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Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure

7600 Glacier Highway, 7 Mi From Downtown Cruise Docks, 1 Mi From the Airport, Juneau, AK
+1 907-790-3377
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Ranked #34 of 81 activities in Juneau
Type: Gardens
Owner description: View the world renowned Upside Down Flower Towers only at Glacier Gardens, AND indulge your senses in the naturally stunning temperate rainforest... more » Owner description: View the world renowned Upside Down Flower Towers only at Glacier Gardens, AND indulge your senses in the naturally stunning temperate rainforest garden of the Tongass National Forest (tour provided in cooperation with the United States Forest Service). Your fully guided tour offers you a unique and fascinating garden experience that combines natural landscapes and non-native manicured gardens for the most colorful garden display found in Alaska's capital city. Tucked in the grasp of the mighty Tongass National Forest you will discover an Alaskan botanical garden unlike any found throughout the world. Travel onboard a guided tour through Juneau's temperate rainforest in covered vehicles while learning about native plant species such as Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock trees, devil's club, and skunk cabbage. No tour gives you easier access to the gorgeous Tongass atmostphere. The vast gardens are the creation of Steve and Cindy Bowhay, former local commercial fisherman and local master gardeners. Your guide will escort you through the gardens, past the renowned Flower Towers which were named as America's Most Interesting Landmark in a 2012 Reader's Digest issue, and into the rugged and unforgiving Tongass habitat to explain about the history of this property and to highlight the interesting characteristics of the natural environment you now find yourself. Bright floral arrangements and elegantly designed landscapes complement the natural beauty of the towering temperate rainforest and the cascading waterfalls bubbling nearby. There is a break for a short walk to an amazing cliff-side panoramic viewpoint where the thick forest gives way to a sweeping view of Juneau, the Mendenhall Valley, Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island, and the Chilkat Mountains. You return to the lower gardens where you can spend more time meandering the grounds and indulging in the Visitor's Center atrium filled with even more floral structures, such as the heart shaped impatience and hanging flower gardens - some petunias stretch to up to 12 feet long! The Visitor's Center features a live video feed from a camera aimed at an active bald eagles nest that is found on the property. You can find the feed online at our website as well. The Garden Gift Shop sells garden specific gifts like the wildflower-seed packets that you can plant at home, and the Garden Cafe serves espresso drinks, beverages, and light snacks so you can re-energize for your next Juneau adventure. « less
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116 reviews from our community

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English first
Columbia, SC
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
53 attraction reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014 NEW

Glacier Gardens looks like it would be beautiful and magical in decent weather. On our trip it rained and rained and rained. The cruise tour was rain or shine so the money was spent, might as well see what's there. We were told by our tour operator "Don't worry, the transportation at the garden is all covered". The cover turned... More

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Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
14 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014 NEW

we visited glacier gardens when our cruise ship docked at juneau, we didn't know what to expect the gardens have very steep pathways but you are taken up on small open sided mini busses with a running commentary from the driver-guide along the way, the view from the top is panoramic, overall a suprisingly good garden location .,

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Bremerton, Washington
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

It was a little pricey to get in to view the Garden & take the ride to the top of the road on the carts. But what an excellent experience to hear about the history of how the Gardens came to be. Well worth the money! Love the upside down gardens!

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Glendale, Arizona
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014 via mobile

This was my favorite part of our cruise to Alaska. There was a little bit of fog and it made the rainforest look like a scene from a movie. The guy who did the overview of the garden when we first arrived was a little over the top. Sounded like a drill Sargent telling you how beautiful the garden was.... More

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Mahwah, New Jersey
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

Didn't expect this garden to be any big deal! Been to many gardens around the world but this was something to see! Love the upside down tree planter! It's a labor if love! Great views & friendly personnel! You got to see thus garden!!

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Juneau, Alaska
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014 via mobile

The flowers and other plants in this beautiful rainforest are amazing to behold. Enjoy playful facts as you ride comfortably to the top of a mountain throught the forest. Loved it!

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
28 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Visitors can easily see the love that has been put into these gardens. They are really beautiful. We were driven on large golf carts through the rain forest, up to the top of the hill, and then after some time for pictures and to look down on the city we were driven back down the path. The driver was careful,... More

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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
118 attraction reviews
182 helpful votes 182 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

Other than the upside down trees, there isn't a lot of flowers as I thought. Only a lot of tees. The ride up the summit was only to have a view of the surrounding area. Not very scenic, compared to many places I have been to. Last stop is the greenhouse nursery, with a gift shop and eatery inside. Only... More

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Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014 via mobile

We visited here as part of a combo excursion that included the Mendenhall Glacier. The Gardens were magnificent. Both the rhododendron and the azaleas were in bloom as well as their many of the flowers in the upside down trees. Definitely up there with the glaciers as new things to see in Alaska. Don't miss it.

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Buffalo, New York
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
31 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

Steve and Cindy Bowhay owned about 50 acres of land in Juneau that were adjacent to a national forest and located on a steep hill. The land had been clobbered during a heavy storm, causing a creek to overflow. So ... they got to work. The result is the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, a surprising outburst of color. Upon arriving,... More

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