We booked this tour whilst on the Holland America cruise boat, it cost $24.95 per person but I think you can buy tickets at the entrance for a dollar or two cheaper.
We found the ride up and down to be fantastic, great views of Juneau town, the cruise boats and harbour across to the snow capped mountains on the other side.
The bonus of this trip is that when you reach the top there are mountain trails you can walk or hike.
We enjoyed our tramway ride and trail hike far better than a whale watching tour we took late evening at the huge price of $160 per person.
Climbing from the waterfront to almost 2,000 feet in just a few minutes the Mt. Roberts Tramway offers wonderful panoramic views of Juneau and its surroundings including glaciers, forests, mountains, and the harbor below.
At the top, the adventurous can head off on the hiking trails where you'll likely spot wildlife including eagles and possibly bears. We did see a bear on the way down the mountain so be alert!
For the less adventurous there are walkways. We were there early in the season and almost all of the trails were closed off due to the possibility of avalanches but we still had fun playing in the snow.
Be sure to stop in the Chilkat Theater to watch the film of the Tlingit culture in Alaska. Theater is included in the price of admission.
Also at the top are an observatory, nature center, gift shop offering native handcrafts and a restaurant offering local beer and seafood.
This is a nice way to spend an hour or several hours depending if you do any hiking or not. If you are not going to see Juneau from the air (helicopter, etc.), I'd especially recommend taking the Tramway.
The enclosed gondola ride is very smooth and even those with a fear of heights should be fine.
Admission: Adult $27.00, Children 7-12 $13.50, Children 6 & Under Free
Open May through September:
Monday – Friday 8am – 9pm
Saturday & Sunday 9am – 9pm
Please see my Juneau travelogues for additional photos from the top of the tramway.
Take the Tramway to Mount Roberts and enjoy the fantastic views of Juneau, the waterways and of the mountains the other side of Juneau.
Now you can choose the trail you are going to walk or hike. There are several trails some longer and more strenuous than others, however we chose the short walk and enjoyed it, some small hills to climb, snow and ice to pass , but other than that it was most enjoyable.
We were on Mount Roberts 29th June and there was snow and ice on the ground, make sure you wear warm clothes.
During our time in Alaska (July 2007) we did not see much birdlife and I am not sure whether this is seasonal or that birds migrate during this or other seasons.
The Bald Eagle is the national emblem of the United States of America and it is one of the few birds we saw during our limited time in Alaska.
For those who wish to see a Bald Eagle up close there is one on Mount Roberts just outside the Tramway Terminal. This eagle was found injured and has been looked after since and is on display, however be careful and make certain your children keep their fingers out of reach.
My boyfriend and I really enjoyed the view from the top of Mt. Roberts, which you can get to by taking the Mt. Robert's tram. Once at the top, you can hike around on the top of the mountain and enjoy the views of Admiralty Island, the Glacier Bay area and the Chilkat Mountains. Ticket prices are as follows:
Children 7-12: $12.60
Children 6 & Under: Free
A MUST DO is the tram ride to the top of Mount Roberts for a scenic view over Juneau.
Just a short walk from the Cruise ship terminal is where the Tram is located. It was quite busy, but do not worry, as the queue moves fairly quick. Of course, make sure the weather is fine before heading to the top!
The Tramway climbs from 27 to 2000 feet at the top in the short time of 6mins, have the camera ready because we saw plenty of Bald Eagles! At the top there is plenty to do, trails, observatory, nature center, restaurant, bar, theater and two gift shops.
FARES ARE 
Adults..... $27 ...Children $13.50/child 6-12..... Free...Child 5 & Under
INCLUDES - All-day unlimited rides on the Mount Roberts Tramway
– The 18-minute film Seeing Daylight
– Juneau Raptor Center Bald Eagle Display
Open May through September
Monday 12noon-9pm Tuesday-Thursday 8am-9pm
Friday 9am or 1pm-9pm
Saturday, Sunday 9am-9pm
I'm not going to talk about prices here because these are always subject to change.
If you would like to go up the tram you can buy a discounted ticket at Hearthside Bookstore located in the valley mall...so this may not be an option if you are off a cruise ship.
Or if you would like to hike up to the tram lookout/observatory: The trail itself is pretty steep, I think its about a mile; be prepared for a lot of switch backs as you are going up 1500 feet (or is it1800 feet?). The trail is pretty easy to follow but I wouldn't recommend this trail if there is still snow visible on the mountains - so probably not in May. The very first time I hiked this trail there was still snow on the ground and we ended up post holing half the trail. EXHAUSTING work!
