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Rental/Driving in Juneau

California
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47 posts
36 reviews
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Rental/Driving in Juneau

Thinking about renting a car next Sept for a few days before we depart for salmon lodge. Would use to go downtown, Mendenhall Glacier, Safeway, Mt Roberts tram, DiPac hatchery, etc. Altho i've been before, never driven on my own. How much do I need to be aware of wildlife on the roads? Not planning on being out too late, but still, best to know what to look for. (Early Sept time frame, not sure how active the bears/deer/critters are?).

We have lots of deer and some bear/coyote/mountain lion on our highways up thru the Sierra Nevada mountains (mostly deer), but not ever having driven the Juneau area, i want to be prepared!

Thanks All...

haines, alaska
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1. Re: Rental/Driving in Juneau

Black bears are quite prevalent in downtown Juneau during September.......they pretty much stay off the roads, though......friends over there have named one of them the Bullwinkle Bear, since he loves to raid the dumpster out back of Bullwinkle's Pizza.......he is seen almost everyday coming and going through the alleys and across parking lots.......

Most wildlife are more active in early morning or late evening.......

no deer or moose or mountain lions or racoons in Juneau...... maybe an occasional porcupine or squirrel........

What you really need to watch out for are crazy drivers.......don't know why, but there is a certain faction of drivers in Juneau that seem to think that racing as fast as you can from one red light to the next makes sense........you'd think they would learn after a time or two that it doesn't get them to their destination any quicker........

Sitka, Alaska
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2. Re: Rental/Driving in Juneau

I have seen a couple of bears on or near roads this summer, but that's it in terms of wildlife. Honestly, you need to be more worried about your fellow driver.

Unfortunately, a lot of drivers in Juneau share the bad habit of not using turn signals. Plus you've always got those multi-tasking commuters yammering away on cell phones. Just be attentive so you can react to the people and the possible wildlife.

Juneau, Alaska
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3. Re: Rental/Driving in Juneau

I spend about 250 12+ hour days on Juneau roads, and I have never had to dodge a bear. They seem to be smart enough to cross roads where there aren't blind corners.

If you are out driving at very early dawn, you might enounter deer, but in September they will have moved up near timberline. The critter that's hardest to avoid on Juneau roads is the porcupine, whose quills protect it from every predator but the automobile. They move a little too slow to get out of the way in time, and so are the most common road kill in the Juneau area.

If you will be out driving around, head out past the ferry terminal to the end of the road. Point Bridget Park and Echo Cove are quite beatiful, there are great views in the Eagle River/Eagle Beach area, and the Jensen-Olsen Arboretum and the Shrine of St Therese are well worth a visit.

If you have time, the Ted Stevens National Marine Fisheries Lab at Lena Point offers daily one hour tours at 1 p.m. sharp from May to September. You get a chance to visit the actual labs and see scientists working. The tour is limited to those 16 and over.

4. Re: Rental/Driving in Juneau

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