Population: Borough 32,227
Juneau is located in Southeast Alaska on Gastineau Channel, 95 miles northeast of Sitka.
Visitor Information: Travel Juneau, phone 907-586-2201 or 1-888-586-2201; website www.traveljuneau.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visitor information centers, operated year-round, are located in the Juneau airport lower terminal and at the Auke Bay ferry terminal. The downtown visitor centers are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May through September. A kiosk-type center is at Marine Park near the library, and the other is the large purple building at the cruise ship terminal at Dock D, on South Franklin Street.
History and Economy
In 1880, nearly 20 years before the great gold rushes to the Klondike and to Nome, 2 prospectors named Joe Juneau and Richard Harris found “color” in what is now called Gold Creek, a small, clear stream that runs through the center of present-day Juneau. Local history states that it was a Tlingit, Chief Kowee, who showed Joe Juneau where to find gold in Gold Creek. What the prospectors found led to the discovery of one of the largest lodes of gold quartz in the world. Juneau (called Harrisburg the first year) quickly boomed into a gold rush town as claims and mines sprang up in the area.
In 1881, Pierre “French Pete” Erussard discovered gold on Douglas Island, across Gastineau Channel from Juneau. A year later, John Treadwell bought the claims, then formed the Alaska Treadwell Gold Mining Company in 1887. In 36 years of operation, Treadwell produced an estimated $66 million in gold. A cave-in and flood closed the mine in 1917. The Alaska– Gastineau Mine, operated by Bart Thane in 1911, had a 2-mile shaft through Mount Roberts to the Perseverance Mine near Gold Creek. The Alaska–Juneau (A–J) Mine was constructed on a mountain slope south of Juneau and back into the heart of Mount Roberts. It operated until 1944, when it was declared a nonessential wartime activity after producing over $80 million in gold. Post–WWII wage and price inflation and the fixed price of gold prevented its reopening.
Congress first provided civil government for Alaska in 1884. Alaska was governed by a succession of presidential appointees, first as the District of Alaska, then as the Territory of Alaska. Between 1867 (when the United States purchased Alaska from Russia) and 1884, the military had jurisdiction over the District of Alaska, except for a 3-year period (1877–79) when Alaska was put under control of the U.S. Treasury Dept. and governed by the U.S. Collector of Customs.
By 1900, Juneau had eclipsed Sitka— capital of Russian Alaska and then the Territory of Alaska—as the center of power in Southeast. A Civil Code for Alaska, passed by Congress under the Carter Act in 1900, provided the Territory with 3 judicial districts, one of which was Juneau, and moved the seat of government from Sitka to Juneau.
In 1974, Alaskans voted to move the capital from Juneau to a site closer to Anchorage. In 1976, Alaska voters selected a new capital site near Willow, but funding for the capital move—an estimated $2.8 billion— was defeated in November 1982.
Prior to the arrival of the Russians, explorers, prospectors, miners and other settlers, this was Tlingit land. Described as having one of the most sophisticated social structures and intricate societies of any indigenous people in the world, the Tlingit are 1 of the 2 major Alaska Native groups in Southeast. The other major group, the Haidas, have a different language, although their lifestyle, history and tradition are similar to the Tlingit, as is the lifestyle of the Tsimshians, a First Nations group from Canada that settled on Annette Island.
It was a Tlingit, William Paul Sr., who was instrumental in bringing about the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. One of the first Tlingits to receive a college degree and the first Alaska Native to win a seat in the territorial legislature, Paul originally brought suit against the U.S. government in the 1930s for lands taken from
the Tlingits and Haidas. Forty-four million acres and nearly a billion dollars were involved in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. In addition to cash and land settlements, the act established 12 regional corporations and a system of local village corporations. The intent of the corporate structuring was to create a revenue-producing entity that would assure a financial future for all Alaska Natives.
The local corporation formed for the Juneau area was Goldbelt, Inc. Currently, Goldbelt, Inc. has some 3,600 Tlingit and Haida shareholders. Many shareholders are employed in Goldbelt’s businesses, which include Goldbelt Tram Alaska.
Education, health services, tourism and mining are the largest employers in Juneau’s private sector, while government (federal, state and local) comprises an estimated half of the total basic industry.