DO BRING: water and bug spray.
WARNING!!: If you choose to hike up the trail, if you consider the paved road to the trail head too steep, the trail isn't paved and steeper. YOU WILL BE in a forest; there is a possibility you could see bears. (I've only seen squires, but bears are there.)
This trail (not including the walk to the trailhead) takes me just under an hour to hike and while I'm active, I'm not a speed demon.
Also, if you hike up, and you spend any money at all (get a receipt) you can take the tram down. (My girlfriend and I generally get a margarita.)
The trail does continue on past the tramway, so if you don't want to hike up, you can do a little hiking that isn't as strenuous.
At the southern edge of downtown, near the waterfront, is the Mt. Roberts Tramway, a gondola that takes one to the top of Mt. Roberts. One can also hike up or down from the city, but this is a quick and easy way to go. It gives some good views itself and there is a pretty good restaurant as well as a gift shop (of course) at the top.
Mt. Roberts is a 3,819 foot mountain right next to downtown Juneau. One can hike up or down it, to or from downtown Juneau, or take the Mt. Roberts Tramway tram/gondola either way (see my tip on that). It affords great views of Juneau, has a restaurant, gift shop, and a lot of hiking on it. It includes lush forested terrain. One site is Father Brown's cross, apparently erected originally by Father Brown, a proponent of creating a trail on the mountain in the late 19th century-early 20th century.
The driver dropped us off at the Mt. Roberts Tramway, which we had purchased tickets on the ship. I was a little concerned when I got advance tickets that it would be bad weather (I had heard so much about the rain in Alaska) and we wouldn't be able to see much, but the weather was very good.
When we got to the top I saw a wheelchair and they said I could have it but it had no foot rests so I had hold my feet up. We wheelchaired through the shops, Bob went and took pictures of the injured bald eagle, and then we went on down.
There were other things we could have done while up there - the website lists
* Nathan Jackson Totem Pole
*Timberline Bar & Grill with Alaskan beers and seafood
*Crab Feed (mid-June to late August)
*Native and historical art and artist demonstrations
*120-seat, state-of-the-art Chilkat Theater with free short film
*Bear viewing platforms
*Wildlife and alpine flowers
*Raven Eagle Gifts, Gallery & Souvenirs
Open May through September
Monday 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Tuesday - Friday 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
*In May and September hours and days of operation may vary depending on ship arrivals and departures.
- All-day unlimited rides on the Mount Roberts Tramway
- The 18-minute film Seeing Daylight
- Juneau Raptor Center Bald Eagle Display
Children 7-12: $13.50
Children 6 & Under: Free
Mt Roberts can be touristy if you take the tram up with thousands of cruise guests. But it's also a great work-out if you hike up the trail. Either way you are rewarded by a heavenly view of Alaska's capital from above, if weather permits.
I visited Juneau in mid May, 2002. My plan was to hike up Mt Robert trail then descend by tram. I was in Juneau for 3 rainy days. On the 3rd day the rain finally turned drizzle so I headed up the trail. Half way into it I started to slip on icy snow. The last mile I was in waist-deep snow and the trail was nowhere to be found. Luckily I spotted the tram tower and followed it to the upper terminal.
At 3,819 ft high, Mt Roberts forms the backwall for the city of Juneau. It's easily accessible via the made-for-the-cruise tram that takes you straight from cruise ship dock to above the tree lines. At the upper terminal of 2,000 ft elevation, there's a nice restaurant with view, a nature center, and of course a large souvenir store.
From upper terminal I continued heading up to a viewing platform where I took the attached photo. In the photo you can see the city of Juneau and Douglas Island on each side of Gastineau Channel. Also the tram that shuttles between upper terminal and the cruise ship dock is clearly shown.
All the visitors I met at and around the upper terminal were either cruise guests or cruise workers. I've never been on a cruise before, but I noticed many cruise workers were from southeast Asia, like Thai, Philippins, Malay - countries accustomed to hospitality. So it's easy to tell the crew from the guests. Working on the cruise seemed like a good deal to them. They probably make more than they possibly could in their home country, let alone free travelling.
After I dried my socks I boarded the tram to descend to the city. Given the snow condition on trail, nobody checked my return ticket since they assumed everybody came up by tram and already purchased the ticket. So I got a free ride down. Many of the tram workers were native Tlingit. The one operating my tram took the opportunity to teach us Tlingit language.