The Best Wildlife Viewing Spots in Juneau

Juneau is a popular whale viewing spot, but you can also see sea lions, eagles, bears, and more. This is our guide for wildlife viewing in Juneau. We've selected the best tours to get you closer to Alaska's amazing wildlife, as well as non-tour viewing locations where you might see animals in the wild.

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Best Wildlife Viewing Spots in Juneau

Juneau Day CruisesView All

Tours from Juneau • Whales • Eagles
Season: Apr 24 to Oct 14 $110+ 3.5+ hrs

Juneau’s glac­i­ers pro­duce nutri­ent-dense waters mak­ing the waters a prime feed­ing ground for hump­back whales. Alas­ka Tales’ boats are inti­mate (49 pas­sen­gers max), and they’re super-fast, so you’ll get out to see the whales in no time. You also have the option of adding a stop at the Menden­hall Glac­i­er Vis­i­tor Cen­ter pri­or to your whale watch­ing tour.

$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

Bear Viewing Tours

Take a fly-in bear viewing tour from Juneau to see bears in the wild, just a 20- or 25-minute floatplane ride away.
$739+ 4 - 7 hrs

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.

Sea Lion Viewing Spots

From the boat ramp park­ing lot, walk along the dri­ve­way to Sen­a­tor Gruening’s home. The path ends where Peter­son creek cas­cades down into Lynn Canal. It’s an amaz­ing place for wildlife view­ing when the salmon are running.

Whale Viewing Spots

Difficulty: Easy

Near the end of the North Dou­glas high­way is a small half-mile trail lead­ing out to the north end of Dou­glas Island. The small beach there offers excel­lent views of Admi­ral­ty Island, the Chilkats, Lynn Canal, and the moun­tains behind the Menden­hall Glac­i­er. You’ll see sport fish­ers trolling for king salmon, and the occa­sion­al hump­back. The trail is wheel­chair acces­si­ble and used by tour bus groups, but go after 5PM and you’ll like­ly be…  ...more

From the boat ramp park­ing lot, walk along the dri­ve­way to Sen­a­tor Gruening’s home. The path ends where Peter­son creek cas­cades down into Lynn Canal. It’s an amaz­ing place for wildlife view­ing when the salmon are running.

Salmon Viewing Spots

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 13 mile loop trail, part of which forms an ele­vat­ed boardwalk.

From the boat ramp park­ing lot, walk along the dri­ve­way to Sen­a­tor Gruening’s home. The path ends where Peter­son creek cas­cades down into Lynn Canal. It’s an amaz­ing place for wildlife view­ing when the salmon are running.

The hatch­ery rais­es just over 130 mil­lion chum, king and coho salmon annu­al­ly and is designed to allow vis­i­tors see the out­side oper­a­tions of an active hatch­ery. You’ll learn about what it takes to raise salmon, the impor­tance of the Alas­ka hatch­ery sys­tem, and the near shore marine envi­ron­ment that salmon share with oth­er marine life. 

Birding / Eagle Viewing Spots

Aside from rivers where salmon are spawn­ing, this is one of the best spots to watch bald eagles. They perch in trees and on rocks here, hunt­ing for washed-up salmon and oth­er food. It’s also a great place for a pic­nic, or to go beachcombing.

Difficulty: Easy

Adja­cent to the Air­port and acces­si­ble off Rat­cliffe Road, this trail runs through the wet­lands between the main­land and Dou­glas Island. It’s a great walk for fam­i­lies, bird­watch­ers, and exercisers.

Difficulty: Easy

This flat trail — a must for bird­ers — takes you past the Juneau Inter­na­tion­al Air­port run­way and into the famed Menden­hall Wet­lands. You’ll start by fol­low­ing the Menden­hall Riv­er until you get past the run­way. Then the trail veers left, but a small­er foot­path fol­lows the embank­ment above the Menden­hall out to where it emp­ties into Lynn Canal. Fol­low the main trail for about anoth­er 1.5 miles, past a small cov­ered shel­ter and the largest tree…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

Just before Echo Cove is Brid­get Point State Park, where you’ll find this well-main­tained trail. It mean­ders through muskeg, mature for­est, and grass­land until it reach­es a beaver dam and views of the Lynn Canal. Bears often vis­it the mead­ow, but leave it to fish the stream.