Popular Juneau Shore Excursions
Mendenhall Glacier: The U.S. Forest Service maintains a visitor center and walking trails at the glacier and Nugget Falls. Bears roam the creek for salmon and are often seen quite close. Not to worry -- rangers are on patrol, as well. Ships offer tours to the area, or do-it-yourselfers can take a shuttle from town. Visitors can also raft to the glacier on a guided tour with Alaska Travel Adventures (907-789-0052).
The most exciting way to see the glacier is by helicopter. Temsco Helicopters (877-789-9501) offers a basic tour with about 30 minutes in the air and 20 to 25 minutes on the glacier, as well as a dog sledding package, which gives you time on the glacier for a fun dog sledding experience. Upgrade to the Pilot's Choice tour for two different glacier landings. Advance reservations are advised, and don't forget to factor in transportation costs to the airport if they're not included.
Mount Roberts Tramway: The tram whisks travelers up a 1,800-foot-high station on Mount Roberts ($35 for an all-day pass). Visitors will find hiking trails, a cafe, a gift shop and a captive, injured bald eagle from the Juneau Raptor Center. (490 S. Franklin St.; 888-461-8726; open most days from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Glacier Gardens: Have you seen an upside-down tree? You will at Glacier Gardens (adults $26.95, kids $15.95), where the owners turned massive trees on their tops and used the roots as giant flower baskets. The gardens flourish in a rainforest setting. Guided tours are by golf cart. (7600 Glacier Highway; 907-790-3377; open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Macaulay Salmon Hatchery: Learn all about the life of a salmon. In addition to raising and harvesting salmon, the hatchery, located 2.5 miles north of the dock, is an aquarium that displays marine life ($5 for adults, $3 for children). Kids will love the touch tank. (2697 Channel Drive; 907-463-5114; open from 10 a.m.)
Hiking: Juneau got its start as a mining town, and several leisurely (and fairly short) hikes are available from the city center that wind past old mining equipment. The Flume Trail (closed until September 2019) follows a wooden bridge past numerous small waterfalls.
Across the channel (in Douglas), the easy Treadwell Trail runs through the once vibrant mining community adjacent to a beach. The Perseverance Trail is the most challenging of the three but is very popular because of the stunning views.