Mountain bikers in search of great trails, stunning scenery, and the great outdoors need to visit Juneau, Alaska.
Located along the Inside Passage, Alaska’s capital city is a trail mecca. Where miners once scoured the ground for gold, fat tire riders are now treated to nirvana.
The author says the most popular mountain bike trail in Juneau is the 3-mile Perseverance Trail.
“The scenery is awesome,” says Luke Metcalfe of Mountain Gears Bike Shop (907-586-4327). From cascading waterfalls to fiords to an icefield the size of Rhode Island, Juneau defines wilderness.
Juneau’s scenery is set amidst old-growth forests of Sitka spruce and western hemlock. Wildlife sightings may include Sitka black-tailed deer, bald eagles, black and brown bears. The waters around Juneau are home to salmon, Dall porpoise, Orcas, and humpback whales. Exploring Juneau, one gets the feeling their involved in a Discovery Channel special.
Great Rides include the 3-mile Perseverance Trail (most-popular), the 3.5-mile Salmon Creek Trail (tough climbing), the 12-mile Treadwell Ditch Trail (great views of the Gastineau Channel), and the 9.5-mile Montana Creek Trail (keep an eye out for bears).
For great views of the Mendenhall Glacier ride the 3.5-mile East Glacier Loop Trail and the 3.4-mile West Glacier Trail.
Before hitting the trails stop by the Forest Service and pick up the free brochure “Bear Facts: The Essentials of Traveling in Bear Country.”
Breakfast lovers can visit BaCar’s and the Douglas Cafe. If you’re in the mood for Mexican, try El Sombrero’s and Olivia’s. Grab a meal, a brew and listen to the tunes at the Hangar. And for a great steak, the Grub Stake is a must-stop.
Lodging runs the full gamut from chain hotels to B & Bs to camping. Downtown hotels include the Prospector, the Goldbelt and the Alaskan.
But there’s more: Since Juneau is a kayaking mecca, be sure to work in a little time on the water or lace up your hiking boots and explore the Dan Moller Trail and the Mount Juneau Trail. One also can visit the world’s largest concentration of brown bears at the Admiralty Island National Monument. Or one can explore the nearby Glacier Bay National Park; follow in the footsteps of Jack London and the Yukon gold rush in Skagway and trek the famous Chilcoot Trail.
Bike repair and equipment may be found at Mountain Gears and Adventure Sports. Other outdoor gear shops include Western-Auto and Marine, Foggy Mountain Shop, and Outdoor Headquarters.
That brings up a good point: Any town that has more outdoor stores than McDonald’s drive-thrus has its priorities straight in my book!
For more information, contact the Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau, 888-581-2201, www.traveljuneau.com.