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.
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.
At the Chilkoot Dining Room you'll sample a piece of Alaskan Gold Rush history. While enjoying Skagway's finest steak and seafood, you're able to take in E.A. Hegg's historic Gold Rush photos. The friendly staff provides great service and flavorful food that make the historic atmosphere one to remember. The menu varies with daily specials and market fresh offerings. More...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Dog sledding on a glacier is the ultimate blend of Alaskan adventure, as you also get there by helicopter! Board a TEMSCO…
Toll Free: 1-866-683-2900
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.
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
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This Southeast Alaska-based tour operator will leave you with a new definition of what it means to have a once-in-a-lifetime Alaska cruise: You sail on an intimate vessel—often getting to steer yourself, under the supervision of an experienced licensed captain—while exploring away from the crowds, and getting a wonderfully up-close view of the wildlife and scenery. Sailings from Juneau and Sitka.
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.
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…
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
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
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.
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.
One of two tidewater glaciers at the head of Tracy Arm, South Sawyer Glacier extends deep underwater and makes for a very blue iceberg. It is the larger of the two glaciers, and if conditions are good you can come within 1/2 mile of the face. Check for mountain goats at the base of the glacier. Just fifty miles southeast of Juneau, this glacier is not one to miss!
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
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
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.
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.
Summer is not the only time to embrace Sitka’s connection to our vast oceans and the inhabitants. November’s annual Sitka WhaleFest, hosted by the Sitka Sound Science Center, celebrates marine life through a science symposium, art, wildlife cruises and so much more!
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.
Explore Juneau on foot with your local guide, who will highlight details from the mining era back in the late 1800s to the modern city of today. Visit the State Capital Building, the Governor’s Mansion and the Russian Orthodox Church, with plenty of photo stops along the way.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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...
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.