Top 10 Things to do in Juneau – #8 Glacier Gardens Rainforest

When you’re looking for things to do in Juneau make sure to include a visit to the Glacier Gardens Rainforest on an Unplugged Adventures Jeep excursion to see an array of southeast Alaska’s beautiful foliage up close. If you’re with a cruise line making a port of call, head on over to Unplugged Adventures just across from Dock C and check out one of our Jeep 4x4s for an opportunity to experience a truly unique Alaskan adventure. unplugged alaska things to do juneau alaska glacier gardens jeep adventure

Historical Notes:

  • Glacier Gardens Rainforest was developed by Steve and Cindy Bowhay, longtime owners of a local landcape nursery. 
  • In 1984 a severe storm caused a huge landslide on the Hienzelman Ridge of nearby Thunder Mountain. 
  • The Bowhays bought surrounding acreage adjoining their property that had been badly damaged in the storm. 
  • Glacier Gardens Rainforest opened its doors to the public in 1998. 

Located just a few miles northwest of town, this unique Alaskan rainforest is a jewel tucked away among the towering Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock located within the Tongass National Forest. Stop in at the visitor’s center by the gate and pick up a map of things to do in Juneau within the Glacier Gardens Rainforest and take in some exciting points of interest. You can easily make a day of it and you won’t leave disappointed. 

As part of a Jeep Tour, you will be able to explore till your heart’s content among the bubbling waterfalls, glistening pools, and gurgling streams. Surrounded by all the lush flora of the area, this is one of the most beautiful and interesting things to do in Juneau and unlike anything you are likely to see again. The area is also ideal for an invigorating hike along the trails.

Flora and Fauna


  • Alaskan flora ranges from grasslands, mountains, and tundra to thick forests populated by Sitka spruce (the state tree), western hemlock, tamarack, white birch, and western red cedar. A wide variety of other hardy plants and wildflowers abound.
  • Caribou, moose, and reindeer can often be observed. Black and grizzly bears, Dall sheep, sea 
  • otters, and musk ox are also found. The nation’s largest population of bald eagles nest in Alaska and a special treat is whale watching. Thousands of lakes and streams are home to trout and salmon. 386 species of birds, 430 fishes, 105 mammals, 7 amphibians, and 3 reptiles have been found in the state. 
    Read more.

Treat yourself to spectacular panoramic views from the top of Thunder Mountain, where you will have the best view of the Mendenhall Glacier. The scenic vista from the Taku Inlet, which extends from Stephens Passage in the Alexander Archipelago and widens into a tidal basin, provides views of several glaciers. Let your gaze span across the Gastineau Channel to Douglas Island and the Chilkat Mountains, to the beauty of the vast wilderness of southeast Alaska.

An Unplugged Adventures Jeep tour is a great way to soak up some fascinating history of the state and see many points of interest in and around Juneau. The Glacier Gardens Rainforest excursion is simply not to be missed. To book your things to do in Juneau adventure today, visit us online and join us for the trip of a lifetime.