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Tracy Arm Fjord

Tracy Arm Fjord.  A “fjord” is a Nordic term meaning a narrow waterway surrounded by sharp cliffs. So while Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier steals most of the tourist traffic, the 27-mile-long Tracy Arm Fjord is the bigger, better, and more dramatic natural gem. The inlet is very narrow – at times, no more than half a mile wide – with cliffs that rise more than 3,000 feet on either side and waterfalls that cascade down the steep rock walls. During the summer, you can spot eagles, seals, bears, and whales here. Recent visitors said that if you only have time for one experience in Juneau, this is it. Travelers described the glacial scenery as “incredible” and “breathtaking,” and recommended bringing along a quality set of binoculars and a camera to capture the scene.

The Tracy Arm Fjord is 45 miles south of Juneau, but worth the trek. If your cruise ship doesn’t sail through the glaciers, you’ll have to take a boat tour, which usually lasts an entire day. Adventure Bound Alaska and Allen Marine Tours operate well-reviewed excursions from May through September, and you should reserve your spot at least a week in advance; space is limited and rates vary. For more information, check out each tour company’s website. This small town (with only about 30,000 residents) is no longer fueled by mining, fur trading, and whaling; outdoor enthusiasts are the economic driving forces here. And now, the citizens of Juneau brandish cheap souvenirs rather than hunting equipment. But don’t take the bait: The best souvenirs will be the priceless photos you shoot with your camera. Juneau’s majestic setting leaves many in utter awe.

Things to do in Tracy Arm Fjord

Sawyer Glaciers

Sawyer Glaciers

One of the most famous glaciers in Alaska, the Sawyer Glaciers are two separate glaciers; the North and South. Both glaciers originate in British Columbia, Canada, and stretch deep underwater into Tracy Arm Fjord. The South Sawyer Glacier is 30 miles long, but is more difficult to access, and is only visible on a few days a year when there is good weather.

Float Among Icebergs

Float Among Icebergs

Another fantastic way to experience Tracy Arm is to take a boat tour and while cruising through Tracy Arm fjord, you’re guaranteed to pass by icebergs. These icebergs range from small pieces of ice to larger chunks that are big as multi-story buildings and it’s a surreal experience to navigate through the icy waters while surrounded by towering ice formations.

Sample Local Cuisine

Sample Local Cuisine

Foodies, bring your appetite and an adventurous palate during your trip to Juneau, which is one of the best destinations for award-winning Alaskan food. Unlike many other capital cities, Juneau is only home to two fast food joints—everything else is locally owned or operated.

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