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Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure

7600 Glacier Highway, 7 Mi From Downtown Cruise Docks, 1 Mi From the Airport, Juneau, AK
907-790-3377
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Ranked #33 of 75 activities in Juneau
Type: Gardens
Owner description: View the world renowned Upside Down Flower Towers at Glacier Gardens, offering a unique and fascinating garden experience in Alaska's capital city.... more » Owner description: View the world renowned Upside Down Flower Towers at Glacier Gardens, offering a unique and fascinating garden experience 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 a temperate rainforest in covered vehicles 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. The vast gardens are the creation of Steve and Cindy Bowhay, former local commercial fisherman and master gardeners. Your guide will escort you through the gardens 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 short break for a hike 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 gardens where you can spend more time meandering the grounds and indulging in the Visitor’s Center atrium which is 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 Shop sells great garden specific gifts like the wildflower-seed packets that you can plant at home, and the Garden Café serves espresso drinks, beverages, and snacks. « less
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93 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

Rain or shine, this is a must see place. We enjoyed our tour even in the rain. LOVED the upside down tree planters. The view was gorgeous. The staff is well informed and was able to answer all of the questions thrown at them. They allowed time for people to take photos, ask questions, and generally take in the beauty... More

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Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

When ever I go somewhere I always ask the locals what their favorite spot is. A young lady from the Best Western Grandma's Featherbed Hotel told me all about this garden. So I just had to check it out and it was well worth it. Not only did I see the amazing upside down trees but I also saw an... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Clio, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

We just did another Alaskan cruise and did a repeat visit to Juneau. Our cruise line offered a combination Mendenhaul Glacier & Glacier Gardens tour. What a joy the gardens were. This was absolutely one of the highlights of the whole trip. We were here in September and it was still beautiful. I can only imagine what it would be... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Fairbanks, Alaska
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

I would have given the full five marks - the place is stunningly beautiful, but I didn't feel right exploring too much as there wasn't, I think, anyone there to pay for the honour despite being there during posted hours. I will probably never forget those brief moments of beauty, though. Spectacular.

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SeanKSmith, General Manager at Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, responded to this review

Hello Myra, Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure. Unfortunately we close our doors on September 25th of each year which is probably why you didn’t find anyone at home during the time you visited. We must have left our sign up showing posted hours which is why you expected... More

Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
32 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Took the tour from the ship which included these beautiful gardens. Gardens are on the internet as 'The Upside Gardens' Juneau. In August, we all seemed to be amazed by the colours first, then the realisation the trees were upside down, root part used as the bowl for the summer flowers. Fascinating if you love your garden, a lot of... More

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Pa
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

This is a lovely outdoor garden, but in September not so much was in bloom. The golf cart ride up to the lookout was mediocre. Our guide was a back-to-nature guy interested in organic growing and wild mushrooms. He identified a few native plants for us.... This was part of a tour that went to the Mendenhall Glacier, so I'm... More

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Juneau, Alaska
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

I attended a wedding reception at Glacier Gardens. The parking was plentiful. The indoors were full on plants, flowers, and cold, cold cement. This is a cold place for a wedding. The tables were nice. There was only cold food available. And at night, it was really dark walking back to our car.

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SeanKSmith, Manager at Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, responded to this review

Hello calibaby_12, Thank you for your review of a wedding reception at Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure. We are a very popular place for events and typically we turn on the heat during an evening rental such as the one you attended. I’m sorry that our manager forgot to start the heater during this event, and we’ve gone over it again... More

Carmel, Indiana
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
15 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

Privately owned Created as a result of glaciers and 2 mud slides Upside down trees and result of downed trees being used as hanging gardens with the roots mid air and forming the base for beautiful flowers Rain forest has beautiful plants through tout and a trip to top of mountain via motorized transportation is spectacular A lot of time... More

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Brisbane, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

A must see, when in Juneau, we took a $2.00 bus to the gardens, just tell the driver where you wish to go - the bus stops almost at the gate. Beautiful place, and and a credit to the owners and their foresight. Take the golf cart to the top of the mountain for a wonderful view.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
47 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

This excursion was one of the best in Alaska, Gardens are unblieveably beautiful. Many acres of gardens. Tram to the top of the mountain. Upsidedown trees with gardens in the roots. Water feature. Beautiful large Greenhouse where snacks are available. Eat among millions of flowers. Very unique. I'm a botanist and have never seen anything so unique as the upside... More

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