Juneau, often called “a little San Francisco,” is nestled at the foot of Mount Juneau (elev. 3,576 feet) with Mount Roberts (elev. 3,819 feet) rising immediately to the east on the approach up Gastineau Channel. The residential community of Douglas, on Douglas Island, is south of Juneau and connected by the Juneau-Douglas Bridge. Neighboring residential areas around the airport, Mendenhall Valley and Auke Bay lie north of Juneau on the mainland.
Shopping is in the downtown area and at suburban malls in the airport and Mendenhall Valley areas. Supermarket at Fred Meyer, Safeway, Superbear, Foodland IGA, and bulk shopping at Costco.
Juneau’s skyline is dominated by several government buildings, including the Federal Building (1966), the massive State Office Building (1974), the State Court Building (1975) and the older brick and marble columned Capitol Building (1931). The Sealaska Plaza is headquarters for Sealaska Corp., 1 of the 12 regional Native corporations formed after congressional passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971.
The Juneau area supports 35 churches, 2 high schools, 2 middle schools, 7 elementary schools, 2 charter/community schools and a University of Alaska Southeast campus at Auke Lake. There are 3 municipal libraries and the state library.
The area is governed by the unified city and borough of Juneau, which encompasses 3,250 square miles. It is the first unified government in the state, combining the former separate and overlapping jurisdictions of the cities of Douglas and Juneau and the greater Juneau borough.
Juneau walking tour
It is easy to explore downtown Juneau on foot and walking is preferable to driving. The streets are narrow and congested with pedestrians and traffic. Maps of Juneau are available at all visitor information centers. Descriptive signs are posted at many locations, identifying significant sites in the downtown historic district.
Downtown landmarks to look for include the Ed Way bronze sculpture, “Hard Rock Miners,” located at Marine Park. Marine Park is located at the foot of Seward Street, and has tables, benches, an information kiosk and free Wi-Fi during summer months. Another bronze sculpture commemorates “Patsy Ann,” a bull terrier that during the 1930s and 1940s would meet arriving vessels at Juneau’s dock.
USS Juneau Memorial, located on the waterfront, immediately north of the South Franklin Dock, commemorates the sinking of the USS Juneau during WWII. All but 10 of the crew of 700 lost their lives (including the 5 Sullivan brothers) when the ship was torpedoed the night of Nov. 13, 1942.
Overstreet Park is on the downtown seawalk at the ends of West 8th and 9th streets. The park features a full size humpback whale fountain, restrooms, picnic shelter, benches, tables, interpretive signs and paved walkways.
Goldbelt Tram Alaska
Goldbelt Tram Alaska is one of Juneau’s top attractions. The Goldbelt Tram Alaska brings spectacular views within easy reach of visitors. Two 60-passenger aerial trams transport visitors from Juneau’s downtown waterfront to a modern mountaintop complex at the 1,800-foot level of Mount Roberts. Observation platform with panoramic view of the city, harbor and surrounding mountains. The mountaintop complex includes a theater, restaurant, bar, gift shop, and access to alpine walking trails. The tram ticket and a hand stamp allow you to ride the tram all day long if you wish. The tram operates daily, from May through September; phone 907-463-3412.
State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building at 120 E. 4th St. Congress authorized construction of the Federal and Territorial Building in 1911, but the $1 million structure was not started until 1929, after local citizens and businesses pitched in by buying some of the lots needed for the building site and deeding them over to the federal government. Completed in 1931, today the Capitol building houses the offices of the State Legislature, the Governor, and the Lieutenant Governor. Because it was originally designed as an office building for the Territory, it is one of the few capitols in the U.S. that does not have a dome.
When the Legislature is in Session (mid-January to mid-April), the Capitol is open to the public 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. When the Legislature is not in Session, the Capitol is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday. Self-guided tours are available from the capitol lobby in summer. Details and links to brochure at http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/pages/capitol.php.
Juneau-Douglas City Museum
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum explores the rich and diverse community of the greater Juneau-Douglas area through exhibits focusing on its history, art and culture. The museum is housed in the Veterans Memorial Building (on the National Register of Historic Places), at the corner of 4th and Main streets, across from the Alaska State Capitol Building. Look for the totem poles flanking either side of the building.
