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Here's another shot of Mendenhall from the trail that goes to the waterfall, which you can't see but it's to the right of the glacier. You can get down to the waters edge and touch smaller pieces of ice that have drifted in to shore.
And yes, excursions can be VERY pricey. We've found that pretty much every town has a lot to offer simply by getting out and walking around. At $16 roundtrip, the mendenhall bus is one of the cheapest and nicest simple excursions, imo.
I have always used the public buses when in Juneau. They probably still go to the glacier. Sorry I don't have a web site, since it has been a few years.
Italia-Costa Line-November 1975- Caribbean
Zaandam-HAL-September 2003- Alaska
Carnival Spirit- May 2009- Alaska
Eurodam- June 2012- Baltic