For many travels from other parts of the country, the sights you’ll take in while visiting Juneau will be extremely unique. There are few places you can go to see a glacier, rainforest, gold mine and more!
During your stay in a Juneau hotel, we highly recommend adding these 10 can’t-miss views to your itinerary. Take some time to breathe in the fresh air, take some photos and remain in awe of nature’s beauty.
We’ve put together a list of views you have to see before you head home. Map them out and make plans to see all 10, if you can.
1. Mendenhall GlacierNo trip to Juneau would be complete without a stop at Mendenhall Glacier. The 13-mile-long ice field covers 1,500 square miles. It’s a remnant from the most recent ice age to cover the earth. The glacier reaches to Mendenhall Lake, hence its name.
Juneau is home to 38 major glaciers. Ironically, the glacier borders Tongass National Forest and the Coast Mountains. You probably never imagined going from a glacier right into a national forest, but in Juneau, that’s possible.
When you arrive, plan to stop by Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center located at 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, AK. Here, you’ll learn more about this natural beauty and prepare yourself for hiking or exploring the area. One way to see the sheer size and magnitude of the glacier is to take a canoeing tour through Mendenhall Lake.
2. Mendenhall Glacier Trails
Many people come to Mendenhall Glacier just to see the amazing ice structure. But the surrounding area is just as beautiful. If you’re into nature and hiking, this is the perfect place to lace up some hiking boots and take in incredible beauty.
The trails near the glacier are rich with vegetation, flowers and wildlife. Read up on the following trail options to learn more about the length and difficulty level.
- Photo Point Trail – .3 miles with 10 feet of elevation gain
- Moraine Ecology Trail – 1.5 miles with 10 feet of elevation gain
- East Glacier Loop – 3.5 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain
- Nugget Creek Trail – 3 miles with 500 feet of elevation gain
- West Glacier Trail – 6.8 miles with 1.300 feet of elevation gain
3. Auke Bay
Aquatic wildlife is plentiful at Auke Bay. Spend some time whale watching on a boat with a tour guide. Or simply sit at the water’s edge and watch nature. You might spot some sea lions, bald eagles, waterfowl and other types of animals.
And while you’re sitting there, take in a unique view of Mendenhall Glacier and Mount McGinnis rising above the bay’s stunning blue waters. The crisp water creates the perfect backdrop to Juneau’s nature extravaganza.
4. Eagle Beach
Much like Auke Bay, Eagle Beach is home to much of Juneau’s wildlife and is known to be a great place to spot bald eagles. Some people who visit also report bear sightings.
While you’re enjoying a day at Eagle Beach, watch for marine life, birds and land animals. If you sit quietly, you’ll be greeted by the wonder and beauty nature offers, including whales, seals, cranes and eagles.
You’ll have a great view of Lynn Canal and the Chilkat Mountains as you watch Eagle River flow through the area. Enjoy beachcombing and fishing during your visit to Eagle Beach. Pack a picnic and stop by one of the picnic shelters to enjoy a relaxing meal among nature.
The address for Eagle Beach Recreation Area is 26 Glacier Highway.
5. Tracy Arm Fjord
Tracy Arm Fjord has many trees and foliage so you can view bears, birds and moose. If you look closely, you might see a bald eagle as well. Pause and enjoy the aquatic wildlife throughout the area.
During the summer months, whales also frequent this area due to warmer waters. The fjord is within Tongass National Forest.
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6. Tongass National Forest
Tongass National Forest is the country’s largest forests. It’s a stunning place to spend a day adventuring but be sure to get a guide if you’re not familiar with the area and planning to hike and adventure far distances.
You’ll encounter some amazing wildlife. Head to Steep Creek Bear Viewing to watch as bears fish for salmon. The best times to see this are July through mid-September. Along with bears, you might see wolves, bald eagles, hawks and herons.
Given the size of Tongass, there’s not one address to plan your visit. Instead, look at the list of attractions on the Forest Service website to plan your time in the forest.
7. Nugget Falls
The 377-foot-tall waterfall runs into Mendenhall Lake. You’ll get yet another unique view of Mendenhall Glacier from this area. You can hike the area to see more of the falls and take in the beauty. The trail is just under a mile long.
Enjoy the soothing water sounds while seeing the stunning wonder that the area offers. The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service offers directions on how to get to Nugget Falls.
8. Mount Roberts Tramway
While you can probably ride a tram at your local state fair, you won’t find one quite like Mount Roberts Tramway. It’s an aerial tram that will give you an overhead view of the mountains. Many tourists say it’s the best view of Juneau that you’ll find anywhere.
Board at the dock in downtown Juneau to head upward to see some great views of the city and nature. The tramway is located at 490 S. Franklin Street.
9. Last Chance Mining Museum and Mine
The Last Chance Mining Museum is a bit different from the other types of sights you’ll find in Juneau. Instead of being about nature’s beauty, this landmark tells a part of Juneau’s history. You’ll get to see actual equipment and tools from the gold mining era as well as the remnants of the last operating gold mine in the area.
You’ll find a brand new appreciation for mining and the work that these individuals took part in. Seeing the vast equipment that dates back long before computerization hit is fascinating. The museum and mine are located at 1001 Basin Road.
10. Northern Lights
Weather permitting, you can see the northern lights from Juneau. You can track this natural wonder on the aurora forecast website. There are other areas in Alaska that are better for viewing the Northern Lights, but during the right seasons and weather, you can see them from Juneau.
Generally, the winter months are better for viewing the Northern Lights as the skies are clear and dark. Optimal viewing times are mid-September through late April. The further north you head, the better your view of the Northern Lights becomes.
Booking Your Stay in a Juneau Hotel
Comfort is important for making your time in Juneau enjoyable. We hope you’ll consider staying at Juneau Hotel for added amenities like a full kitchen and washer and dryer in every suite. Our hotel has 72 relaxing rooms and suites in downtown. Our helpful front desk team can answer your questions about must-see attractions and guide you to the best restaurants in the area.
Book your stay in our downtown Juneau hotel today with our easy online booking tool.