Heading to Juneau this summer? Get the inside scoop from a local’s perspective.
There’s so much to see, eat and do while visiting Juneau, but we’re going to focus on the two most popular attractions: Mendenhall Glacier and Mt. Roberts Tram.
You’ll hear a lot about these from travel sites and others, but we’re going to give you the local’s inside scoop that you won’t hear about anywhere else.
Multiple tour companies offer a guided “Glacier Express” bus that costs $10 each way. You can buy these on the docks of your ship. If purchased on the ship, you may purchase the same tour for $100 or more, and it may restrict you at certain times. This bus will bring you from downtown to the glacier visitor center.
There’s a $3 entry fee that’s completely worth it. You can catch the return bus at any time later in the day. At the glacier, take the easy, handicap accessible, flat hike out to a breathtaking waterfall close to the glacier. You can also wander along the elevated walkway known as Steep Creek Trail. This trail meanders about 10 feet over a natural bear habitat where salmon run throughout the entire summer.
Mt. Roberts Tram
You can purchase an all-day pass for $33, or you can make the 90-minute hike from the cruise ship, about 60 minutes from the trailhead on Basin Road. The locals choose to hike. If you spend $5 at the top, you can ride the tram down for free. The tram station is about 1,800 feet above sea level and offers amazing views of Downtown Juneau, Gastineau Channel, and the beautiful mountains across the channel on Douglas Island.
At the top of the tram, you can eat at the restaurant, browse the gift shop, learn in the nature center, and watch a free 18-minute movie about the history of Juneau and the native Tlingit people. You can also meet Baltimore, a friendly photogenic bald eagle. Multiple trails lead up from the tram to even more impressive views, but we suggest Father Brown’s Cross, a large cross on the hill similar to Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue.
Stop by the Cariloha store on Franklin Street and check out our ultra-soft, thermal-regulating bamboo products to make your Alaskan experience the most comfortable ever. Our friendly staff would be more than happy to give you more tips and tricks from a local’s perspective.