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Mt. Roberts Tram Ride and Hike (September 2011)

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Head up a mountain right off the boat! The Mt. Roberts Tram is by the cruise ship docks in downtown Juneau and takes passengers up 1,745 ft to the top of Mt. Roberts. It is run by an Alaskan native owned corporation. On the way up and on top there are excellent views of the the downtown area and of Douglas Island.

Empty Cruise Ship Docks - Late Season

View of the Gustineau Channel on the Way Up (Looking South)
At the top terminal there's a restaurant and shops. More importantly the hiking trails run right by there. So you can either hike up or take the tram up (or down). I took the tram up and down since I was just doing an evening trip.


Trail on Top of Mt. Roberts
There was a bit of wildlife at the top including ptarmigans and squirrels.


Ptarmigan on the Trail
Along the top is a wooden cross. It is called Father Brown's Cross after a Jesuit Priest. He began building the trail to the top of Mt. Roberts with the help of volunteers. The current cross is a replica of the 1908 one erecte…

Mendenhall Lake Kayaking (September 2011)

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At the foot of the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska is a lake, called Mendenhall. (With an outflow called the Mendenhall River and it's in the Mendenhall Valley...lots of stuff called Mendenhall in the valley) The glacier calves and sends icebergs onto the lake. We kayaked across the lake from a put-in near the outflow, up to the glacier itself. The water is obviously pretty cold (about 34°) so be prepared for it and don't plan on swimming far if you flip. At the beginning you can't see the glacier all the way down to the water due to the rock peninsula sticking out, but once you get around it, it's amazing.


The Mendenhall Glacier from the Put In
The views were amazing from anywhere, even on a cloudy day. We put in at the West Glacier Trailhead and began kayaking across the lake. We could see some icebergs along with Nugget Falls on the other side of the lake.


Panoramic View from the Put-in
On the way across we went close to some of the icebergs. We had to be careful t…