Museum highlights include a rare 500- to 700-year-old basketry-style fish trap; exhibits on Aak-w and T-aaku Kwaan history; digital stories about statehood, Juneau cultures and state government; a hands-on Mining and Drilling gallery; and the video Juneau: City Built on Gold. Temporary exhibits of local art, culture and history change seasonally. The museum store features books, Juneau memorabilia, and crafts by local artists as well as trail guides and maps of the region. Guided Historic Downtown Walking Tours are offered May through September.
For museum hours and admission fees, visit www.juneau.org/library/museum or phone 907-586-3572. The City Museum is a Blue Star Museum: No admission charge for active-duty military and their families. Due to a generous donation, no admission is charged in the off-season (October through April).
Alaska State Museum
The Alaska State Museum has been a major cultural highlight of Juneau for more than 100 years. Located in the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building at 395 Whittier St., along with the Alaska State Library and Alaska State Archives, the museum features superbly curated exhibits on Native culture, maritime history, WWII in Alaska, Russian America and more. There are 2 temporary galleries in which the museum rotates a robust schedule of contemporary art, photography and other special exhibits. There is also a Discovery Room/Kids Area for children; a 6-foot Science on a Sphere interactive exhibit that displays planetary data; a display featuring kayaks from around Alaska; history of fishing display and more. For current hours phone 907-465-2901 or visit www.museums.alaska.gov.
DIPAC’s Macaulay Salmon Hatchery
Visitors get a chance to see adult and young salmon up-close and personal while listening to an educational commentary led by an experienced guide. Beautiful views on outside deck of Gastineau Channel. The hatchery incubates, rears and releases 3 species of Pacific salmon (chinook, chum and coho). Adult salmon return is from late June through early October. Inside the Ladd Macaulay Visitor Center, see more than 100 species of Southeast Alaska’s marine life in one of the state’s largest saltwater aquarium displays. Summer hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. By appointment in the winter. Admission is charged. Located at 2697 Channel Dr., about 4 miles from downtown; turn at Milepost 3.8 Glacier Highway. Phone 907-463-4810; www.dipac.net.
Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Located about 13 miles from downtown Juneau, spectacular Mendenhall Glacier and the adjacent U.S. Forest Service visitor center are a major attraction in Juneau. The visitor center offers a hands-on exhibit hall, a theater, an observatory and short interpretive presentations during the summer season.
From downtown Juneau, drive out Glacier Highway/Egan Drive and turn right at Milepost 9.3 (Mendenhall Loop Road), then drive straight 3.4 miles to Mendenhall Glacier parking area. From the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal in Auke Bay, drive toward downtown Juneau on Glacier Highway and turn left at Milepost 9.3. There are 2 public parking areas. (Charter and tour buses use assigned parking area.) Paved walking path switchbacks uphill to the visitor center (elevator available). There are also short trails down to the lake, along a salmon stream, through the forest, and along the lake to Nugget Falls. Trailheads for 2 longer trails—East Glacier and remote Nugget Creek—originate from the visitor center.
NOTE: No food or flavored beverages outside in summer due to bear activity.
The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is open daily, May to September, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Day-use fee of $5 (15 years and under free) is charged for certain outdoor areas and the visitor center in summer. Federal lands passes are accepted. From October to March the visitor center is open Friday–Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The visitor center is closed for winter holidays and in April.
From October to April no fee is charged. The grounds are open year-round 6 a.m. to midnight. Phone 907-789-0097 or visit www.mendenhallglacier.net for more information. Find them on Facebook at U.S. Forest Service–Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.
Located 50 miles southeast of Juneau, Tracy Arm and adjoining Endicott Arm are the major features of the Tracy Arm–Fords Terror Wilderness Area. Both Tracy and Endicott arms are long, deep and narrow fjords that extend more than 30 miles into the heavily glaciated Coast Mountain Range. Active tidewater glaciers at the head of these fjords calve icebergs into the fjords. Fords Terror, off of Endicott Arm, is an area of sheer rock walls enclosing a narrow entrance into a small fjord. The fjord was named in 1889, for a crewmember of a naval vessel who rowed into the narrow canyon at slack tide and was caught in turbulent icy currents for 6 terrifying hours when the tide changed.
