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.
Walk the fine line between folklore and gold fever. The Liarsville Camp, near Skagway, was originally named after journalists who came here during the Klondike Gold Rush and cooked up all manner of tall tales. The event begins with an all-you-can-eat feast in the forest. Then explore the old trail camp and finish off your day with a visit the Fancy Goods store. You can also have your picture taken with one of the dance hall girls or the camp’s lovable mascot, an Alaskan malamute named Denali.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this collection of 19th century totem poles is the biggest in the world. Salvaged from abandoned Haida and Tlingit villages, some are as old as 160 years—no small feat, since totem poles usually deteriorate in less than a century. You can take a quick, free tour, or check out the current exhibits of contemporary Tlingit art.
Leaving from the end of Tongass Highway, enter the Lunch Creek Trail and very soon take the trail to the left as this steps you quickly down to a waterfall viewing platform and then the rest of the way down to where, to the right, you can also cross the Lunch Creek bridge, which provides waterfall views as well as the ocean where the creek flows into.
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.
Late April-early October
Paddle all around a shimmering lake, looking for wildlife on the shore and reveling in the spectacular mountain views that surround you. Then stop off at a shoreline camp to enjoy a snack over an open fire. When you’re finished, you’ll go on a short walk through a dramatic old-growth forest.
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.
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.
Get up close and personal with the famous Mendenhall Glacier on this unforgettable canoe trip. No experience is necessary to paddle across a glacier-fed lake to within 200 yards of the gorgeous blue ice. The crowds fade away and for the next two hours you’ll be surrounded by water, mountains, and the serenity of Alaska’s natural surroundings.
Dog sledding on a glacier is the ultimate blend of Alaskan adventure, as you also get there by helicopter! Board a TEMSCO flight that whisks you thousands of feet above sea level to the Denver glacier and a dog mushing camp hidden away on a snow field, where Alaskan sled dogs will greet you energetically, ready to take you on the ride of your life.
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.
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.
May - September
Alaska invites contemplation and reflection. Experience the quiet side of Ketchikan on a guided walk through dense stands of cedar and spruce to a rural ocean beach. Here you can connect with the land and sea through activities such as creative writing, meditation or tai chi.
May - September
Guided sea kayaking in Alaska’s Southeast opens up the magical world of water-based touring. Glide through a marine environment with gorgeous views in every direction, and many opportunities to spot wildlife – from eagles and salmon to bears, whales and sea lions. Options include day tours for busy schedules and multi-day immersions, all under the expert guidance of naturalists who help you understand the complex workings of a unique and amazing environment.
Guided sea kayaking in Alaska’s Southeast opens up the magical world of water-based touring. Glide through a marine…
April 1 thru Oct 1: 907-313-4423
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm AKT: 800-766-3396
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.
April - August
Spend three exhilarating days in remote Alaska fishing for monster Kings, shiny silvers and tasty halibut, not to mention mammoth lingcod and rockfish. Troll the waters of Prince of Wales Island with expert guides from Underdog Sport Fishing. They know the area, have a passion for fishing, and will show you the Alaska of your dreams.
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.
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.
In the town that boasts of being the Alaskan salmon capital of the world, here's where you can see the salmon in action—hundreds of thousands come through every summer. This spot, right next the library and at the end of Creek Street, offers a prime view of the crowds of salmon on their way to spawn.
Ketchikan is black bear country, and just outside town you can see them in their favorite summertime activity – fishing for protein-rich Alaska salmon. A walking tour through the lush foliage of the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary reveals prime salmon habitat, a certain attraction for hungry bears. Wait and watch for this apex species in action – pouncing on fish, teaching cubs, and chasing each other to the feasting grounds.
Just outside Ketchikan, the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary promises a close-up view of old-growth forest, salmon habitat, an historic lumber mill, totem carving, raptor exhibits, and chances to see black bear and other wildlife – all in under 3 hours! There’s no better introduction to Alaska’s Southeast than this showcase of ecology, wildlife, history and Native culture.
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.
May - September
This Southeast Alaska tour operator has its own definition of the Easy Rider: You can take this scenic tour, driving a scooter or motorcycle, with the wind blowing in your hair—but with no stress or hassle. As the only scooter company in Skagway, this tour offers an active way to explore the area—but caters to anyone from thrill-seekers to older families (you need to be 18+ with a valid driver’s license) and little old ladies.
Take the train out of Skagway to some of Alaska’s best hiking. Not just any train, though, but a Gold Rush-era, narrow-gauge train that winds through gorgeous scenery and drops you off at the trailhead. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad winds through stunning scenery on its way to drop you off on hiking trails that offer waterfall, mountain, and glacier views. It’s a fun way to gear up for a day or two of great hiking. The train is an engineering marvel and gives you a dose of history before your immersion in nature.
