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Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventures

#4 in Best Things To Do in Juneau

Glacier Gardens picture in Juneau
EdCorey / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Natural Wonders, Tours Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.8
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    3.5
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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.

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#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 ... Read more » Emily Riddell / Design Pics / Getty Images

#2 Mendenhall Glacier Mendenhall Glacier welcomes more than 400,000 visitors each year, and it's easy to see why: aside from its stunning arctic beauty, the glacier is only 12 miles outside ... Read more » Dagny Willis / Getty Images

#3 Whale Watching Tours Many travelers make the trek to Alaska for two things: glaciers and whales. The latter can be a bit more elusive to spot, which is why it's best to ... Read more » samchad / Getty Images

#4 Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventures 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 ... Read more » EdCorey / Getty Images

#5 Mount Roberts Tramway If your time in Juneau is limited, the Mount Roberts Tramway is the easiest and fastest way to gain an appreciation for the city's beautiful natural setting. Just south ... Read more » Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau

#6 Alaska Brewing Company Travelers who visit the Alaskan Brewing Company usually want to experience something different than normal port-of-call tourist shops. And here, they get it. About 6 miles north of the cruise ... Read more » WordRidden / Flickr

Tracy Arm Fjord picture in Juneau
Mendenhall Glacier picture in Juneau
Whale Watching Tours picture in Juneau
Glacier Gardens picture in Juneau
View from Mount Roberts Tramway picture in Juneau
Alaska Brewing Company picture in Juneau
Tracy Arm Fjord picture in Juneau
Mendenhall Glacier picture in Juneau
Whale Watching Tours picture in Juneau
Glacier Gardens picture in Juneau
View from Mount Roberts Tramway picture in Juneau
Alaska Brewing Company picture in Juneau

Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier steals most of the tourist traffic, but the 27-mile-long Tracy Arm Fjord is the bigger, better and more dramatic natural gem.  Emily Riddell / Design Pics / Getty Images

Mendenhall Glacier is the only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road (you can easily take a cab here). Dagny Willis / Getty Images

In Juneau, North Pacific humpbacks and orcas are the two most common types of whales migrating through these calm waters. Signing up for a tour is the best way to observe these spectacular animals. samchad / Getty Images

Located between downtown Juneau and its airport, the Glacier Gardens offer a glimpse into Alaska's frequently forgotten rainforest.  EdCorey / Getty Images

The view from the Mount Roberts Tramway, which includes the Gastineau Channel, amazes the thousands of visitors that flock to Juneau each year. Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau

Many visitors praise the brewery's sizable samples. WordRidden / Flickr

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