Access to this wilderness area is primarily by boat or floatplane from Juneau. Some large and small cruise ships and charter boats include Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm in their itineraries. It is also a popular destination for sea kayakers.
Juneau Arts & Culture Center
Juneau Arts & Culture Center, operated by the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, provides a location for concerts and events, a rotating gallery, and a lobby gift shop featuring the work of local artists. Located at the corner of Whittier Street and Egan Drive; phone 907-586-2787; https://jahc.org. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in summer; call and go online for winter schedule.
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, 5th and Gold streets. This tiny structure, built in 1894, is now the oldest Russian Orthodox church in southeast Alaska. Visitors are welcome; open daily; Sunday services.
The Governor’s House
The Governor’s House at 716 Calhoun Ave., has been home to Alaska’s chief executives since it was completed in 1913. The 2.5-story structure, containing 12,900 square feet of floor space, took nearly a year to build. Public tours are not available.
Walter Soboleff Center
Walter Soboleff Center, the Sealaska Heritage Institute building at 105 South Seward St., is named after Dr. Walter Soboleff, a Tlingit scholar, esteemed elder and translator who specialized in traditional oratory and storytelling. The facility serves as a cultural center and research facility. Admission charged to view cultural exhibit and clan house.
Wickersham State Historic Site
A steep climb up to 7th Street takes visitors to the historic home of Alaska’s Judge James Wickersham. Wickersham was the first judge of the Third Judicial District of Alaska, arriving in Eagle, AK, from Tacoma, WA, in 1900. He served seven terms as Alaska’s Delegate to Congress where he introduced bills to make Denali a National Park, to finance the first Alaska university, and to have home rule in the state. He also introduced a bill resulting in a $35,000,000 appropriation to build the Alaska Railroad, as well as the first bill for statehood. House of Wickersham, located at the corner of 7th Street and Seward (at 213 7th St.), contains the judge’s collection of artifacts gathered during his extensive travels throughout his 300,000-square-mile district. Phone 907-586-9001 or 907-465-4563 for information. Admission charged. Open mid-May to late-September, Sunday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure
Access Glacier Gardens at the Fred Meyer exit (Milepost 7.9 Glacier Highway), then turn right and continue to 7600 Glacier Highway. What was once a landslide-scarred hillside has been transformed into a fantastic garden featuring thousands of plants and unique floral creations. Huge hanging baskets of petunia, begonia, and geranium flowers cascade from the Visitor Center’s rafters, which also houses a gift shop and cafe. Outside, upside-down tree stumps act as whimsical flower pots. The tour includes a narrated trip by motorized carts through Tongass National Forest up to a viewpoint on Thunder Mountain. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, May to September. Phone 907-790-3377; visit www.glaciergardens.com. NOTE: There is no on-street parking; use parking lot. RVs use bus entrance for RV parking.
Last Chance Mining Museum
Last Chance Mining Museum is the only historic mining building open to the public from Juneau’s Gold Rush era. On display are historic mining tools and equipment and the world’s largest Ingersoll-Rand air compressor. Drive or walk to the end of Basin Road to reach the museum, which is located in the Compressor Building of the historic Alaska–Juneau Mine. Basin Road ends 1 mile from East Street; park at Perseverance Trailhead and follow trail uphill to the museum. The museum is open daily; admission fee $5. Open from mid-May to mid-September. The museum is operated by the non-profit Gastineau Channel Historical Society; phone 907-586-5338. Basin Road offers good views of Mount Juneau waterfall and also accesses the Perseverance Trail.
NOTE: Basin Road is very narrow in spots and popular with joggers, walkers and dogs. Drive carefully.
Downtown Juneau offers several beautiful trails that are very popular with locals, with trailheads off Basin Road. The Flume Trail is an easy, level boardwalk trail above Gold Creek that begins at Mile 0.4 Basin Road, sharing parking with the Basin Road trailhead. A walker can return via the Flume trail or loop through Juneau neighborhoods and Cope Park back to Basin Road.
