Juneau is Alaska’s capital city. It’s a thriving cultural hub as well as an oasis of natural beauty. You’ll fall in love with Juneau for your own reasons, and make your own special memories here. Of course, there are a few things pretty much everyone thinks make Juneau so amazing:
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1. Hundreds of Miles of Hiking
If you’re considering a job in Alaska, you probably love the outdoors. There’s no better way to experience nature than on foot, and the hundreds of miles of hiking trails in and around Juneau are an easy way to immerse yourself in the wilderness. We recommend the Perseverance National Recreation Trail for an easy, 3.5 mile walk that includes waterfalls and frequent mountain goat and black bear sightings.
2. Towering Mountains
One of the reasons Juneau is so exceptional is its geography. The city lies right between the sea and the mountains. Foremost is Mount Juneau, an impressive 3,576 feet of dramatic cliffs. Nearby is Thunder Mountain. In the summer time, you’ll hear dozens of avalanches rumbling down its peak. There’s also Mount Roberts, Mount Jumbo, and Mount McGinnis. These peaks have climbs at every level. Summit all five to earn your Juneau stripes. And keep an eye out for bald eagles—there’s more in Juneau than anywhere else in the United States.
3. Vibrant Arts and Culture
Juneau is a city of over 30,000, and it’s always humming with activity. Folk and jazz music both have a strong presence here. You’ll love the iconic Alaskan Hotel & Bar, an establishment that’s older than the state itself. They have live music every day, and an open mic on Thursdays if you’re a performer yourself. And every first Friday of the month, all of Juneau erupts into a city-wide art walk across dozens of local businesses.
4. Mendenhall Glacier
No one ever forgets the blue crags of ice along the Mendenhall Glacier. A gem of the Juneau ice fields, the Mendenhall Glacier is only twenty minutes from Juneau by car. The Nugget Falls hiking trail will take you past a 377-foot waterfall that cascades into a glacial lake of icebergs. A guide can take you through blue-walled ice caves, and the East Glacier Loop trail will walk you past an ancient forest of preserved trees. There’s also the glacial lake abutting the Mendenhall Glacier. Kayak over the ice-cold water to see the enormous shards of ice breaking away from the whole.
Still not sure if you’ll fall in love with Juneau? Here’s what Kristen, a Juneau driving guide, had to say about her first year on the job:
“My Alaskan Adventure has been more than just working though. I took a weekend to explore Haines for the Alaska State Fair. The following week, I ferried to Skagway and took a bike trip up to Whitehorse with a friend. Twice I’ve taken helicopter flights over the glaciers, flew on a floatplane to the Taku lodge, and have gone whale watching several times: all for free! I have met so many unforgettable people here in Juneau, and am grateful at how quickly I made friends. And it seems like every day I see something to remind me that I am in Alaska, whether it be a glacier, a bear, or an eagle.
As the season comes to an end I am already missing Juneau, and looking forward to next year.”