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Juneau, Alaska. If you've come here by accident, then your best bet is to find a way home - fast. You're as close to the wilderness as any wild bear and as isolated as a bald eagle without a mate.
If you are here on purpose and not with a tour, then strap on your big girl boots, grow a mustache and get some depth in your voice. You're in for a wild ride!
If you're with a tour, enjoy yourself, be back by sundown and stay on the sidewalk.
First off, you don't have to be a cheapskate. You don't have to be a comfort plus person either. That being said, whenever the two collide, if you take the road less traveled, this is for you. A week in Juneau, starts with catching "the milk run" on Alaska Air. If you go in early spring, just before tourist season, it's still great stuff to do. You can buy your tickets in October when Alaska Air has their half price sale. Remember in October Sunrise is shortly before 8 AM and sunset shortly before 6 PM.
The first day is at Nugget Falls. The trail begins at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Hope you brought your camera, because this glacier is breathtaking. You will get right up to where you start to crane your neck and not close enough to touch. Mountain goats like this trail as do eagles, bear and tourists. Locals can't stay away either. This was the first time you may discover you overpacked (a carry on and a camera or a little pack each). Getting wet every day means doing laundry almost every day. The weather in Juneau is rainy and sometimes there is sun or snow. There are rainforests and lots of them and they are incredible to behold!
The second day, take the ferry on a joy ride for the day. There is a slow ferry that you can take to Haines, stay for a few hours or even overnight, then head back.There is lots you can do/see in Haines, especially if you were to rent a car and drive up the Haines Highway. Otherwise you can head into town, to Ft. Seward, do hiking or even flightseeing to Glacier Bay.
Whale watching tours at this time of year do not "guarantee" whales, but whales are present all winter long in the Juneau area. Off the deck of the ferry (Fairweather), you may see orcas, porpoises, seals, otters and eagles. You also get nine hours of scenery and extreme beauty. But if you really want to see whales, taking a dedicated whale watch tour in Juneau is definitely worth the money. You can see the article regarding whale watching in Juneau for more info and details.
The third day take Perseverance Trail as far as it is passable. There is a gentle tourist trail up Mount Roberts, but if you want the real deal, you want the big kahuna walks. Rainforest, pictures, mountains, cool history and spectacular views. The rest of the day you can spend downtown at the shops and St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church (a beautiful 1880s structure complete with onion dome, imported altar and icons and historic all on it's own. Built in Siberia, it was then broken down and shipped like a giant Lego in Juneau to be re-constructed here.
At the beach the fourth day. There is a peninsula (island, really) where the Shrine of St. Therese is situated. DON'T MISS THIS! What a gorgeous church! Stone and rock construction with the most incredible woodwork nestled in the lush rainforest of a contained patch of land. Worth seeing twice and worth a souvenir. Picture perfect. You'll have time left over to go see the Fudge factory, the Salmon River where hundreds of bald eagles like to hang out and party. There's also a nature trail through the old mining town on Douglas. Worth every penny of the nothing you'll spend and change back to buy a book.
Day five is back at Mendenhall Glacier. There is a tough hike that will take you to the ice. It is not always passable at the very end, though probably will be in summer. INCREDIBLE! Do Not forget your camera. The fissures in the ice and the colors are mind numbing beautificacious! There is an overlook about a mile and a half from the top where most locals stop. Beyond that are forest service warnings about staying on the trail, search and rescue and 75% injury nonsense whatever. Stay on the trail until the trail can no longer be taken and then turn back, taking the pictures and lunch trash with you. Yours will likely be the only footprints in the snow after the last mile marker.
Day six is another long and perfect hike. This time to Herbert Glacier. Herbert Glacier is a hanging glacier and if you miss this while you are there, you deserve to be on a tour boat getting shuffled around. It is six miles round trip and pick your way through a short ice field, a morass and moraine at the end to touch ice. A word to the wise here, glacier ice makes a lousy souvenir. Just leaves a wet spot in your pocket. IN sooo CREDIBLE pictures, however! Oh wow, oh wow!
If you swim, check out the Juneau pool one night. You'll also want to hit the Alaska State Museum, tide pools at low tide on Eagle Beach and the Wharf. The ASM is a real gem with great native exhibits, though not enough, the tide pools are AWESOME! Get pictures of anemones, starfish and eels, leave the animals. The Wharf is fascinating, has a bunch of shopping and stuff for the cruise ships and is interesting.
Obviiously this article deals a lot with hiking, which is not of interest to many, but other activities are also listed so you can adapt your time in Juneau to your own interests.