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Juneau on a budget - possible? Please help!


naiaed

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Hi,

 

I'm going to be in Juneau this May and am looking into things to do for the day, but am experiencing a bit of sticker shock! The helicopter ride to the glacier and dog-sledding tour that has been mentioned so often on these boards sounds wonderful, but it's just far too pricey. :(

 

Still, I'd like to walk on the glacier, dog-sled (or at least see the dogs!) and go to the salmon hatchery, though perhaps some cheaper way. Is there a less expensive method that incorporates all these activities? If not, could you suggest some other activities to try?

 

Many thanks in advance!

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I've always done Juneau on a severe budget. There have been postings about a hiking trip at Mendenhall Glacier (it is a tough hike and you do need a guide). You can go to the State Museum and do a lot of walking around. There is even some public transportation.

 

I don't recommend the Tramway unless the weather is crystal clear both at the top and at the bottom.

 

Someone posted a hike a week or so ago that got nearly the same view as the Tramway for free!

 

You can use the internet to look at and print out maps for the port stops. I can assure you that not everyone goes for the expensive tours.

 

I am in sticker shock about the prices as well. I don't think SEARCH is working so just got back a few pages in the older posts on this thread and get some good ideas that people have posted. BudgetQueen really is and has posted many great ideas. Watch for her posts.

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We are going to take public transportation up top the glaciar for a hike...We thought about grabbing some sandwiches and water bottles in town so we could have a picinic on our hike....afterwards, we thought about doing the tram if teh weather was picture perfect. If the weather is bad then we are going to see teh Red Dog Saloon and browse through some shops. We are in port 7-3...this really doesn' give us much time..

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The cheapest option for getting on a glacier is with Coastal on their glacier helicopter landing. Hiking at Mendenhall, does not allow any access unless you go in from the other side with a guide and are up to the several hour hiking. vendor Above and Beyond. Hiking from the visitor center, for the most part doesn't even get you glacier views, most of the trails are wooded.

 

Out of Skagway, a rental car with Avis, would allow you a stop at Caribou Crossing and the ability to see sled dogs. Be certain to print out and take with you the fantastic road guide http://www.*****

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My husband and I are going in July. In my research I found a company called Mighty Great Trips. MGT has a bus (the Blue Glacier Express) that goes from the dock to the Mendenhall Glacier every 30 minutes from 9 am to 6:30 pm. The cost is $12 per person round trip. We plan on getting the bus at 9 am. Then we can stay as long as we want at the visitors center then head back to town.

I'm also hoping to do the Mt. Roberts Tramway if the weather is clear enough. They say you can easily walk there from the ship.

The other thing for Juneau is the Red Dog Saloon. Supposed to be lots of fun.

If you are on Princess, Libby Riddles (Iditarod) gives a presentation onboard the last hour in port.

My info is from reading posts on CC and going online. Haven't been there yet so I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong.:D

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My husband and I are going in July. In my research I found a company called Mighty Great Trips. MGT has a bus (the Blue Glacier Express) that goes from the dock to the Mendenhall Glacier every 30 minutes from 9 am to 6:30 pm. The cost is $12 per person round trip. We plan on getting the bus at 9 am. Then we can stay as long as we want at the visitors center then head back to town.

I'm also hoping to do the Mt. Roberts Tramway if the weather is clear enough. They say you can easily walk there from the ship.

Several companies in booths at the pier will take you to Mendenhall Glacier. We've done that the last two times we were in Juneau - even saw bears by the creek at the bus stop out there. Nancy

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My husband and I are going in July. In my research I found a company called Mighty Great Trips. MGT has a bus (the Blue Glacier Express) that goes from the dock to the Mendenhall Glacier every 30 minutes from 9 am to 6:30 pm. The cost is $12 per person round trip. We plan on getting the bus at 9 am. Then we can stay as long as we want at the visitors center then head back to town.

I'm also hoping to do the Mt. Roberts Tramway if the weather is clear enough. They say you can easily walk there from the ship.

