Photo Credit: South Tongass Waterfall

Tongass Nat’l Forest Day Tours & Attractions

Flightseeing Tours

Season: Mid April - Late October $404-$534 3.25 - 5.25 hrs

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  ...more

Season: Apr 28 to Sep 30 $255+ 40 min - 3 hrs

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.

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $115+ 10 - 45 mins

Get a thrilling, bird’s‑eye view of Alaska’s snow-capped peaks, moun­tain lakes, water­falls, and more on an unfor­get­table heli­copter flight­see­ing tour from Ketchikan.

Season: Apr 25 to Oct 10 $249 2.25 hours

Fly through dra­mat­i­cal­ly beau­ti­ful land­scapes in a DeHav­il­land float­plane for an icon­ic Alaskan expe­ri­ence. In this 2‑hour adven­ture, you’ll vis­it Misty Fjords Nation­al Mon­u­ment, where glac­i­ers carved out the land 17,000 years ago. See an untouched world of deep fjords, lush green for­est and sparkling lakes. Expe­ri­ence a water land­ing and ven­ture out onto the floats to take in the beau­ty – and peace­ful­ness – of remote Alaska.

Season: May 19 to Sep 10 $799+

Explore Alaska’s hid­den gems with cus­tomized flight­see­ing and back­coun­try adven­tures for small groups to fit your time­line from Juneau, Sit­ka, or Glac­i­er Bay Nation­al Park. Some options include bear view­ing, glac­i­er tours or hot spring adventures!

Season: Apr 19 to Sep 17 $319+ 2-3 hrs

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.

Season: Apr 27 to Sep 29 $339+ 80 minutes

Tak­ing a TEM­SCO heli­copter tour shows off the Gold Rush lands around Skag­way in a new light, reveal­ing gor­geous, glac­i­er-filled val­leys, tum­bling water­falls and peak after icy peak at the north end of the Juneau Ice­field. Then land on a remote glac­i­er for an excit­ing guid­ed jour­ney on ice that was formed thou­sands of years ago!

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Winter Activities View All

Eagle­crest is one of the few com­mu­ni­ty-owned ski areas in the US — and the only one that can boast of being on an island, which gives it the unique perk of hav­ing ski slopes with ocean views. Whether you are a begin­ner look­ing to play in the snow, or a long­time ski­er or board­er, Eagle­crest makes a great all-ages win­ter play­ground. In sum­mer, enjoy hik­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, and berry picking. 

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Bear Viewing Tours

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Day Cruises

Season: May - September $119 3.75 hrs

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  ...more

Season: May to September $200+ Fishing, $100 Wildlife Viewing 2 hours - Full Day

You’ll find out why Ketchikan is famous for salmon with Cap­tain Jared of Rainy Day Char­ters. Leave the cruise ship crowds behind for an authen­tic Alaskan expe­ri­ence, sur­round­ed by water, wilder­ness and wildlife. It’s a per­fect excur­sion for a half-day in port, even bet­ter if you have more time to fill your entire box with fish.

Season: Late April-early October $147 per person 4 hrs

Board a rigid-hull inflat­able boat for a 20-minute ride out to a seclud­ed island. Weave through a series of small islands with mas­sive cliffs that rise hun­dreds of feet out of the ocean, check out active bald eagle nests and look for sea lions and seabird rook­eries along the way. Once at the island, you’ll climb out on the beach, break out into small­er groups, and set off on a stun­ning hike on a board­walk that snakes through the rainforest.  ...more

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Scenic Drives View All

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Fishing Charters

Season: May - September $249+ Day Trips 6+ hrs

Bara­nof Fish­ing Excur­sions offers clas­sic Alas­ka fish­ing expe­ri­ences from their pri­vate mari­na in down­town Ketchikan. They pro­vide every­thing you need from rub­ber boots to expert guides, for an extra­or­di­nary fish­ing adventure!

Season: May to September $200+ Fishing, $100 Wildlife Viewing 2 hours - Full Day

You’ll find out why Ketchikan is famous for salmon with Cap­tain Jared of Rainy Day Char­ters. Leave the cruise ship crowds behind for an authen­tic Alaskan expe­ri­ence, sur­round­ed by water, wilder­ness and wildlife. It’s a per­fect excur­sion for a half-day in port, even bet­ter if you have more time to fill your entire box with fish.

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Glacier Tours

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 08 $340 per person 5.5 hrs

Feel the tru­ly unique thrill of walk­ing on an ancient glac­i­er. This unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence begins with a canoe trip to the glac­i­er, where you’ll don cram­pons and explore the gor­geous blue ice…no expe­ri­ence required!