The Mount Roberts Trail is an accessible, moderately difficult hike with several options and side routes. Access to Mount Roberts Trail is from the trailhead at Mile 0.4 Basin Road. The trail can also be accessed at the 1,800-ft. level by taking the Goldbelt Tram Alaska; the base of the tram is located on South Franklin Street downtown. Options include a 20-minute hike from the Basin Road trailhead to an observation point above town; a 1.5-hour hike to the Goldbelt Tram Alaska mountaintop complex; the Gold Ridge side trail about 2 miles up; Gastineau Peak, a ridgeline, about 3 miles up, and the Mount Roberts summit at 3,819 feet, an uphill 4-mile hike that takes about 5 hours.
Mount Roberts hikers may purchase down-only tram tickets in the shop or bar at the Goldbelt Tram Alaska mountaintop complex at 1,800 ft. Or spend $10 or more in the restaurant or gift shop and use their receipt as a ticket.
Hike the Perseverance Trail. This scenic and popular trail, which begins at the end of Basin Road, is a wonderful hike and popular with local walkers and joggers. It follows what is said to be the first road in Alaska. Originally called the Johnson Road, it provided access to gold mining operations in the Gold Creek Valley, including Perseverance Mine and the Alaska-Juneau mine. Ruins and artifacts from the old mining operations are still scattered throughout the valley. Beautiful scenery, wide rocky trail that doesn’t get muddy in wet weather, 3.5 miles long, junctions with several other trails.
Take a Drive
Glacier Highway/Juneau Veterans’ Memorial Highway provides access to a number of attractions, including: Mendenhall Glacier; Auke Village and Lena Beach picnic areas; Eagle Beach recreation areas; the Shrine of St. Therese, a complex that includes the famous stone chapel and the stations of the cross; Jensen-Olson Arboretum; and numerous hiking trails. This is a truly scenic route with great views and the possibility of spotting humpback whales and other marine animals from shore.
Thane Road begins just south of downtown Juneau and extends 5.8 miles along Gastineau Channel. Sheep Creek Trailhead is at Mile 4.
Douglas Island Highlights. Take Juneau-Douglas Bridge across Gastineau Channel. Third Street/South Douglas Highway leads 2.3 miles to the city of Douglas and accesses the popular Sandy Beach recreation area; Treadwell Historic Trail, parking, beach access, nice views of Gastineau Channel. The scenic North Douglas Highway follows the island’s shoreline 11.4 miles to False Outer Point, affording nice ocean views. Also access to the Eaglecrest Ski Area, North
Douglas Boat Harbor, Rainforest Trail and Outer Loop Trail. Eaglecrest has a zipline with Kawanti Adventures; phone 907-225-8400.
Brown Bear Viewing at Pack Creek
The Stan Price State Wildlife Sanctuary at the mouth of Pack Creek, on Admiralty Island, is a well-known bear-viewing area cooperatively managed by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game and U.S. Forest Service. The sanctuary, located 28 air miles/30 minutes south of Juneau, is not accessible by road. Bears, particularly sows and cubs, can be viewed and photographed feeding on sedges in early summer and salmon from early July through August. Bears can be viewed from 2 locations: at the end of a gravel spit near the mouth of the creek, and about a mile upstream from the spit from a viewing tower overlooking the creek. Visitors will hike alongside a guide on a maintained trail between the spit and tower. All visitors are also provided with a detailed orientation.
Permits are required to visit Pack Creek from June 1 through Sept. 10, and the viewing area is open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Permits become available Feb. 1 each year. During peak season—July 5 through August 25—only 24 visitors are allowed per day with 12 permits available through commercial guides and 12 available to independent visitors. Peak season permits cost $50 a day for adults, $25 a day for seniors/children. Permits are only available by advanced reservation. Shoulder seasons are June 1–July 4 and Aug. 26–Sept. 10; cost is $20 per day for adults, $10 for seniors/children.
Commercial tours arrange flights for clients. Independent visitors will need to charter their own floatplane. For those with permits, Pack Creek can also be accessed by boat or kayak. Camping is not permitted in the viewing area, but primitive camping (no facilities) is allowed on nearby Windfall Island. To apply for Pack Creek permits visit www.recreation.gov or phone 907-586-8800.
Good Dolly Varden fishing available along most saltwater shorelines in Juneau area, especially from mid-May through June. Dolly Varden regulations along the Juneau road system are 2 fish daily and 2 in possession with no size restrictions, cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination) are 2 fish daily and 2 in possession, 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum. Chinook salmon fishing best from mid-May to mid-June; chinook salmon regulations are updated yearly so check online or phone for current requirements. Humpy and chum salmon are available June through August; coho salmon best from August to mid-September.
