Glacier Gardens began as a stream restoration project and soon became a unique botanical garden set within the protective grasps of the Tongass National Forest. Classified as a temperate garden, the unique challenges and opportunities of gardening in Southeast Alaska has led to some beautifully creative, and sometimes unusual displays. Visit our one-of-a-kind environment and discover why this is an Alaskan garden unlike anything you have ever seen before.
Exploring the forest has never been this easy with the help of our guides and motorized shuttles! Your tour begins after checking in at our ticket desk in the Visitor’s Center. Proceed through the lower landscaped gardens with your guide where you learn about the storied history of the property and enjoy the funny story that led to the innovative Flower Tower planters standing around you. Exquisitely designed landscapes complement the bubbling waterfalls, ponds, and streams that were brilliantly restored from a tremendous landslide that crashed down Thunder Mountain in 1984. Stroll the gardens and take advantage of the many picture opportunities while listening to your guide highlight the successes and difficulties of gardening in Alaska. Then board our covered vehicles and take a ride through the lower gardens and into the temperate rainforest of the Tongass National Forest. Indulge in the surroundings from the comfort of our shuttles on your way to spectacular panoramic views of Juneau 580 ft atop Thunder Mountain. The 200 degree viewpoint stretches from Taku Inlet and Downtown Juneau on the southern end, past the Gastineau Channel, Mendenhall State Game Refuge and Douglas Island immediately in front, and north to the Mendenhall Valley and the magnificent Chilkat Mountains on the horizon.
You fully guided tour includes:
– Knowledgeable tour guide to personally escort your group.
– Covered rainforest adventure vehicles that are low to the ground and easily accessible for your comfort. Limited walking required!
– An average stay is 1.5-2 hours, but your admission is good for all day access to the botanical gardens. (Tours can be accomplished in as little as 1 hour if time constraints are a concern).
– Please, if at all possible, make a reservation for tour groups larger than 8 passengers (call ahead for same day tours). Tours depart every 10-15 minutes so there is no need for a reservation for small groups.
Your Rainforest Adventure concludes with a visit to the Visitor’s Center, our indoor botanical setting where unique floral displays and a plethora of cascading hanging gardens drape from the greenhouse ceiling. You will also find the Garden Gift Shop and the Garden Café for your enjoyment. Admission is good for all day access to the trails and gardens at Glacier Gardens so you can take your time enjoying the grounds before moving on to your next Juneau adventure!
Glacier Gardens has the honor of hosting a pair of mating bald eagles who built their nest on the property in 2004. The pair returns year after year to tend to their nest and we get to watch on from our Eagle Cam as they raise and fledge their offspring each year.
Tours offered in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.