The Alaskan state capital, which is only accessible by boat or plane, is one of the bigger cities in the state with a population of about 31,200. Located in the panhandle of Alaska, this mini metropolis was our first stop on our Alaskan cruising adventure!
When you get off the ship, you have the option to take a shuttle into the town itself, or you can do the twenty-minute walk from the docks. We opted for the shuttle ride so we could take a gander at the main strip of shops and restaurants before our scheduled dog mushing excursion.
You can easily walk Franklin and Main Streets in about two hours (where most of the stores are located) if you are taking the time to walk in and out of the various shops. There are quite a few souvenir stores as well as a few bars that are worth peeking at while you are here. A crowd favorite for my family was Shirt Off My Back, which I know is not a local store; however, we do not have one anywhere near us back home, so it was quite the treat!
Alaska X Dog Musher Camp
The Alaska X company has locations in Juneau, Skagway, and Haines Alaska. They offer horseback riding, dog mushing, zip lining, and glacier tours to tourists from all over the world all year round. We had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at their dog mushing camp. This cute homestead was tucked away in the woods about thirty minutes outside of Juneau. The drive there was beautiful! There were plenty of photo-worthy views from the bus windows and on the way back to downtown Juneau we even pulled over to get a view of one of the glaciers.
There was no snow on the ground while we were there, so we got to experience summer mushing training. They train the dogs on what almost looks like a modified go-kart instead of a sled for them to pull through winding trails. The “sled” has ten Alaskan Huskies pulling up to 6 people at a time on the course, while the trainer is giving commands and controlling the brake from the back just like what would happen on a regular snow sled.
After the mushing demonstration, we went to a covered area to hear another one of the dog trainers tell us all about the different races they can participate in as well as the various tools and equipment they take with them on these treks.
I think that Juneau was the perfect first stop on our adventure. We were able to get a taste of Alaska with the comfort of being in a city to help us transition to our next stop in Skagway (which is the topic of my next blog post so stay tuned!) I would recommend a day trip to this city if you are not cruising through Alaska. It is worth your time.