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Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure

Gardens, Nature & Parks
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Address: 7600 Glacier Highway, 7 Mi From Downtown Cruise Docks, 1 Mi From the Airport, Juneau, AK
Phone Number: +1 907-790-3377
Description: View the world renowned Upside Down Flower Towers only at Glacier Gardens...
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 139 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 74
  • 36
    Very good
  • 19
  • 5
  • 5
Most recent review
Most beautiful place in Juneau.

This is attraction #2 in Juneau after the Mendenhall glacier (#1). It's gorgeous. The only place in the world where you can see upside down trees! It's hard to believe that the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed February 12, 2015
Juneau, Alaska
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139 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Juneau, Alaska
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
69 attraction reviews
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2015

This is attraction #2 in Juneau after the Mendenhall glacier (#1). It's gorgeous. The only place in the world where you can see upside down trees! It's hard to believe that the gardens are growing at the place where there was only glacier. So beautiful! I go back every season. Can't wait for another one. Don't miss it, if you... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

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
71 reviews 71 reviews
9 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Tracy, California, United States
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Hamilton, NJ
Top Contributor
314 reviews 314 reviews
81 attraction reviews
354 helpful votes 354 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Alpine, California
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
79 attraction reviews
334 helpful votes 334 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
Palmer, Alaska
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Salina, Kansas
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
36 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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