Marine boat angling for salmon and other species including halibut and rockfish available from Juneau, Auke Bay, Tee Harbor and Amalga Harbor to access Favorite and Saginaw channels, Chatham Strait and Stephens Passage.
USFS public-use cabins available near Juneau; reserve at www.reserveamerica.com. For up-to-date fishing information in the Juneau area, contact the ADF&G, Division of Sport Fish, Area Management Biologist, P.O. Box 110024, Juneau, AK 99811. For more information phone 907-465-4116 or visit www.adfg.alaska.gov.
Lodging & Services
Juneau has a variety of hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts. The Juneau International Hostel is located at 614 Harris St.; phone 907-586-9559 or visit online at www.juneauhostel.net.
Juneau offers a wide variety of dining spots and plenty of shopping. Watch for sidewalk food and merchandise vendors downtown in summer.
There are 4 craft breweries here. The Alaskan Brewing Company Depot, Barnaby Brewing and Devil’s Club Brewery are located downtown. Forbidden Peak Brewery is on the east side of the Glacier Highway in Auke Bay.
Juneau has EV plug-ins at several locations, including the Alaska State Museum, Eagle Beach, Savikko Park, the Downtown Library, the Rock Dump, Mendenhall Library, Chatham Electric, Kootznoowoo PlJaza, Eaglecrest and Treadwell Ice Arena.
Juneau Library, at South Franklin and Admiralty Way, between Marine Park and the cruise ship terminal, has a wonderful view of Juneau, Douglas and Gastineau Channel. Take the elevator to the 5th floor above the public parking garage.
Juneau has no place for overnight RV parking except at organized campgrounds. If you are parked overnight anywhere but a campground, you will probably be asked to move. Campsite reservations can be made online at www.reserveamerica.com. For U.S. Forest Service campgrounds phone 1-877-444-677 or visit www.recreation.gov.
Glacier Nalu Campground is located 2.2 miles east of the Glacier Highway via the Mendenhall Loop Road turnoff at Milepost 12.1; description follows. A very convenient location, and the front desk can arrange local tours and shuttle service for RVers.
There are 2 USFS campgrounds north of Juneau accessible from the Glacier Highway/ Juneau Veterans’ Memorial Highway: Auke Village Campground and Mendenhall Lake Campground (descriptions follow). You can camp at both campgrounds for a combined 14 calendar days per year. USFS Campground rangers are available 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at both campgrounds and can also be reached by phone at 907-586-8800 or 907-209-8998 during operating dates.
Auke Village Campground is located in the Auke Village Recreation Area (see Milepost 14.7 Glacier Highway). It has 11 basic sites (no hookups), with potable drinking water, $10 camping fee, $8 reservation fee, pit toilets, picnic tables and firepit. Accommodates RVs to 40 feet. Open 24/7 from May 1 to September 29. A good camping choice for late ferry arrivals
Mendenhall Lake Campground has 69 sites; 9 sites have electric, water and sewer; 9 sites have electric and water; and 7 sites are located in a separate walk-in area for backpackers. RVs to 60 feet. Picnic tables, firepits, water, flush toilets and hot showers available. Open 24/7 from May 15 to September 14; phone 907-586-8800. Campground host on site. Camping fees are $10 to $28 per night plus $8 reservation fee.
To reach Mendenhall Lake Campground from the Ferry Terminal, exit the roundabout at Milepost 12.1 Glacier Highway at Auke Bay to Back Loop Road. Drive 2.5 miles to Montana Creek Road and turn onto it; continue 0.7 mile (keep to right when Montana Creek Road becomes Skaters Cabin
Road) to the fancy rock-faced entry to the campground. Continue past the campground entrance to reach Skater’s Cabin Picnic Site. This natural stone picnic shelter—built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps—has a spectacular view of the glacier. Skater’s Cabin is available first-come, first-served or by reservation for groups; phone 1-877-444-6777; www.recreation.gov. From downtown Juneau, take the Glacier Highway to Mendenhall Loop Road turnoff at Milepost 9.3.
