Before heading back to our boat for the evening sailing, we had just enough time to take the aerial tramway (cable car) up to the summit of Mount Roberts for some wonderful views over Juneau and the surrounding scenery.
I actually went up with my friend having left other members of our party checking out the Red Dog Saloon (Monsieur unfortunately hates cable car rides)! The Mount Roberts Tramway takes a few minutes to whisk you away from the hustle and bustle of the cruise ship quay in Downtown Juneau to the mountain station.
The top of the ride provides you with a wonderful vantage point over the Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island and on a clear day further afield towards the Chilkat Mountains to the north. It was a somewhat grey and misty early evening and the light was starting to fade but worth the ride nevertheless.
The facilities at the top include a fascinating nature and cultural centre. I wish I’d had more time to explore as there was a wealth of information about the environment, flora and fauna and history of the First Nations people of the region. Artwork and cultural heritage were on display including this particularly impressive totem pole.
In addition there were further reminders about some of the local inhabitants who prefer to be left alone to their own devices!
Naturally there is also a well-stocked gift shop. Alaska is a good place to stock up on Christmas decorations – there is certainly a Nordic feel here and some very pretty arts and crafts items. More than a few made their way back home “Down Under”!
Hiking trails criss-cross the mountain with varying degrees of difficulty and there is a pathway up and down from the town avoiding the need to take the tramway if you prefer.
I did explore a bit of the trail at the top section out of interest and it is certainly steep so take heed of the warnings! With little time to spare we sensibly took the tramway back down the mountain the way we came!
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