Monday - Friday  10am-8pm  

Saturday  10am-6pm  

Sunday  Noon - 5pm  


9107 Mendenhall Mall Rd. Suite #301 



Don't miss out on our great Winter sale. We currently have select winter fashions, outerwear, and footwear on sale at 30% off. We recently added kids Sorel boots at 50% off and select Eagle creek at 25% off.
The winner for our $25 Nugget Alaskan Outfitter Gift Certificate for January 2016 is Stephanie Winters. Congratulations Stephanie!  To pick up your gift certificate, drop by the front counter and we will get it for you.

 Winners are selected from those of you who receive and open our monthly e-newsletter. It doesn't matter when or how you signed up for our e-mail club - if you are on our email list you are a potential winner each month. Thank you for joining the club!

Trekking to the Mendenhall Ice Cave
A couple of weeks ago we took advantage of the cold, clear, calm weather and joined the crowds heading out to the ice cave. We left pretty early in the day, so the crowd at the cave wasn't too bad. As we left there was a long line of adventurers heading across the lake. According to a coworker, the ice at that time was at least 9 inches thick all the way to the glacier. Thick enough to support the awesome number of sliders, walkers, and even bicyclers that had the same destination in mind.

I have to admit that my husband and I were way over prepared for the journey, as we had equipped ourselves with packs, ice ax, walking poles, helmets and grippers. Friends of ours even asked if we were training for a Search and Rescue scenario when they saw our helmets. I was very happy for the microspikes and trekking poles as the walk was 3 miles long and pretty slippery without them.     

It doesn't hurt to be prepared though - we have all heard the story of the man that fell through earlier and the dog that was unfortunately lost when it got swept under the ice. These incidents remind us all that traversing the ice can be dangerous, especially around the areas where the ice moves or water comes into the lake and especially as the temperatures warm up. Here are some light weight easy to carry things that you should include in your pack - just in case.

For the past couple of years the Fire Department has staged ice rescue scenarios at the glacier. If you haven't had a chance to attend one of these yet, please put it on your calendar for next year. They show a wonderful video of a scientist who jumps into icy lakes on purpose! He studies the effect of icy cold water on the body and measures how long it takes before he can't move. Believe me, you will not have long in that cold of water before you can't save yourself, so knowing what to do before it happens is paramount to survival.

Getting to the ice caves is shorter and easier in the winter, when you can hike straight out over the lake from the visitor center to the cave. In the summer the access is from the West Glacier trail and it is a much longer hike. Of the 30 searches that SEADOGS went on last year, over a third of those were to the West Glacier trail. The number of people that get lost trying to get back from the glacier is probably even higher, since I haven't included rescues carried out solely by the Fire Department, JMR and the Forest Service.  In order to cut down on these searches, a Boy Scout working on his Eagle Scout project, undertook the task of building cairns to mark the trail to the ice caves. Each of the 15 cairns will eventually have a sign with a date to identify when the glacier was at that point.

Working at NAO, I often get questions from visitors who are heading out to see the ice caves. Last summer, I told one couple to follow the cairns and was rewarded with two blank stares. I didn't realize that they had no idea what a cairn was.  Alaskans have a long history of using cairns or inuksuk for navigation, and for many other uses including as reference points, and markers for fishing places, camps, hunting grounds, sacred sites, or food caches. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland above the Arctic Circle where the tundra has few natural landmarks. But they are not exclusive to just the Northern realms, they can be found all over the world. Here is a photo of one of the many cairns that can be found along the way to the ice caves. They are small, so you really need to keep a sharp eye out to find them.

Find us on
We have teamed up with! is dedicated to connecting shoppers to local inventory allowing you to browse everything we carry AND reserve items for pickup. The number of vendors that are contributing to continues to grow, so more and more of our products will be showing up. When you visit our web site at (1), follow the "IN STOCK" link (2) at the top to go to our feed. You can choose a number of filters (3) to sort through and find the item you are looking for. If we have that item in stock, the bar in the upper right corner will say "IN STOCK" (4), if we don't there won't be a bar (5).
All of the information on each item, including prices, is supplied by the vendors and Therefore, our in store prices may be different. You will also not find sales prices through locally, but if the item is on sale, won't that be a sweet surprise when you come in to purchase your find!  
Nugget Alaskan Outfitter | 907-789-0956 | |
9107 Mendenhall Mall Rd Ste 301
Juneau, AK 99801

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