United States: Alaska: Juneau Summer
Rich with natural beauty, Alaska’s capital city rests peacefully between Mt. Juneau, Mt. Roberts and the Gastineau Channel.
Arrive in Juneau this morning. You will collect your rental car at the airport, and drive to your peaceful wilderness lodge; a remote, nine-acre retreat in the heart of the Tongass National Forest on the shores of Yankee Cove. Breathtaking views of the Chilkat Mountain Range will greet you, along with a rich assortment of wildflowers and wildlife.
Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure, enjoying hiking or fishing on your own.
This evening, we suggest that you cross the small bridge over the Gastineau Channel, just west of downtown Juneau, to dine at a spot frequented by locals for its designer brick oven pizzas.
This morning, you will meet your guide at West Glacier Trailhead for full-day guided Mendenhall Glacier Trek and climb trip. Your day begins with climbing gear orientation, followed by a two-hour trail hike through the rainforest and along the lake’s edge of the Mendenhall Glacier, over forest and rocky terrain. Once you reach the terminus of the glacier, you’ll begin your hour-long glacier trek.
After trekking around the glacier, you will be given a short introduction to ice climbing. Using ice axes on a beginner slope, your guide will teach you the basic techniques of climbing up and down on an ice wall. You’ll experience close-up views of ice caves, streams, crevasses, and other unique glacial formations.
For dinner tonight, we recommend the most elegant restaurant in downtown Juneau, which serves local seafood with a Mediterranean style.
Today will begin with a trip aboard a whale watching vessel, heading out of the harbor into the waters of the Inside Passage. You will spend about two hours cruising by boat to seek out whales and wildlife.
After your whale watch, your captain and guide will choose a safe kayak launch location for the day, based on tides, wind, and weather conditions. Every route is great for wildlife viewing, and visitors often encounter the humpback whale during the paddle. In addition, you are likely to see seals, sea lions, porpoises, sea birds, orca, and the occasional black or brown bear. Plan your paddling destination with the guide, based on your interests. From glacier views and waterfalls, to the coastlines of Admiralty Island (“Fortress of the Bears”) and majestic mountains of the Chilkat Range, your scenic paddling locations are endless!
This evening, we suggest a casual dinner at a favorite local King Crab shack in Juneau.
Check out of the lodge this morning , and explore Juneau on your own. If there is time before your flight, visit the mining museum, which is located in the former Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Company’s historic Compressor Building, used by the mining company from 1912 until 1944. Access to the Museum is via a short hike up a scenic hill on a trail of uneven terrain. This is a fascinating spot, truly worth the trek to get there.
Return your rental car at the airport in time to meet your departure flight, or continue on to your next Willing Foot destination.
This is just the beginning.
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