This hike offers a nice wide-open space experience and is not very long. Much like hiking the access road to Lower Silvis Lake, the Whitman Trail is another service road to two dams that generate electricity for Ketchikan residents and was recently made available for hiking and recreation; however, no motorized vehicles are permitted. Informative signs are posted on a fence gate up the road and on both dams.
Experience world-class exhibits and audiovisual programs. Discover Tsimshian, Haida and Tlingit totem poles, the rainforest room, a Native fish camp scene, and exhibits on Southeast Alaska's ecosystems, fishing, mining, timber and tourism. Located one block from the cruise ship dock in downtown Ketchikan. Accepts America-the-Beautiful passes.
If you are a lover of alpine, stunning views, and longer, more challenging hikes, then this all-day, one-way mountain traverse between Carlanna Lake and Perseverance Lake is the perfect choice.
If you are a lover of alpine, stunning views, and longer, more challenging hikes, then this all-day, one-way mountain traverse…
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.
Late April-early October
Drive your own jeep along private logging roads that wind up into the mountains, on your way to an alpine lake. Paddle across the shimmering lake to a shoreline camp for a delicious snack over an open fire. Enjoy some storytelling, then go on a short nature walk through a beautiful old-growth forest.
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.
The Indian river is home to a number of fish: Summer Pink, chum, coho, chinook salmon, along with Dolly Varden, char, and steelhead trout. This arched bridge is the place to see them. Be sure to stop by on your way through Alaska's oldest designated National Park.
Some people love the view of Alaska from the side of a ship, or from above in a bush plane. But this cycle shop and tour operator based in Haines and Skagway proves that there's nothing quite like the view of Alaska from atop two wheels, as you glide through the gorgeously unique scenery. Its day trips are a fabulous way for independent travelers and cruise passengers to take a detour on their voyage, enjoying a different pace and perspective on the Alaska frontier. The day trips, with a 6-to-1 ratio of travelers to guides, last from just under three hours to a full day.
Some people love the view of Alaska from the side of a ship, or from above in a bush plane. But this cycle shop and tour…
Toll Free: (877)-292-4154
Fish Creek is remote, yet road-accessible from the small town of Hyder, which means some human traffic, but not thick crowds. A 3-mile drive or hike from town provides access to an elevated walkway beside the creek that is over ¼-mile long. What makes this area unique is the chance to see brown and black bears in close proximity as they prowl the shallows for spawning salmon.
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
Operating from May to September, this private ferry service is the easiest and fastest way to travel between Haines and Skagway. The 45-minute ride passes through Taiya Inlet, a steep-walled rocky fjord just outside of Skagway, and then opens up to the Lynn Canal near Haines. As you ride, look for seals and sea lions, as well as humpback, minke, and orca whales. Don’t forget to look up from the water from time to time to check out the surrounding scenery.
Dr. Sheldon Jackson, museum founder, had the distinction of serving in three pioneer fields during the late 1800s, founding Protestant missions and schools, establishing the public school system, and introducing domestic reindeer. In his travels he reached many sections of Alaska, as well as the coast of Siberia, gathering the majority of the artifacts now seen in the museum. Located More...
May - September
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.
Alaska’s oldest National Park isn’t a big one—only 113 acres—but it’s rich with history and there’s plenty to do: hiking trails, ranger-led interpretive walks, carving demonstrations, ethnographic displays, and more. The park’s main attractions are the roughly 20 totem poles and the beautiful coastal rainforest, which you can explore on your More...
Steep Creek is a Forest Service fish viewing site, with runs of sockeye and coho salmon that start in mid-July and continue into October. The site is very easy to visit. It is adjacent to the Mendenhall glacier visitors' center about 10 miles from downtown Juneau. There are no permits, fees or restrictions for the visitation. There's a 1/3 mile loop trail, part of which More...
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.
Ride the rails on a real gold-rush era, narrow-gauge railroad from Skagway into the heart of the Yukon. On the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, you’ll have several trip options, taking you past glacial rivers, waterfalls, and gorges for a real taste of wild Alaska. You’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time on this authentic train, as you climb 3,000 feet to scenic vistas and past aptly-named spots named Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch on your way to get a look at the headwaters of the famous Yukon River.
Museum: Year-Round, Walking Tours: May - September
This museum sits on the site where Alaska officially became a state. View the exhibits and watch an award-winning documentary about the city. Plus, the City Museum doesn’t end at the building’s walls. From May to September, you can take walking tours of historic downtown Juneau and the Alaska State Capitol.
Learn about the life cycle of salmon at this non-profit hatchery, where thousands of fish are cultivated and tagged annually before being released into area lakes, rivers and streams. You can watch (and even feed) little ones swimming against the current.
As part of the New Deal during the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps came to this area and hired skilled Native artists who could recreate old crumbling poles and train apprentices, to keep the art form alive. You can wander the grounds at this state park, and learn about how to interpret the symbols on poles, or check out the large, carved tribal house. Was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. 10 miles out of town on N. Tongass Hwy.
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 the other side of the river, so it’s rare to encounter one.