We all have a favorite Juneau hike, sometimes two or three! One for sunny summer days, one good for rainy walks with the dogs, one for winter snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, one for combing the beaches or one for a steep climb and stellar views. There are so many to choose from! With an estimated 100 trails, Juneau is a hikers paradise. While Some trails are short, strolls like the Rainforest Trail or easily accessible, maintained routes such as Treadwell Trail at Sandy Beach. If you are looking to get above tree line and experience the amazing views such trails like Mt. Juneau or Thunder Mountain, are better suited for advanced hikers with a serious set of leg muscles.
For avid hikers coming off cruise ships or staying at hotels in the downtown area, there are quite a few great day hikes close to the city center. Check these out!
The Perseverance Trail is one of the more popular hikes and you can access other trailheads that fork off from the path such as Mt. Juneau and the ridge trail, Granite Creek Trail, Flume Trail and more. The total length is about 6 miles and aside from moderate-level hiking for the first mile at the beginning, the remainder of the trail is mostly flat.
Nestled in a towering valley, you will cross small bridges over rushing streams through thickets of blueberry and salmon bushes toward a large waterfall at the end. Perseverance Trail was a historic trail that was used for mining in the Silverbow Basin and the first road built in Juneau!
Mt. Robert’s Trail
There are two ways to connect to the Mt. Roberts Trail, hiking from the base of the mountain located off Basin Creek Road or (the littler easier and shorter way) riding the Tramway up. Taking the tram shaves off a couple miles from the 10 mile total length of this hike and is considered a more strenuous steady climb eventually reaching 3,800 feet at the peak. With most of the trail out of the trees, enjoy breathtaking views of the city below, ocean channel and surrounding mountain peaks while you work up a sweat! Rest in alpine grasses filled with wildflowers at the top while you snack on a granola bar. Once you’ve descended back toward the Tram, if you wish you can ride the Tram back to town for a quicker option but remember you might have to walk back to Basin Road to get back to your car!
Nugget Creek Falls
This last hike isn’t downtown but because so many travelers visit the Mendenhall Glacier, Nugget Falls is worth the mention. A short gem of a stroll, this easy 1 miler leads you from the National Park’s entrance to an incredible beach and waterfall near the foot of the glacier. Feel the mist from the rushing waterfall and get a closer look of the glacier, be sure stay long enough to snap tons of photos. If you booked a Zip & Glacier tour with Alaska Zipline Adventures you should have time to hike out to the falls, spend about 10 to 15 minutes snapping pictures and trek back in the hour allotted at the glacier. This is a beloved trail because it’s accessible and the perfect quick hike to just get outside and enjoy a sunny afternoon. Also, a little tip, be sure to check in with the Forest Ranger for any bears sightings or if the trail is flooded due to heavy rain and is closed off.
These are just a few of the many extraordinary trails in this hiker’s dream! For more information on these trails, directions to the trailheads and much, much more, check out this great pocket size local Trail Guide, 90 Short Walks Around Juneau. Don’t let the title fool you, it contains ALL the trails around Juneau and you can pick one up at a downtown book shop.