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.
The Indian River is a beautiful, clear stream that’s home to spawning salmon each summer. On the lower reaches of the river, by the intertidal zone and lower floodplain, pink and chum salmon spawn from mid-July through September.
Farther up the river, you’ll find coho and chinook salmon, Dolly Varden, char, and steelhead trout.
Skagway may be a quaint small town, but it offers a big lens into the Alaska frontier. This tour operator—run by a certified Naturalist for the state of Alaska—offers a friendly and fascinating way to explore some surprising depths of the Alaska wilderness. Options include private tours ranging from 2 to 7 hours that explores the sights of British Columbia and the Yukon
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.
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.
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.
Late April-early October
Bike 5 miles alongside a 100-year-old water flume, surrounded by the gorgeous Tongass National Forest, to a salmon-spawning stream at Ward Creek. After a delicious snack, hike about ¾-mile, following a boardwalk up into the forest. You’ll learn all about the plants that thrive in this unique environment.
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.
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.
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.
This bear viewing spot is a bit unusual because it attracts only black bears. A short 26-mile floatplane or boat ride from Ketchikan brings you to a dock where you'll then walk 1.5 miles to the viewing platform. You'll see up to 10 black bears feasting on fish near the fish ladder.
This bear viewing spot is a bit unusual because it attracts only black bears. A short 26-mile floatplane or boat ride from…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This exhilarating tour puts you in a rugged Tomcar for a back country ATV adventure over 10 miles of old logging roads through the Tongass National Forest. The off-road excitement is matched by amazing views as you navigate twist and turns, motor easily up hills, and splash through epic potholes. It’s sheer fun for the whole family. Get Dirty!
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.
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.
May - September
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!
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 More...
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.
Refuge Cove State Recreation Site is a sliver of land lining part of an edge of a neighborhood and is a popular beach picnicking destination with the locals. The site comes complete with pit toilets, sheltered and unsheltered picnic tables with fire grates, and a quarter-mile trail accompanied by interpretive signs that address the local natural history.
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.
Mid-May to Mid-September
Sockeye Cycle offers fabulously in-depth trips that stretch across the state, and even into Canada, and last anywhere from 3 to 12 days. Cycling around Alaska is special in a few ways. The roads can sometimes be quirky, and sometimes a little more rugged than a freshly paved road somewhere else. But on the other hand, you‘ll likely get the road to yourself, so you can relax and spend more time enjoying the scenery. These multi-day trips offer a rewarding way to explore the Northern frontier, but with enough comforts that you never feel like you’re roughing it.
Sockeye Cycle offers fabulously in-depth trips that stretch across the state, and even into Canada, and last anywhere from 3 to…
Toll Free: (877)-292-4154
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.
Fly through the upper stories of a temperate rainforest in this thrilling zipline adventure. Two exciting courses, each with 8 zips, are located within the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary – home to spawning salmon, bald eagles, and black bear! Whether you’re a newbie or an old hand, this is the ultimate location for a zipping good time.
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.
Experience kayaking in Alaska the way it should be—away from the crowds—with these unique Ketchikan paddling tours that make you feel like a true explorer. Your small group (usually just 4 people) will board the company’s comfortable boat and set off from the Ketchikan cruise-ship dock, leaving the big ships and the crowds behind. Choose from a 3-hour tour, or 5-hour kayak and hike tour.
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.
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.
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.
Ketchikan is known as the “salmon capital of the world,” and this uniquely personal tour is your chance to angle for these iconic Alaskan fish—as well as huge halibut. You’ll board an intimate fishing boat—complete with top-quality fishing and rain gear, as well as heaters, snacks, and beverages—close to the Ketchikan cruise terminal. And, since this is a private charter, it will be only your group on board!
May to September 30
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.
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.
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 mountain drops steeply away to Gold Creek.
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.
Perseverance Theatre creates professional theatre by and for Alaskans. Founded in Juneau in 1979 by Molly Smith, the Theatre has since grown into Alaska’s flagship professional theatre, serving nearly 15,000 artists and audiences each year.
Despite being a community of only 30,000, and only accessible by boat or plane, Juneau has proven to be an ideal home for the Theatre. More...
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Don’t look for a dome and don’t look for big grounds; Alaska’s capitol building is one of the few that have neither. That’s because the territory of Alaska had trouble securing funding and land for the building, relying on local residents to provide funding. Completed in 1931, it housed the federal government until statehood in 1959. Today, the large, boxy 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...
Conquer an Alaskan mountain just outside Skagway, regardless of your previous experience! Climb a granite wall, rappel down 75 feet, and zipline through a canopy of trees. Enthusiastic guides will soothe your nerves with corny jokes while providing the encouragement you need to climb to new heights.
Conquer an Alaskan mountain just outside Skagway, regardless of your previous experience! Climb a granite wall, rappel down 75…
April 1 thru Oct 1: 907-313-4423
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm AKT: 800-766-3396