Plenty of whale tours let you watch the orcas and humpbacks as they breach and spout from the water—but not many also let you eavesdrop on the big mammals' conversations. This 3.5-hour tour out of Juneau is equipped with an amplified hydrophone system; listen to the whales underwater while enjoying the lush rainforest views. Onboard the North Star—a 48-passenger jet boat with large windows, an outside viewing deck, and a comfortable inside seating area—you’ll stay warm and dry while you listen to the whales and the narration of an onboard naturalist.
Go with Wings Airways and you’ll take off from Juneau in a 10-passenger DeHavilland Otter floatplane and get a lush view of the city as well as the surrounding mountains and ice fields. Opt for a 40-minute flight seeing tour, or book the “Flight and Feast Tour,” which takes you to dine at a 1920’s lodge.
Hop on a TEMSCO helicopter for an Alaskan adventure combining aviation, sled dogs and massive glaciers. Get an amazing view of the gorgeous landscape surrounding Juneau, and then ride along as an energetic team of huskies tours you around the ancient, snow-packed Mendenhall glacier.
Glacierview Sea Kayaking with Alaska Travel Adventures offers the opportunity to kayak through Auke Bay while enjoying views of Mendenhall Glacier. You’ll also have the opportunity to see wildlife like whales, sea lions, seals, and bald eagles. Kayaking offers a much more intimate and quiet experience than other boat tours; at the same time, it is perfect for travelers who want an adventure. And even if you’ve never paddled a kayak before, a guide will help you learn the ropes before you depart.
Come on this 1 ½-hour tour outside Juneau, and you’ll get a big appreciation for prospectors who arrived here more than 100 years ago: This water is seriously cold. But this quick stroll into Alaska's gold-fever-influenced past offers a fun history lesson, as well as a pleasantly short turn at panning in that icy water yourself—with a guarantee that you’ll score a little gold to take home. Alaska Travel Adventures’ Historic Gold Mining & Panning Adventure is great for families, or anyone who wants to combine a quick history tour with other activities during a short excursion.
May - September
Pack Creek Bear Tours offers fully guided adventures to Admiralty Island or Chichagof Island, each home to more than 1,500 brown bears! After a beautiful 20- or 25-minute floatplane ride, you’ll land on a remote beach. Take a short walk to the bear-viewing area, where you can watch these magnificent creatures for hours in their natural environment.
A tour aboard a TEMSCO helicopter offers beautiful views of Alaska’s Capital City, and up-close exploration of Mendenhall, one of the state’s most accessible glaciers. Look out on alpine lakes, moraines, and crevasses before you land and check out the Juneau Icefield for yourself.
May - September
A “hike” is often just about exercise, and a “tour” often just about history. This 4-5 mile hike from a Juneau-based operator offers a mix of talking, learning, and sharing, all the while climbing about 500 feet in elevation. The rewards for your hiking efforts are multiple panoramic views of Mendenhall, leading to the pinnacle view at the very end with a huge view of the glacier, surrounding mountains, and the ice field. Top off the tour with a tasting at Alaskan Brewing Co.
May - September
Tucked inside the lush Tongass National Forest, discover an Alaskan botanical garden unlike anywhere else in the world. A 2012 Reader's Digest poll chose Glacier Gardens out of thousands of entries as the Most Interesting Landmark in America! Vibrant hanging gardens spill from 15-foot-tall upside down tree “Flower Towers” and elegantly designed landscapes compliment the natural beauty of the rainforest. Explore these unique gardens on a guided tour in a covered vehicle, then travel through 50 acres of temperate rainforest.
May - September
Take a five-minute ride from the cruise ship pier to the Mountain House,1,800' up Mount Roberts, where the Chilkat Mountains, the Gastineau Channel, downtown Juneau, Douglas Island, and Admiralty Island spread out before you. Visit the gift shop, restaurant, live bald eagle display, and nature center. Check out the wildlife viewing platforms and follow the self-guided trail marked by Native totemic carvings for access to upper alpine hiking trails.The tram cars, and Mountain House are ADA compliant. The inner loop trail is an easy hike for most folks who wish to take a walk in the woods. Serious hikers can continue on up the mountain!
The focus of the 3.5-hour Mendenhall Glacier Float Trip is great views of the namesake glacier, which is 1.5 miles wide, 150 feet high, and the most famous part of the massive Juneau Icefield that even John Muir once raved about. Glide along the iceberg-studded lake and scope out the glacier, getting up-close views of hanging glaciers and towering peaks. Keep an eye out for birds nesting in the rocky cliffs, as well as otters, seals, black bears, and bald eagles.
Get a serving of history along with a classic Alaskan feast. The Gold Creek Salmon Bake, a two-hour experience out of Juneau, has been running for more than 30 years. It’s a great meal and an Alaskan tradition. You’re dispatched from your hotel and brought to a corner of the Southeast Alaska rainforest, which saw lots of activity during Alaska’s Gold Rush.
Northstar Trekking operates out of Juneau and caters to all styles of exploration. The curious glacier observer can simply fly to the glacier and snap photographs from flat or rolling terrain. You can also choose to hike on the glacier itself. If you’re very adventurous, you can even learn how to climb on the ice walls. No matter which option you choose, NorthStar Trekking will guide you all the way, making sure you get the most out of this unique opportunity.
May - September
This guided walk near Mendenhall Glacier offers a compelling mix of tour, technique, and personal attention, so that you can create great memories and beautiful pictures. You’ll get some expert tips on photography—even if, like many travelers these days, you are taking shots with your phone, not an actual camera. You’ll get advice on how to use your smartphone camera better—namely through certain apps and built-in features that you might not be making the most of.
May - September
A historical “tour,” for many people, can feel slow: a lot of stop-and-go, and strangely tiring for a small amount of distance. This guided walk by a Juneau-based operator, on the other hand, offers a stimulating mix of history lessons, local anecdotes, and a nicely brisk walk—all within the gorgeous scenery of Alaska. And you’ll finish, nicely, with an Alaska beer tasting at the end.
Take a spin through Juneau on a fun bike tour. It’s a great way to explore Alaska’s capital city, with lots of scenery and history along the way. Choose from one of several options. There’s a bike and brew tour, which includes seeing the Mendenhall Glacier as well as a tasting of Alaskan beers. Or ride your bike out to Douglas Island for a tram ride, 1,800 feet up Mt. Roberts for some spectacular views. Or custom design your own great bike trip through Juneau.
Get two great Alaska activities—helicopter flightseeing and dogsledding on a glacier—with this amazing tour. You’ll start with a scenic 35-minute flight aboard a helicopter over the stunning Juneau Icefield. Then you’ll land on a glacier, where you’ll be introduced to your team of huskies who will be pulling you across the ice. Learn how to harness the dogs and prepare them to run, then set off on an unforgettable ride, mushing your team over several miles of Alaskan ice. You’ll even see the tents and kennels where dogs and guides live.