OverviewMcGinnis Mountain stands humble in a popular backdrop at the foot of Alaska’s Coastal Range. Its scene: the famous Mendenhall Glacier soaks up much of the attention in the area as well as Mount Wrather, which are located center stage. To the right, the bold Mount Bullard obstructs the view of the monster known as The Nugget Towers. Left of the glacier the infamous Mendenhall Towers raise proudly and the jagged Stroller White Mountain continue the impressive skyline. Stroller White is situated next to McGinnis Mountain.
Though McGinnis is in a popular area, it does not see too much traffic. Most hikers in this vicinity will make a detour to the Mendenhall Glacier or stop at the end of the Forest Service trail rather than continuing to the summit.
Those that do pursue the summit will experience a steep ascent of nearly 3,200 feet in roughly 5.5 miles. Though McGinnis is not a technical mountain, please note the route up McGinnis is steep and has no switch backs. Also, route finding is extremely important since the trail is faint and seldom used.
Getting ThereFrom Downtown Juneau, take Egan Drive North. Make a right on Mendenhall Loop Road. After 2.2 miles turn left to stay on Mendenhall Loop Road. Turn right on Montana Creek Way. Continue on Montana Creek Road past Skaters Cabin. The road will dead end at the West Glacier Trail trailhead.
RoutesHiking McGinnis is typically done by taking the West Glacier Trail to the McGinnis Route. From the parking lot, take the West Glacier Trail for 3.4 miles until it ends. A sign will indicate “End of Forest Service Trail”. From that point follow the rock band and faint trail directly up the east, northeast slope. The trail continues all the way to the summit. Look for markers on the descent- it is very easy to get off trail!
*Also note that the West Glacier Trail will fork around 2 miles in. Keep left to avoid a detour to the glacier.