The Mt. Roberts Tramway is located by the cruise ship terminals in downtown Juneau. Enjoy views, hiking trails, and a nature center, plus restaurants and gift shops.
This place scores a spot as one of the top highlights of our time in Juneau. We rode to the top, spent a few minutes in the offload area, and then beat feet for the mountain trail. The ambassador eagle, gift shop, and video are neat once you get off the tram, but the real splendor (at least for my family) was getting up into the alpine area in a way that facilitated the whole family being able to go along.
You will discover new plants, a crisp, cool climate, and maybe even have a cloud or two pass on by when you get up high enough. The view of the city is unmatched unless you charter a flight and if you're not from parts of the country with mountains, it's a real treat!
Tip: Keep track of when you need to be on your ship if you are a cruiser -- you'll need to plan ahead to take the tram back down the mountain. The staff is great at coordinating if you're not sure.
There is a movie shown at the platform that is work a look and is not very long. The eagle up there is neat for kids and is permanently disabled, so she serves as an ambassador. She does take "breaks" so if she's there, take a peek right away.
If you are famished, there are snacks as well as full dining at the top. We decided to eat at the bottom to have more time to explore the mountain at the top. But, know that you won't starve if you go up hungry!
You pass is good all day, so ride as many times as you like! The top is not terribly stroller friendly, but the paths are pretty wide. They do narrow the further you hike toward the summit--past the cross at up the trail, you're looking at mostly goat trails from there on. It can be muddy, so wear appropriate footwear!
Tip: Pack a day pack if you are planning to summit the mountain. It is chilly and you'll want water and first aid as even though you get a lift for the first bit, it's still a mountain! Weather moves in fast. If you're not up for the summit, which is a few miles one way, at least hike to the alpine area and have a look around!
This is one I'd make sure you take in for at least an afternoon. The summit trail is worth the extra few hours and is magnificent for the whole family--if you're up to it.
Disclosure: We received complimentary passes aboard the tramway. Our opinions are honest and our own. Thank you!
We felt the tramway to be overpriced for the tram ride itself (though it certainly offers great views), but the hidden gem of this attraction was the hiking trails at the top. Bring binoculars to try to spot the mountain goats that live on the ridges adjacent. The hikes here are fairly steep, but can be adjusted to just about any length by following the shortest loops if desired. You can even hike all the way down the mountain, which we would have done had we more time.
Also at the top is a pretty good nature center, but we did not stop to look at the bald eagle, as we were unimpressed with its small cage (it is injured and cannot fly, hence the captivity). The raptor center in Sitka is far better!
We didn't bother with the restaurants or gift shops here, but again, the hiking was great.