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

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

30 Amazing Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019

The 6 Best Maui Helicopter Tours

Combine sightseeing with a breathtaking adventure on one of these flights.

Gwen PratesiJuly 23, 2019

The 7 Best San Francisco Boat Tours

Take in the city's major sights by water with one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 22, 2019

How to Pack a Suitcase: 16 Tips and Expert Tricks for Perfectly Packed Luggage

Take the stress out of vacation prep with these handy recommendations.

Lyn MettlerJuly 22, 2019