely cover your feet, you don’t want to get your foot wet or cold on the glacier.
Gloves, Hat or Beanie, and Sunglasses
Make sure to wear a warm hat or beanie to keep your ears and head warm on the glacier. Bring gloves or mittens that are waterproof and have the ability to use your phone or camera without taking them off. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses to keep your eyes from being damaged by the brightness of the snow and ice.
You will need to bring a small backpack with you to carry your essentials, such as water, snacks, and camera. Make sure it has straps that can either go across your chest or around your waist so it won’t get in the way.
It is important to dress appropriately as the weather conditions on the glacier can be harsh. If you are not dressed properly for the cold, wet, and windy conditions, it can ruin your entire experience of the tour. Wear close-toed shoes that are insulated and waterproof, and dress in layers with a waterproof and insulated jacket and pants.
Best Time to Experience Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
If you’re thinking about taking a Juneau helicopter glacier walkabout, planning the best time to go is crucial.
The best time to experience a helicopter glacier walkabout is during summer, specifically between June and September. During this time, the weather is mild, and the temperature is perfect for hiking on glaciers. The days are also longer during summer, with the sky being visible till late into the day, and you can go on a walkabout even around 7 pm.
The winter season in Juneau can be quite cold and harsh, with the average temperature dropping to below freezing point. Due to the icy and slippery conditions, the glacier hikes may be closed during winters, limiting your chances of having the best experience.
What to Wear on Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
The weather in Alaska can be quite unpredictable, and it’s essential to dress appropriately for your Juneau Helicopter Glacier walkabout. Here are some recommended clothing.
Layers of Clothing
The best way to combat the chilly weather is to dress in layers. These layers will help trap in the warmth in cold weather. You can choose a lightweight wool layer or a breathable one for the first layer, a fleece or soft-shell layer for the second layer, and a heavy or waterproof layer for the outermost layer.
Your footwear choice during the walkabout is also crucial, and you should ensure that you select comfortable and waterproof walking boots. These will help you move about with ease and protect your feet from ice and snow.
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|Camera or Binoculars
Note: You may rent equipment at the starting point of the walkabout, but it is also essential to wear the right clothing underneath the rental equipment.
The Safety Precautions You Need to Know Before Your Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
Before embarking on a Juneau helicopter glacier walkabout, it is important to know and follow certain safety precautions. First and foremost, be sure to wear weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy, waterproof footwear â€“ preferably with good ankle support â€“ to protect yourself from the cold and potential slips and falls. Additionally, listen carefully to your guide’s instructions on how to move on the glacier and use the equipment safely.
The Importance of Knowing the Right Equipment to Use for Your Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
As we mentioned earlier, your tour operator will provide equipment like crampons and ice axes to walk on the glacier safely. You will need to know how to use these correctly, so take the guide’s instructions seriously. Moreover, be mindful of the instructions you receive on the type of helicopter ride you will be taking and how the helicopter will land on the glacier. You may need a briefing on how to properly disembark the helicopter as well.
What to Do in Case of an Emergency During Your Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
While glacier walkabouts are generally safe with minimal risks, it is crucial to be prepared for any emergencies. In case of any injuries, rest assured that your guide and tour operator are prepared to handle first aid situations. It’s always reassuring to have travel insurance as well, which generally covers emergency situations like medical expenses, trip cancellations, and more. Always remember to follow the instructions of your guide for maximum safety and minimal risks.
Best Time to Visit for Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
If you’re planning on visiting for a Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout, you might want to know the best time of year to visit. July and August are the warmest months in Juneau, with temperatures averaging around 15Â°C. This is also the peak season for tourists, which can make it busier and more expensive.
Seasons for the Best Time to Visit for Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout
Juneau is not a place you want to visit during winter as a tourist. The vast majority of the activities are outdoors, and many locals head indoors during the colder months. As such, the best time to visit Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout, is during May to September. During these months the temperature averages between 9Â°C to 16Â°C making it the perfect temperature to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Preparing for Weather Changes
While you are visiting Juneau, the weather can change quickly. It’s common in Juneau to have sunshine and rain many times during the same day. It’s important to be prepared for any type of weather by bringing layers, raincoats, and sturdy footwear. This includes your Helicopter Glacier Walkabout tours.
Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout: Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re planning to experience the breathtaking scenery of Juneau from a helicopter and step out onto a glacier, we understand that you may have some questions or concerns. That’s why we’ve put together this FAQ to help you prepare for your Juneau Helicopter Glacier Walkabout.
1. What is a helicopter glacier walkabout?
A helicopter glacier walkabout is an adventure tour that involves a scenic helicopter ride to a glacier, followed by a guided walk on the glacier surface.
2. What should I wear for the helicopter glacier walkabout?
We recommend wearing warm, layered clothing that you can easily remove if you get too hot during the tour. It gets chilly on the glacier, even in the summer months, so bring a warm jacket, hat, and gloves. Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with ankle support are essential. Finally, don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen!
3. How long is the helicopter ride?
The helicopter ride lasts approximately 25-30 minutes each way, depending on weather conditions.
4. What happens if the weather is bad?
If the weather is bad and the flight is canceled, you will be offered a full refund or the option to reschedule your tour for a later date.
5. How long is the glacier walk?
The guided glacier walk lasts for approximately 1 hour to 1.5 hours, depending on the group’s pace and conditions on the glacier.
6. Do I need prior hiking experience?
No prior hiking experience is necessary. The tour guides will provide on-site safety instructions, including how to walk on the glacier and how to use the equipment properly.
7. Is the glacier stable?
The glacier’s stability can vary depending on weather and temperature conditions. The tour guides will monitor the situation and choose a safe path for the guided walk.
8. How high is the glacier above sea level?
The Mendenhall Glacier, which is the glacier often visited on the tour, is approximately 3700 feet above sea level.
9. Can I take my phone or camera?
Yes, you can bring a phone or camera to capture the stunning views. However, make sure to secure them with straps or a waterproof case, as the helicopter ride and glacier walk can be bumpy and wet.
10. Can I bring food or drinks?
You are welcome to bring water and snacks, but there won’t be any storage space on board the helicopter for big backpacks or coolers.
11. How many people are in each helicopter?
The helicopters used for this tour can seat up to six passengers.
12. How old do you have to be to participate in the tour?
The minimum age requirement for the tour is four years old, and all participants must have their seat in the helicopter. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
13. Is the tour wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, the tour is not wheelchair accessible. The helicopter and glacier terrain require a certain level of physical mobility.
14. What happens if I need to cancel or reschedule my tour?
If you need to cancel or reschedule your tour, please contact the tour operator as soon as possible. They have a flexible cancellation policy that allows you to reschedule or receive a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours of your tour.
15. What if I have a fear of heights or flying?
If you have a fear of heights or flying, the helicopter ride may be challenging for you. However, the tour operators are experienced professionals who will do their best to make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for all guests.
If you are planning a trip to Juneau, Alaska and looking for an outdoor adventure, check out this helicopter glacier trek that takes you on a walkabout of the beautiful glaciers. You won’t regret it!
Thanks for Joining Us, Kind Reader
We hope this article has given you a glimpse into the thrilling world of glacier walkabouts. There’s nothing quite like the experience of walking upon a glacier, and Juneau is definitely one of the best places to do it. As the ice shifts and groans under your feet, you’ll feel like you’re walking in a dream world, surrounded by towering walls of ice. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and please do visit us again for more holiday inspiration. Until next time, happy travels!