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How to Spend 1 Day in Juneau

How to Spend 1 Day in Juneau

Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, isn’t accessible by road. Those who make the effort to reach this isolated outpost are rewarded with dramatic scenery, a pioneer vibe, and countless outdoor adventures. Here are some suggestions for how to spend 24 hours in Alaska’s third-largest city.

Morning: Mendenhall Glacier

If you only have time for one thing in Juneau, make it a trip to Mendenhall Glacier, one of Alaska’s most popular attractions. A visitor center near the glacier features exhibits and a large map of the Juneau Ice Field, as well as an observatory with telescopes to get a better view of the ice. Glacier tours cater to all levels of adventure; paddle a kayak or canoe across Mendenhall Lake for an unobstructed view, or strap on some crampons for a trek across the glacier’s surface to see its ice caves, crevasses, and other formations up close.

Afternoon: Whale Watching

Juneau ranks among the best places in the world for wildlife viewing—orcas, bears, seals, eagles, and especially humpback whales. This afternoon take to the waters of the Inside Passage to spot some of the 600 humpbacks that migrate here between April and November. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for adventure, spend your afternoon exploring the Alaskan rain forest within Tongass National Forest by zipline to see trees that are more than 400 years old.

Night: Alaskan Salmon Bake

A trip to Alaska wouldn’t be complete without one quintessential food experience: a salmon bake. This evening, fuel up after your day of adventures with an all-you-can-eat meal featuring grilled wild salmon, blueberry crisp, baked beans, and salad. For dessert, gather around a campfire to roast marshmallows. Many salmon-bake experiences also include a chance to pan for gold at a nearby creek or watch a master Tlingit carver at work.

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8 Tours and Activities

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Premier Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Premier Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo

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376
Whale watching and visiting the Mendenhall Glacier are two of the most popular activities around Juneau. Check them both off your list on this half-day combo tour that includes flexible departure times and round-trip transportation from Mt. Roberts Tramway, making it ideal for a shore excursion or quick trip.
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  • 5 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 165.00
From
US$ 165.00

Round-Trip Mendenhall Glacier Shuttle Service

Round-Trip Mendenhall Glacier Shuttle Service

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62
Make your round-trip transfer between Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier hassle-free with this shuttle service. Discover the beauty of the glacier and its trails at a leisurely pace, and when you’re ready, simply hop back on a shuttle back to port in downtown Juneau. Shuttles leave every 30 minutes during operating hours, giving you plenty of flexibility with your schedule. Plus, during the drive each way, pick up historical fun facts and restaurant recommendations from the driver.
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  • 1 hour
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 47.25
From
US$ 47.25

Premier Juneau Whale Watching Expedition

Premier Juneau Whale Watching Expedition

star-5
218
Spend 2 hours out on the Auke Bay Harbor's waters searching for humpback whales during this boat tour from Juneau. Listen to commentary from your guide and keep a lookout for other marine animals such as orca, bald eagles, and sea lions. Snacks, refreshments, and round-trip transportation from the Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau provided.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 145.00
From
US$ 145.00

Alpine Zipline Adventure in Juneau, AK

Alpine Zipline Adventure in Juneau, AK

star-4.5
38
Sail through the rain-forest canopy on this Douglas Island zipline adventure from Juneau. Ascend through the Tongass National Forest as you head for Eaglecrest Lodge. Glide through the treetops along five zipline routes, stopping at specially designed platforms to take in the views and snap some photos. Traverse a rushing stream via a suspension bridge and finish the adventure by trying your hand at axe throwing.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 169.00
From
US$ 169.00

Mendenhall Glacier Canoe Paddle and Trek

Mendenhall Glacier Canoe Paddle and Trek

star-5
157
Experience Mendenhall Glacier by land and water on this 6.5-hour combo-adventure tour from Juneau. First, hop into a canoe at Mendenhall Lake and paddle around luminescent blue icebergs and past cliffs and waterfalls toward Mendenhall Glacier. Step onto the glacier and explore the area with trekking poles. No matter what level of paddling or glacial-trekking experience you have, a guide is there to prepare you for each step of the journey. Look for wildlife sightings and expect personalized attention on this small-group tour limited to 14 people.
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  • 6 hours
  • iconEnglish
From
US$ 322.00
From
US$ 322.00

Mendenhall Glacier Trek

Mendenhall Glacier Trek

star-5
105
Spend your time in Juneau on an Alaskan wilderness hiking adventure as you get up close to the Mendenhall Glacier! This exhilarating tour will show you a stunning piece of Alaskan nature as you hike through the Tongass Rainforest towards the glacier. Then explore the edge of the glacier on foot where you could see ice caves, dramatic crevasses, and fascinating glacial formations. Due to the dynamic nature of the Mendenhall Glacier features are in constant change. Your guide will assess each available feature prior to accessing to determine if it’s safe to explore. The Mendenhall Glacier is receding on a daily basis and due to this we are seeing significant changes to the surface of the glacier. There are very limited safe areas to access and explore on the ice with crampons. Safety is our number one priority and we can not guarantee every trip will hike on the glacier.
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  • 8 hours
  • iconEnglish
From
US$ 214.32
From
US$ 214.32

Juneau Gold Creek Salmon Bake

Juneau Gold Creek Salmon Bake

star-4.5
18
Make the most of your time in Juneau on this shore excursion featuring an all-you-can-eat Alaskan salmon bake and an array of post-meal activities. Grilled wild salmon and blueberry cake are just some of the succulent dishes that you can enjoy as lunch or dinner. Afterward, visit Salmon Creek waterfall and Wagner Mine—perhaps even sift for gold on your own. Learn about Tlingit craftsmanship from a Master Carver and pick up unique works of art. Shuttles depart regularly, allowing you to enjoy this experience as long as you like.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 58.80
From
US$ 58.80

Mendenhall Lake Kayak Tour

Mendenhall Lake Kayak Tour

star-4
29
Hit the Alaskan waters on this 3.5-hour Mendenhall Lake kayak tour in Tongass National Forest. Journey across the lake in a kayak with group members in your same expertise level. Maneuver around glaciers as you take in stunning sights of the lake’s natural beauty, and catch sight of wildlife as you go. Paddle by Nugget Falls and the 3,000-year-old Mendenhall Glacier.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
From
US$ 219.45
From
US$ 219.45


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