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $149 3.5 hrs

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  ...more

Season: May 03 to Aug 31

Get great views with some hands-on fun — com­bine a scenic flight­see­ing heli­copter tour with the exhil­a­ra­tion of dog mush­ing on a glac­i­er with a team of huskies! It’s easy to do — just go with North­Star Trekking on their Juneau Glac­i­er Dog Sled Adven­ture. You’ll fly over the Juneau Ice­field for about 35 min­utes and land in a sled camp on the snow-cov­ered mid­dle branch of the Nor­ris Glacier

Season: Apr 27 to Sep 29 $339+ 80 minutes

Tak­ing a TEM­SCO heli­copter tour shows off the Gold Rush lands around Skag­way in a new light, reveal­ing gor­geous, glac­i­er-filled val­leys, tum­bling water­falls and peak after icy peak at the north end of the Juneau Ice­field. Then land on a remote glac­i­er for an excit­ing guid­ed jour­ney on ice that was formed thou­sands of years ago!

Season: Apr 28 to Sep 30 $255+ 40 min - 3 hrs

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.

Season: Apr 19 to Sep 17 $319+ 2-3 hrs

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.

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $112 3.5 hours

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  ...more

Season: Mid April - Late October $404-$534 3.25 - 5.25 hrs

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  ...more

Season: May 19 to Sep 10 $799+

Explore Alaska’s hid­den gems with cus­tomized flight­see­ing and back­coun­try adven­tures for small groups to fit your time­line from Juneau, Sit­ka, or Glac­i­er Bay Nation­al Park. Some options include bear view­ing, glac­i­er tours or hot spring adventures!

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Parks & Trails View All

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 3 miles Elevation Gain: 150 feet

If you are look­ing for a short­ish in-town” trail, this trail begins at the back of a neigh­bor­hood and walks up a ser­vice road to a dam that over­looks a moun­tain-lake scene. 

Set­tlers Cove State Recre­ation Site offers two of the best sandy beach­es to be found in the Ketchikan area and pro­vides pit toi­lets and shel­tered and unshel­tered pic­nic tables with fire grates. A camp­ground with eight camp­sites is avail­able as well and one pub­lic-use cab­in on the water that can be rented.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 6 miles

This is a beau­ti­ful hike in June and July, when the alpine wild­flow­ers are at their peak. But it’s a beau­ti­ful hike any­time, because the views from up top — fac­ing Mount Edge­cumbe and over­look­ing Sit­ka Sound — are awe­some. There are two ways up this moun­tain: a big climb or a big drive. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 3 miles

The lake and glac­i­er are the pre­mier des­ti­na­tion for the thou­sands of cruise-ship tourists who vis­it Juneau, but they don’t ven­ture much beyond the vis­i­tor cen­ter and the short trails just out­side it, leav­ing the moun­tains above the cen­ter very qui­et in comparison. 

Difficulty: Easy

Once you reach the Moun­tain House at the 1,800-foot lev­el of Mount Roberts, step onto trails that begin in a sub-alpine ecosys­tem and climb anoth­er 300 feet into the true alpine. With six­ty stair steps, a length of one-half mile and an ele­va­tion gain of just 150ft, the main trail will take you to open vis­tas, moun­tain val­leys, snow gul­lies, rocky ridges and stun­ning views of moun­tains in Glac­i­er Bay, British Colum­bia, the South­east Alaskan…  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 2 miles Elevation Gain: 170 feet

The one-mile grav­el trail to Coast Guard Beach winds through Ketchikan Gate­way Bor­ough land and then cross­es into Alas­ka Men­tal Health Trust Land. Most­ly the trail descends to the beach; how­ev­er, a few hills do rise along the way. This beach is a good place for walk­ing, sun­bathing, beach­comb­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy, writ­ing, read­ing, med­i­ta­tion, tai-chi, just sit­ting, marine-life view­ing, and dog swimming. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 3 miles

The path to the Per­se­ver­ance trail­head, Basin Road, show­cas­es a dra­mat­ic change from urban to wilder­ness, lead­ing from down­town Juneau to a spec­tac­u­lar canyon. At the end of it is where Per­se­ver­ance Trail begins, and this for­mer rail line (named for the mine it once ser­viced) quick­ly climbs up above the Gold Creek val­ley. There’s plen­ty to see along the way, includ­ing old mine shafts that blow cool winds, and a stretch of trail where the  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 10 miles Elevation Gain: 1300 feet

If you want to get away and don’t have a boat or a plane, this is as far away north one can eas­i­ly get from Ketchikan. The trail ends at the head­wa­ters of Lunch Creek — the shores of Lake Emery Tobin, which is sur­round­ed by a rim of steep moun­tain­sides often capped with snow ridges and peaks. 

Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 100 feet

Con­nell Lake is a good choice if you want a trail that is less pop­u­lar but just as close to town as the Per­se­ver­ance trail. The rocky, dirt path gen­tly climbs through the rain­for­est canopy and hugs the shore­line of the lake. On the oth­er side is a nice flat area that the creek bows around, cre­at­ing a small penin­su­la. A fire-pit indi­cates that this is a pre­ferred spot to spend some time or camp. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 2 miles

This is a wheel­chair-acces­si­ble trail that fol­lows the Menden­hall Riv­er green­belt area, start­ing at Broth­er­hood Bridge off Glac­i­er Hwy. The name is Tlin­git for going back clear­wa­ter trail.” Expect a lot of traf­fic. The trail is 2‑miles long, paved, and pro­vides one of the great views of Menden­hall Glac­i­er, begin­ning at the Broth­er­hood Bridge trail­head. In mid-sum­mer, over a flat field of iris and fire­weed, the Menden­hall ris­es between…  ...more

Eagle­crest is one of the few com­mu­ni­ty-owned ski areas in the US — and the only one that can boast of being on an island, which gives it the unique perk of hav­ing ski slopes with ocean views. Whether you are a begin­ner look­ing to play in the snow, or a long­time ski­er or board­er, Eagle­crest makes a great all-ages win­ter play­ground. In sum­mer, enjoy hik­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, and berry picking. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

The most­ly-flat Ward Lake trail fol­lows the cir­cum­fer­ence of the lake’s shore in a swath of grav­el that is wide enough for two peo­ple to walk abreast. Ward Lake is tucked into the edge of the Ton­gass Nation­al For­est bound­ary. Its prox­im­i­ty to town makes the recre­ation area pop­u­lar with the locals. 

On one of the run-off creeks from Achilles Moun­tain or Twin Peaks Moun­tain above pours a 100-foot or more water­fall right beside Ton­gass High­way towards the end of the road

Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 450 feet

This is a pop­u­lar week­end hike if you want to spend two-to-four hours in the Ton­gass Nation­al For­est and is only about 15 – 20 min­utes north of town. Though you gain ele­va­tion on the hike up to the lake, it is not unfor­giv­ing­ly steep. Per­se­ver­ance Lake is one of Ketchikan’s pic­turesque moun­tain-lake scenes. 

Sit­ka was Alaska’s first offi­cial Bike-Friend­ly Com­mu­ni­ty, and it shows. Bike lanes and racks abound. Besides 14 miles of paved roads, there are many moun­tain bik­ing trails, and even a new, sin­gle-track route of the inti­mate expe­ri­ence of rid­ing through old-growth forest.

Difficulty: Moderate

Run­ning just above and par­al­lel to Ketchikan’s Third Avenue Bypass, Rain­bird Trail is per­fect if you only have a cou­ple hours but still want to expe­ri­ence a small piece of South­east Alaska’s rain­for­est. The trail­head is only 20 min­utes from down­town (a short dri­ve rel­a­tive to most oth­er trails), and the trail’s south­ern end — just beyond the top of the met­al stairs — offers great views of down­town Ketchikan, the Ton­gass Nar­rows, and the neighboring  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 5 miles Elevation Gain: 100 feet

Locat­ed in the Ton­gass Nation­al For­est, Ward Creek is wide enough to dri­ve a truck down, though no vehi­cles are per­mit­ted, and is pop­u­lar with the locals for walk­ing dogs. Across the road from the Ward Lake Recre­ation Area park­ing lot, trail­head 1 takes you north and fol­lows Ward Creek, which flows out of Con­nell Lake, by the Last Chance camp­ground, and through Ward Lake to even­tu­al­ly meet the ocean in Ward Cove. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 5 miles

Close to town on mod­er­ate ter­rain, this trail is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for locals and trav­el­ers and is used for every­thing from fam­i­ly walks to trail runs. The trail fol­lows the turquoise blue Indi­an Riv­er up through the val­ley to a water­fall. This river­side ter­rain makes it a good place to look for birds and oth­er wildlife like deer. In late sum­mer, the riv­er fills with salmon (though fish­ing is pro­hib­it­ed). The bears have their own trail on  ...more

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

Locat­ed in Menden­hall Wet­lands State Game Refuge, this trail is wheel­chair-acces­si­ble and close to the air­port. It has many oppor­tu­ni­ties for water­fowl and bird watch­ing. It is excel­lent­ly main­tained. This makes the trail a very easy hike. Many times you will see strollers, run­ners and bik­ers on this trail because it is paved. 

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 5 miles Elevation Gain: 2600 feet

Deer Moun­tain is Ketchikan’s icon­ic back­drop. The path briefly threads between res­i­den­tial lots, then turns to a rocky trail that quick­ly ascends. On the way up there are mul­ti­ple scenic overlooks. 

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 3 miles Elevation Gain: 1500 feet

The dri­ve out to the Dude Moun­tain trail­head is one of the most scenic dri­ves that Ketchikan has to offer. The trail begins wind­ing through lush rain­for­est. The last part is steep and can be mud­dy in wet weath­er or cov­ered in snow in spring and fall. 

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