Eagle Beach State Recreation Area, at Milepost 27.6 Juneau Veteran’s Memorial Highway, has overnight parking for vehicles and gravel tent pads. Park host on site, $15 camping fee, 7-day limit. No reservations; first-come, first-served. An extensive trail system here accesses the beach and river.
Dump station at Mendenhall Lake campground. The City and Borough of Juneau operates a 24-hour dump station at Jackie Renninger Park, 2400 Mendenhall Loop Rd., next to the skateboard park; phone 907-790-2525.
Air: Juneau International Airport is northwest of downtown via Glacier Highway. Airport terminal contains ticket counters, waiting area, gift shop, rental cars, restaurant, lounge and visitor information center. Phone 907-789-7821.
The city express bus inbound stops at the airport weekdays from 7:11 a.m. to 6:11 p.m. Taxi service to downtown is also available. Courtesy vans to some hotels.
Alaska Airlines serves Juneau daily from Anchorage (90-minute flight) and other Alaska cities, and from Seattle, WA (2-hour flight). Delta Airlines has a once-daily flight to/from Seattle from late May through late August. Scheduled commuter service to Haines, Skagway, Sitka, Angoon and other points via various air services.
Charter air service is available for hunting, fishing, flightseeing and transportation to other communities. Flightseeing by helicopter is very popular in Juneau, and several helicopter services operate here.
Ferry: Juneau is served by Alaska Marine Highway ferries. For schedules, fares and reservations visit www.ferryalaska.com. The state ferries dock at the Auke Bay Terminal at Milepost 13.8 Glacier Highway; phone 907-465-8853 Ext. 4; www.ferryalaska.com. The main reservation center is located at 6858 Glacier Highway (7 miles from downtown Juneau) and is open Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; phone 907-465-8853 or 1-800-642-0066. There is a ticket counter at the Auke Bay terminal. It is open only when a vessel is arriving or departing.
Private passenger ferry service is available from Alaska Fjordlines Express with service between Skagway, Haines and Juneau; phone 907-766-3395 or 1-800-320-0146, or visit www.alaskafjordlines.com. This is not the same as the Alaska Marine Highway ferries.
Taxi: Service is available from Auke Bay terminal to downtown Juneau. There is also a bus stop 1.5 miles toward town from the ferry terminal.
Bus: Capital Transit, phone 907-789-6901 or visit www.juneaucapitaltransit.org. Route map and schedule available at the visitor information center or can be downloaded from their website. Use exact fare ($2 adult, $1 ages 6–18); drivers do not make change.
Parking: Parking in the core downtown area is metered and closely monitored. On-street parking available with 2 hours (consecutive) free parking. Public parking is available Monday–Friday 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. and all weekend at the Downtown Transportation Center Parking Garage, the Downtown Library (Marine Park Garage), and Shopper’s Lot on the corner of Main St. and Egan Dr. Parking also available at the North Franklin Lot at corner of Franklin Street and Second Street.
Juneau streets are narrow and it is difficult—if not impossible—to find a legal spot to park a large RV. Leave your RV at the campground and use your tow vehicle, arrange for a rental car, or take the bus or a taxi into town.
Highways: Glacier Highway begins in downtown Juneau and leads 43 miles north past Echo Cove. Other major roads are Douglas and North Douglas highways.
Cruise Ships: Juneau is southeast Alaska’s most frequent port of call.
Car Rental: Car rental agencies located at the airport (reserve ahead of time because of the great demand for cars). Avis 907-789-9450; Enterprise 844-913-0745; Budget, 907-790-1086; National/Alamo 1-844-913-0743; and Juneau Car Rental (will drop-off vehicle), phone 907-957-7530.
Boats: Charter boats are available for fishing, sightseeing and transportation. Kayak rentals available. The visitor information center can provide a list of charter operators. Transient moorage is available downtown at Harris and Douglas floats and at Auke Bay. Most boaters use Auke Bay. For more information, call the Juneau harbormaster at 907-586-5255.
Bicycles: Bike rentals available downtown through Cycle Alaska. Designated bike routes to Douglas, Mendenhall Glacier and Auke Bay. The Mendenhall Glacier route starts at the intersection of 12th Street and Glacier Avenue; total biking distance is 15 miles.