Editor's Choice!  Experience 50 acres of Alaskan botanical garden at Glacier Gardens, just 7 miles from downtown Juneau.

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 a guided tour from the comfort of deluxe covered golf carts.

Rates - including tax

Type Rate
Adult Rate
(Ages 13+):
Child Rate
(Ages 6-12):
Child - Free
(Ages 5 and Under):

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Tour / Activity Details

Tours available from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm daily (May through September)

This tour does not provide hotel pick-up; the address and directions to Glacier Gardens will be on your E-Ticket.  Please order online or call us at 212-852-4822 to order or for more information.

There is a $6.95 USD processing fee per order. This is a flat fee regardless of the number of tickets or tours purchased on an order. There is a service charge per ticket. This charge will be reflected on your summary before you checkout. The total shown at checkout includes any fuel surcharges, service charges and tax. There are no additional charges, unless otherwise specified.

Tour / Activity Policies

Cancellation Policy: There are no refunds. All sales are final.

Change Fee Policy: 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.

Tour / Activity Description

The Rainforest

Glacier Gardens is set within the grasps of the mighty Tongass National Forest.  The Tongass is the largest temperate rainforest in the world with roughly 17 million acres of protected habitat that encompasses all of Southeast Alaska’s Alexander Archipelago which makes up the Inside Passage.  Elegantly landscaped display gardens offer a colorful contrast against the rugged and unforgiving Alaskan Rainforest backdrop, highlighting an extremely diverse botanical garden experience.  Glacier Gardens maintains roughly 50 acres of land and leaves the natural rainforest gardens completely unaltered with Mother Nature as the landscape design architect.

The rainforest of Southeast Alaska is distinguished by its numerous canopy layers created by a mixture of old and new growth Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce trees, a dense lower level shrubbery growth and the consistent presence of lichen, mosses, and ferns as ground cover in the forest.  Your guide will escort you on a 2 mile long pathway through the rainforest and inform you about the numerous plant and animal species native to Southeast Alaska.  Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you cruise through the rainforest on-board accessible covered vehicles with frequent photo opportunities.  Be amazed at the variety of the rainforest terrain and how the symbiotic ecosystem is designed to self-sustain the forest growth and evolution.

Glacier Gardens limits its eco-footprint by letting the natural progression of life remain intact throughout the rainforest landscape.  Aside from the development of pathways, the forest is left in its natural setting allowing visitors an up-close look at a northern temperate rainforest habitat.  Blueberry, Huckleberry, False Azaleas, Devils Club, Elderberry, millions of ferns and mosses, and so much more border the pathways below the towering evergreen conifer forests above.


Tour Viewpoints

Take in a breathtaking panoramic view of the Juneau area 580 ft above sea-level on Thunder Mountain.  The 200-degree viewpoint overlooks the Mendenhall Valley, Mendenhall Wetlands, Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island and the pristine Chilkat Mountains decorating the horizon.  Take a short walk along a cliff-side boardwalk with your guide who will direct your attention to the interesting aspects of your view and offer some additional information about the Juneau area.  Watch as the eagles soar at eye level, or below, and you get a different appreciation for just how enormous Alaska is.  While it has been described as an “unforgettable view,” make sure you bring your cameras just to be sure!



While transportation to Glacier Gardens is not included in the tour price, 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 have owned and operated 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; the address and directions to Glacier Gardens will be on your E-Ticket.  Please order online or call us at 212-852-4822 to order or for more information.

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