Until our most recent trip to Juneau (July, 2006), I had never seen "Ziplining" in Alaska before! We have done some ziplining on Roatan, Honduras, so I would definitely like to try it in Juneau.
The "Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Adventure" begins with a high speed boat ride traversing the Gastineau Channel to reach Douglas Island (Douglas Island was incorporated into the city of Juneau some time ago) where the old Treadmill Mine site is located near the beach. You'll reach the aerial cables by ground trails, suspension bridges, ATV vehicle, etc. After being professionally fitted with all the necessary equipment and a safety talk, you will be taken up to the first tree platform. Safety First!!
There are 9 ziplines varying in length from 150 to 800 which connect tree platforms of varying height. Being nearly 200 feet off the ground in the tree canopy, you will have a real bird's eye view of old mining holes called "glory holes," as well as view of the Gastineau Channel, Bullion Creek, remnants of the Treadwell Mine. This is all in addition to the adrenalin rush of, quite literally, zipping through the forest canopy. At the end of the run, a light snack will be waiting for you -- in Honduras, some enterprising youths were selling cold "Red Stripes" at the end of your run!!
Tour hawkers near the cruise ship piers offered me a price of $150 per person for this adventure, down from about $165. Unfortunately, this price was prohibitive since there are 4 of us. You may be able to bargain them down further.
Equipment: All equipment and outfitting is included in the price as well as transportation to the site from the tour operator, "Alaska Canopy Adventures."
My snowboarding skills weren't too good yet, so I was intimidated to try snowboarding in Alaska alone. I was there in early 2006. I had met a new friend online and decided this was a chance to actually get out of Texas & see Alaska!
I flew to Juneau and felt like I was in Narnia! Gorgeous!!!! Bald eagles everywhere!! It was amazing for me to see snow on the beaches. Lots of trails to hike, and enough clam chowder to satisfy even me! Juneau is SMALL and full of fun people. The ratio is something like 1 girl for every 15 guys! Before you gals get excited, remember most of the guys here are fishermen/trappers. Not saying they are all icky LOL, but there were many lonely guys here! The BEST place to get a beer was at Doc Waters. Friendly bar with fun locals and great food!
Boarded only 1 day at Eaglecrest Ski Area. It has just opened up, but it was really fun. I spent the day teaching a friend to board. I really had fun, but I look forward to finding more advanced and powdery areas in Alaska! The only thing that I didn't like was on the chair lift. About 1/2 way up, the chair comes to a spot where people can get back on (if they don't want to board/ski all the way to the bottom). It kind of sneaks up on you....all of a sudden your board is scraping ground! YIKES!! Local borders were cool, so were the skiers.
While there you should check out Mendenhall glacier! We hiked all the way out there and it was totally worth it! You can see traces of where the glacier is receeding. They say at the other end you can hear the glacier move, pushing trees over!! Its free to visit, and there is a quaint drive thru espresso/cocoa stand on the way :) Also drive out and walk through St. Theresa shrine. It is free and very cool. Its an old church with pretty stone monuments around it.
Equipment: At the slopes you can rent OLD gear for about $25 a day. I don't recall the lift ticket price and its not on the site right now :( They have really old gear, but it was so fun! A good place for beginners. Staff is really friendly too. The cafe there had hot cocoa and chicken tenders and I don't think it was too pricey. Snow Conditions (907)-586-5330
We rented a skiff and spent all day fishing and sightseeing. It was great! Although we didn't catch "the big one", we had a great day on the water, caught lots of small ones, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. (I know... a starfish is not, technically, a fish. Yes, I threw it back.)
Equipment: Fishing pole, Leads, Hooks, bait. Shop at Western Auto if you need fishing or outdoor gear. They have a great selection. Get a chart so you don't get lost!
There are lots of King Salmon caught here. You cast right off the beach. While I was there, one guy caught 3 nice kings in about 15 minutes. Be careful, though, it is crowded and sometimes hard to find a good place to stand to cast.
Equipment: Bring a casting pole with 20lb test, 1½ oz lead, 18" leader, herring. You can get gear at Western Auto in Auke Bay. They have an excellent fishing/outdoor department upstairs.
There are hikes for every taste and abilty in Juneau, I have included my top picks below. For a comprehensive list and map, try the links below.
Top Choice for a Easy Hike
Hike to Holy Cross from Mt. Roberts tramway. A 30 to 45 minute loop from the top of the tramway brings spectacular scenery, and you don't have to work for this view of the entire region. At $21.95 watch the film in Tlingit culture and enjoy the bald eagle exhibit. It's touristy but easy. How else could one climb from 0 to 2000 feet in 6 minutes. You can also connect with the Mt. Roberts trail and save yourself 2000 feet of climbing on a summit hike.
Top Hoice for a Moderate Hike
The West Glacier / Ice Caves Trail is the moderate to strenuous hike that will take 3-5 hours to complete. Pick up the West Glacier Trail at the end of Skater's Cabin Road off Montana Creek Road. The trail offers great lookout points and glacier views. There are also blue ice caves on the trail which can easliy be seen, but are very dangerous to actually enter.
Almost all the taller mountains surrounding Juneau require a 6-9 hour strenuous trip. Mt. Juneau is one of the most difficult and scenic.
Equipment: A layered outfit with long pants, hard soled shoes, or hiking boots. Rain gear. You may need the extra layers on the waterfront or at high elevations