Few cities in the U.S. are as beautiful as Juneau. Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is the most scenic capital in the country and is often referred to as a ‘little San Francisco.’ The bustling waterfront features cruise ships, tankers, fishing boats, a few kayakers and floatplanes buzzing in and out. Overhead are the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Roberts and Mt. Juneau, which provide just a small part of the superb hiking in the area. The Alaska Marine Highway system ferries passenger from Skagway, Haines, Bellingham or Prince Rupert to Juneau. There is also daily coach transport from Haines & Skagway.
Juneau Icefield Flightseeing – If you want to see more of the glaciers in the area, flightseeing is the way to go and gives one a spectacular overview of the Icefield. Some helicopter tours offer glacier landings, glacier treks and even dog sled rides on top of a glacier.
Mendenhall Glacier – Juneau is known as the ‘Gateway to the Glaciers.’ Among 42 glaciers within a 1,500-squaremile radius, Mendenhall Glacier is perhaps Alaska’s most famous drive-in glacier. The ice float is 13 miles from the city center at the end of Glacier Spur Road. You can visit on your own or take an organized tour. There is an interesting visitor center at the glacier and several hiking trails in the area.
Glacier National Park – Juneau is also the gateway to this famous National Park. With the melting of the Grand Pacific Glacier, this 105 km fjord is surrounded by steep rock walls and beautiful terrain. At the edge of the fjord is the massive ice wall of the Grand Pacific Glacier with different shaped floating icebergs that create the famous icy blue landscape of this region. It can only be reached by boat or a seaplane as most of the park is made up of water. Gustavus/Bartlett Cove is the base for exploring this park and there are regular passenger ferries from Juneau.
Mt.Roberts Tram – The Mt.Roberts tram runs from downtown to the Mount Roberts Nature Centre through the S.E Alaska rainforest from which people can embark on hiking trails or simply enjoy stunning views of the city below. There are also frequent theater performances by a local Tlingit actor sharing the story of his clan’s origin.
Admiralty National Park – The Park known as “Fortress of the Bears” by natives is located on an island which boasts one of the largest concentrations of brown, grizzly bears in the world. Leave on a floatplane to the Island Park, 30 minutes away, and embark on a safari to view the bears in their natural surroundings.