"Juneau" Top 5 Page for this destination Juneau by starship

Juneau Travel Guide: 362 reviews and 884 photos

Capital of Alaska

[Note: June, 2010 ~ It has now been 4 years since we have visited Alaska, and I have missed visiting it. I am quite jealous of my friend who will be visiting in 2011 for almost a month and will experience parts of the state which I have never seen!! In July, 2006, we visited Juneau for the third time and had a great time seeing & doing some of the things we didn't have a chance to do in 2002 and 2004!! Each time we have visited, I am reminded of what a magnificent state Alaska is and how lucky we are that it became the 49th State of the Union on January 3, 1959. Alaska celebrated 50 years of statehood in 2009 with many commemorative events throughout the state.]

Juneau is marvelously encapsulated by the majesty of the environment surrounding it! If you do a little research on Juneau, you will learn that this remote jewel of a capital can only be reached by air or sea. No roads leading into or out of Juneau make for a somewhat limited and select group of persons who can visit it. Today, almost a million visitors come by cruise ship each year and another 100,000 arrive independently. (Thanks to "RickinDutch" for the updated information on the ever expanding number of visitors to Alaska.)

Perched on the water's edge of the Gastineau Channel, and towered over by mountains which jut up against the Juneau Icefield, Juneau is surrounded by some of the best scenery you will come across anywhere. The attractions here are numerous and enticing and will make you want to spend more than just a day. Juneau offers the opportunity to explore some of the best that Alaska has to offer while still being attached to civilization. You will find plenty of charming B & B's to stay at, interesting places to eat and visit, and don't forget---shopping!

A Few Facts:

Juneau is named for Joseph Juneau, one of a pair of prospectors who were enticed by a mining engineer named George Pilz to lead him to a source of gold in Alaska. Joseph Juneau and Richard T. Harris had reached the Gastineau Channel in August, 1880, but it wasn't until Chief Kowee of the Auk Tlingit tribe urged their return to the area that the pair climbed Snow Slide Gulch and found the "mother lode" of gold in Silver Bow Basin. That October, Harris and Juneau staked 160 acres of land on the shore of the Gastineau Channel and the town of Juneau was born. What was once a seasonal, native fishing village of the Auk-Tlingit tribe became a center of large-scale, hard-rock mining. Even today the surrounding mountains are honeycombed by miles of underground tunnels from the great mines such as the Alaska-Juneau Mine and the Alaska-Gastineau Mine.

Douglas Island, now incorporated into the city of Juneau, was once home to 960 stamping mills of the world renowned Treadwell Gold Mining Company!! Production from Treadwell's four mines peaked in 1915, just two years before a cave-in lead to the flooding of three of the four Treadwell mines. Mining production was further reduced and ultimately ended when World War II lead to shortages of manpower and supplies. Amazingly, there are still more miles of underground mining tunnels than miles of road in all of Juneau!!

When you are in Juneau, you are in the heart of the Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rainforest in North America!!

Heritage Remembered

This beautiful mural depicts the type of scene that you will forever more connect with Alaska. (Click on the picture to enlarge the detail.) This particular mural is painted on one side of Juneau's City Hall located on the corner of Shatuck Way. When visiting Alaska, or anywhere in the far northwest of North America, it will be impossible for you to miss the fact that the heritage of this region lies largely in its native Indian tribes, also sometimes called "First Nations." The distinctive history of these people is displayed in their art everywhere--from carvings, to jewelry, in clothes, in museums, and painted murals. Take the opportunity to explore the "new" history of Alaska and the Northwest, but don't forget to appreciate the past.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Glaciers, Mountains, Water & Wildlife ~ The Outdoor Life!
  • Cons:Maybe a few too many rainy days, long hours of darkness in winter!
  • In a nutshell:Juneau has breathtaking vistas whether in mist or sun!
  • Last visit to Juneau: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 6, 2013
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Reviews (19)

Comments (27)

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Juneau in particular and Alaska in general is indeed beautiful. We especially like to see Mendenhall Glacier with our own eyes if we have the opportunity. We certainly hope to take a cruise to Juneau one day. Thanks for sharing this wonderful travel page. ~ho & pang

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Mar 28, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Hello ho & pang, thanks for visiting my Juneau page! Alaska is certainly is beautiful and seeing glaciers close up and hearing the ice crack is quite an experience. Hope you will be there some time soon!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Very much enjoyed reading about your experiences in Juneau. Alaska is one place we have yet to visit. Loved the story about the dog Patsy Ann. Dogs are amazing arent they!

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Feb 6, 2013 at 5:06 AM

      Hi Lori, thanks so much for visiting my Juneau page. We enjoyed visiting there and each time would find new things to do. Hope to go back again sometime so I can update my page. Thanks again!

  • taigaa001's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Great page about Juneau. I want to see huge glaciers with my own eyes.

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Sep 19, 2012 at 5:08 AM

      Thank you for visiting my Juneau page. Alaska is an amazing place! Being able to get so close to the glaciers is an experience you will never forget. I hope you are able to see them for yourself very soon! Best wishes!

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    Moving story about Patsy Ann! Whale watching must be a very special experience! I still have Alaska on my wish list!

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Alaska certainly seems a beautiful place--glaciers, wildlife, stunning views, interesting history...sounds like an opportunity not to be missed!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2009 at 6:07 AM

    Sylvia, an excellent page on Juneau - a place I never really knew much about until now! Of all those very interestig activities available for visitors, I like the sound of that zip-line experience and you can't go wrong with a day on the water either!

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2009 at 5:50 AM

    We also enjoyed a drink at the Red Dog Saloon. Nice page here.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Sylvia, excellent page with brilliant photos and interesting commentaries about Juneau. Alaska is one of the states I would love to visit one day.

  • Jul 14, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    I am totally in tune with your musings. My children did work for the summer in Alaska, and will again! My husband (also self-assured in his 50's!) will be working in Juneau in Summer 2009 in anticipation of our retiring to Juneau.

  • Jun 23, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Another great and excellent information! Also all yopu pages have a lot of information inside! Great job! Keep travelling! volopolo

starship

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