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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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78%
Ranked #35 of 84 Activities in Juneau
Type: Gardens, Adventure
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Attraction details
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.

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138 reviews from our community

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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014 via mobile

Excellent quirky guide who knew his plants and geology. ..recommended. also a nice cup of tea and cakes available after the tour of the forest. If anyone did not appreciate this gardentit would be related to their own ignorance of the plants and geographical interest which was very informative.

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Gardnerville, Nevada
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
9 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

We weren't sure what to expect; but, we were all pleasantly surprised by how entertaining this was. You don't walk this tour, they drive you through the garden and up the mountain and explain everything as you go. It is absolutely beautiful and worth the visit.

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Tracy, California, United States
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
19 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

It was cold and rainy the day we where there. That being said the gardens flowers and presentation was very nice. The upside down trees were a good thought and are certainly unique' The golf cart ride through the forest left something to be desired. A good overall presentation.

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Hamilton, NJ
Top Contributor
298 reviews 298 reviews
79 attraction reviews
331 helpful votes 331 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014

The Glacier Gardens established by the uniquely tireless efforts of their founder Steve Bowhay and his wife Cindy, are a veritable miracle in the heart of the Southeast Alaska. The tour in the Glacier Gardens excitingly combines the cultivated fantasy-themed unusual garden creations with the quirks of wild forest and diverse nature. The ride to the top of the mountain,... More

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United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

Have to agree with others who gave this place a poor review. We felt incredibly ripped off by our visit. As others have said - there are pretty flowers at the entrance and the rest is a fairly uninspiring golf cart ride through the forest. Would have much preferred to have gone for an independent walk elsewhere through the forest.... More

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Alpine, California
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
72 attraction reviews
301 helpful votes 301 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

After seeing this place on TripAdvisor, I knew this was someplace we wanted to see on our visit to Juneau. We took their advice and went on the City bus #3 going and #4 on the way back. The bus depot is the closest to the port to start your 30 minute journey. It is $2 one way per person... More

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Palmer, Alaska
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

Easily accessible using the Juneau bus system, this experience was very enjoyable. The staff was very knowledgeable about their gardens history and content. The flowers were beautiful, the trees stunning, and the morale and enthusiasm of the employees very high.

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Salina, Kansas
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
36 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

The guides take you up in a tram and talk the whole time about what you are seeing. The vegetation is so abundant and the views are fabulous of the water areas and mountains in the area. Beautiful in the entrance area and also out in the Park area too. Good stop especially for garden lovers.

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mpls,mn
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

Guides were knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the entire attraction; providing lots of information & answering all our questions. Although it was rainy & a tad chilly, the experience was very enjoyable: beautiful flowers, fascinating engineering feats, gorgeous vistas of the area.

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

Extremely impressed with the amount of work that has gone into this little garden. Took a tour off a cruise ship and was tremendously surprised.

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