Combine a glacier flightseeing tour with an Alaskan feast at a historic wilderness lodge. Go with Wings Airways and you’ll take off from Juneau in a 10-passenger DeHavilland Otter floatplane—Alaska’s workhorse bush plane—and get a lush view of both the city and surrounding mountains and glaciers.
The company’s 3-hour "Flight and Feast Tour" starts with a 35-minute scenic glacier flight. Unlike other flightseeing tours in Juneau, you take off from a convenient spot downtown—within easy walking distance of the cruise ship docks—so there’s no time lost shuttling out to the airport, and you get a unique perspective on downtown. Everyone’s guaranteed a window seat, so you can take in the sights of Juneau and the surrounding mountains and the Juneau Icefield.
Bush Flight Bravado
There’s nothing quite like an Alaska bush flight, and the perspective you’ll get on the land and ice of this region. All of the pilots are experienced Alaskan flyers, and because the company is employee-owned, it’s likely your pilot is also an owner who’s been doing this for decades.
As you fly, everyone gets a headset with a recorded narration on the wilderness landscape and the history that has made this area so special. This allows the Wings Airways pilots to devote all of their attention to the safety of your flight. You’ll fly through the Inside Passage and a network of islands, glacier carved mountains, rugged coastline, green alpine slopes (keep a lookout for mountain goats), and fly over five massive glaciers: Norris, Taku (the only advancing glacier in the Juneau Icefield), East Twin, West Twin, and Hole-in-the-Wall. Peer down into deep blue crevasses or snap photos of jagged, towering columns of ice.
Relax at a Rustic, 1920s Lodge
The flight touches down on the Taku River, just across from a glacier and in front of the Taku Lodge. On the registry of National Historic Places, this elegantly rustic lodge was built in 1923 by a prominent Juneau physician. After a brief bear orientation (black bears frequent the area), you’ll sit down to a feast of fresh, wild Alaskan King salmon grilled on an alder wood fire. There are plenty of tasty sides, all cooked fresh and made from scratch.
The staff will share the lodge’s history, from the mushing equipment and furs on the walls to the wood beams and stone fireplace. Hear tales of the famous Mary Joyce, and her 1000 mile journey that put the Taku Lodge on the Alaska map. Enjoy the fresh food and the view—the windows open onto the Hole-in-the Wall Glacier. It’s the only glacier-view dining around Juneau.
Soaking Up the Scenery
After the meal, head out on the trails for a guided interpretive nature walk, or sit out front and soak up the quiet of this untrammeled wilderness. There’s beer and wine for sale as well as a small gift shop. Then it’s back on the planes for one more look at the glaciers and wilderness.
If you’re short on time, Wings Airways also offers just the flightseeing portion of this trip, a 40-minute flight with a total tour time of just 1.25 hours. If you’re heading off for another adventure in town, it’s the perfect combination. Either way, there’s nothing quite like the perspective you’ll get from a flight over the 1,500-mile icefield surrounding Juneau.