The other thing for Juneau is the Red Dog Saloon. Supposed to be lots of fun.

If you are on Princess, Libby Riddles (Iditarod) gives a presentation onboard the last hour in port.

My info is from reading posts on CC and going online. Haven't been there yet so I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong.:D

 

 

The Mendenhall shuttle is rumored to be $13 round trip this season. There is an additional $3 admission for the visitor center. Nice diarama and worthwhile movie, if of interest, check out the ranger activity board. However, don't "plan" on a time specific bus, there will be lines and if you do want a 9am bus, then purchase your tickets early. The buses run full, there can be longer waits upon the return. I've waited for three buses one time.

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Hi,

 

I'm going to be in Juneau this May and am looking into things to do for the day, but am experiencing a bit of sticker shock! The helicopter ride to the glacier and dog-sledding tour that has been mentioned so often on these boards sounds wonderful, but it's just far too pricey. :(

 

Still, I'd like to walk on the glacier, dog-sled (or at least see the dogs!) and go to the salmon hatchery, though perhaps some cheaper way. Is there a less expensive method that incorporates all these activities? If not, could you suggest some other activities to try?

 

Many thanks in advance!

 

Are you a hiker? If you hike to the top of the tramway the ride down is free. Itr's obviously a long way up and very strenuous but the city of Juneau provides a very nice trail to the top. I thoroughly enjoyed both the hike and all the great things to do at the top. The Tlingit nation that runs the concession has a very nice interpretive film about their culture (free), there is a raptor rehabilitation center where you can view eagles and other raptors (also free) and a nice restaurant and gift shop. There was a table with a couple elderly Tlingit ladies doing bead work for sale, which was beautiful. There are more hiking trails at the top if you've got anything left. A black bear was on one of the trails and caused quite a commotion when I visited.

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Agree with poster above. On our second trip to Alaska last summer we hiked up Mt. Roberts with our 3 kids in tow (ages 4, 7, 9). Yes, it did take a long time, I think 2 1/2 hours but we were walking slow because of the kids and stopped many times to rest. The hike up is beautiful! The kids are still talking about this and it really was the highlight of our trip, and didn't cost a thing, other than money spent in the gift shop. I believe if you spend $5 in the gift shop each you ride the tram down for free, but nobody asked us to show our receipt.

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The Mendenhall shuttle is rumored to be $13 round trip this season. There is an additional $3 admission for the visitor center. Nice diarama and worthwhile movie, if of interest, check out the ranger activity board. However, don't "plan" on a time specific bus, there will be lines and if you do want a 9am bus, then purchase your tickets early. The buses run full, there can be longer waits upon the return. I've waited for three buses one time.

 

I'm a bit confused -- you say the cheapest option to get on a glacier still involves a helicopter ride (with Coastal), but also that there's a shuttle bus to the Mendenhall Glacier. Why suggest the first if the bus option is so much more affordable? Any significant differences, besides the view from the helicopter?

 

Also, does anybody know how Red Dog Saloon compares to Caribou Crossing?

 

Thanks for all the info! You are all a great help. :)

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I'm a bit confused -- you say the cheapest option to get on a glacier still involves a helicopter ride (with Coastal), but also that there's a shuttle bus to the Mendenhall Glacier. Why suggest the first if the bus option is so much more affordable? Any significant differences, besides the view from the helicopter?

 

Also, does anybody know how Red Dog Saloon compares to Caribou Crossing?

 

Thanks for all the info! You are all a great help. :)

 

The helicopters land ON the glacier. The shuttle buses to Mendenhall Glacier take you to a viewing area that is across the lake from the glacier. http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/districts/mendenhall/map.html

 

I didn't go in the Red Dog Saloon, but we went to Caribou Crossing on our Yukon rail/bus excursion. I assume the Red Dog Saloon is a touristy bar. Caribou Crossing is a place tour buses stop for lunch. There's also an interesting wildlife museum there, as well as sled dogs to see.

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