Editor's Choice!At Glacier Gardens, you will experience 50 acres of Alaskan botanical garden.
Guided tours escort guests into the heart of the Tongass National Rainforest and unlock the mystery and grandeur of Southeast Alaska.
Relax and breathe in the ambiance of a temperate rainforest garden.
Streams and waterfalls bubble through beautiful display gardens while hanging gardens spill blossoms inside the Visitors Center.
Discover a unique forest habitat and breathtaking views of the Juneau area from 580 feet up Thunder Mountain.
You will enjoy this guided tour from the comfort of deluxe covered golf carts.
as long as you like
Open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (May through September)
Editor's Choice! At Glacier Gardens, you will experience 50 acres of Alaskan botanical garden. Guided tours escort guests into the heart of the Tongass National Rainforest and unlock the mystery and grandeur of Southeast Alaska. Relax and breathe in the ambiance of a temperate rainforest garden. Streams and waterfalls bubble through beautiful display gardens while hanging gardens spill blossoms inside the Visitors Center. Discover a unique forest habitat and breathtaking views of the Juneau area from 580 feet up Thunder Mountain. You will enjoy this guided tour from the comfort of deluxe covered golf carts.
The temperate rainforest of Southeast Alaska is distinguished by its many canopy layers and the presence of lichen, mosses and ferns living on the surface of other plants and its dense, shrubby undergrowth. You will experience this lush rainforest as you are guided to the 580 foot level of Thunder Mountain. Blueberry, huckleberry, and false Azaleas border the pathways in their natural setting. Fern, mosses, and dogwood cover the fertile soil enjoying the protection of the towering trees above. This is just a sampling of the many plants you will see during your adventure.
At the 580 foot level of Thunder Mountain, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Mendenhall Valley, Chilkat Mountains, Gastineau Channel, and downtown Juneau.
The ground cover changes to an array of alpine plants and trees giving the surroundings the look of a bonsai garden.
Pathways lead you through this natural garden to a view that will take your breath away. Watch the eagles soar and "remember your camera."
Note: In conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, Glacier Gardens has obtained a lease to enter a portion of the Tongass National Forest as your tour leaves the Boardwalk to return to the Visitor's Center. This addition to the tour highlights the upper level of the rainforest and a beautiful stream.
Capital Transit buses leave from Downtown Juneau every 30 minutes and stop at Glacier Gardens.
History of Glacier Gardens
The Mendenhall Valley is home to the great Mendenhall Glacier. During the mining days, the valley was the farming community which fed the miners downtown. There were dairies, mink farms, vegetable gardens, and a chicken farm. At this time there was only one road from downtown to the valley, named Glacier Highway. It is on this road you'll find Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure.
In 1984, a landslide came down the mountain with tremendous force, uprooting everything in its path and wiping out the stream which now runs through the gardens. Ten years later Steve and Cindy Bowhay purchased the six-and-a-half acres of land and started to reclaim the once beautiful stream. They decided to use the water in the stream for hydro-electricity, so they put in ponds with waterfalls cascading down the hillside.
The ponds were landscaped with Rhododendrons and Azaleas for their spring flowers. Japanese Maples were added for brilliant color and contrast with the lush evergreen background. Native Devil's Club and Elderberry shrubs spill over the edges reflecting their lush foliage in the ponds below.
Steve and Cindy own and operate a nursery and landscaping business in Juneau since 1984. It was one year after starting the reclamation of the stream they decided to open the gardens for everyone to enjoy. Since that time they have expanded another 45 acres installing pathways through the forest to reach the 580 foot level of Thunder Mountain with scenic overlooks. Every effort was made to make the area easily accessible to all visitors, and to provide a unique natural experience in one of the world's last, pristine rainforests!
This tour does not provide hotel pick-up. Child age is 6 to 12; children under 6 are free.
There are no refunds. All sales are final.
If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
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