Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventures

#4 in Best Things To Do in Juneau
Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventures picture
EdCorey/Getty Images

Key Info

7600 Glacier Highway

Details

Natural Wonders, Tours Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Located between downtown Juneau and its airport, the Glacier Gardens offer a glimpse into Alaska's frequently forgotten rainforest. Here, you'll ride through 50 acres of lush vegetation aboard a golf cart. Within the botanical garden, visitors savor the view atop Thunder Mountain with Mendenhall Valley, Mendenhall Wetlands, Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island and the Chilkat Mountains in the distance. 

Most recent travelers enjoyed their experience at the garden, praising the gorgeous blooms and views as reasons to schedule a visit. Reviewers were especially impressed with the garden's "upside down trees" or "flower towers."  These are trees that have had their tops buried in the ground and their roots positioned up in the air, which creates a basket for the tree's blooming flowers. The only gripe among recent visitors: the high cost of admission.

Admission costs $24.95 and includes the guided tour (in a cart). Tickets for children cost $15.95. Tours are offered daily May through September, from 9 a.m.; the last tour into the rainforest starts at 5:30 p.m. If you'd rather navigate your own way through the gardens, there is a self-guided tour. You can pick up a map at visitors center to find various points of interest throughout the property as you traverse the nearly 2 miles of trails. The garden is located about 8 miles northwest of the cruise ship terminal and just 2 miles east of the Juneau International Airport. To reach Glacier Gardens, you could take a quick taxi ride or hop on a Capital Transit bus; Route No. 3 or No. 4 will drop you off directly in front of the entrance to Glacier Gardens at the Gastineau Humane Society/Glacier Gardens stop. A full daytrip could include the gardens and Mendenhall Glacier as the two are located just 5 miles apart. For more information, check out the rainforest's website.

See all Hotels in Juneau »

More Best Things To Do in Juneau

Tracy Arm Fjord1 of 5
Mendenhall Glacier2 of 5
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Tracy Arm Fjord

A "fjord" is a Nordic term meaning a narrow waterway surrounded by sharp cliffs. So while Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier steals most of the tourist traffic, the 27-mile-long Tracy Arm Fjord is the bigger, better and more dramatic natural gem. The inlet is very narrow – at times, no more than half a mile wide – with cliffs that rise more than 3,000 feet on either side and waterfalls that cascade down the steep rock walls. During the summer, you can spot eagles, seals, bears and whales here. 

Recent visitors said that if you only have time for one experience in Juneau, this is it. Travelers described the glacial scenery as "incredible" and "breathtaking," and recommended bringing along a quality set of binoculars and a camera to capture the scene. 

Read more
Emily Riddell / Design Pics/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Juneau »

Explore More of Juneau

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019

The Best Chicago Segway Tours

See all the top sights in the Windy City without breaking a sweat.

Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019