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Trip Report: Celebrity Millennium Northbound 5/24/19-5/31/19

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Just returned from one of the best vacations I've been on! Our first time to Alaska AND our first cruise! 

 

Our top priority was experiencing nature and wildlife, so we mostly did either hikes or wildlife-centered excursions. This made for some days where we spent $0 and some days where I'm embarrassed to say how much our excursions were! Overall an incredible experience and I'll post a day-by-day with our activities, some photos, and things we wished we had done differently. Here was our itinerary:

 

Date Port or Activity Arrive Depart
 Fri, May 24 Vancouver, BC, Canada   4:30pm
 Sat, May 25 Inside Passage, AK (Cruising)    
 Sun, May 26 Ketchikan, AK 7:00am 3:00pm
 Mon, May 27 Icy Strait Point, AK 10:00am 8:00pm
 Tue, May 28 Juneau, AK 7:00am 9:30pm
 Wed, May 29 Skagway, AK 7:00am 4:00pm
 Thu, May 30 Hubbard Glacier, AK (Cruising)    
 Fri, May 31 Anchorage (Seward), AK 5:00am

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Pre-trip planning: I had to use up vacation time in either May or June so we were only looking at those two months. When researching different cruise lines, I didn't read about any huge differences between different lines, so I focused on price and itinerary instead. 

 

I made a little spreadsheet of the major cruiselines with best price in that time period, and time spent in each port for each of those well-priced cruises. Celebrity Millennium won with lots of good ports and lots of time spent in each one. Although we live in Seattle where round trip cruises are plentiful, we wanted to spend more time in port and less time cruising so we picked a one-way cruise from Vancouver to Seward/Anchorage rather than a round trip. 


I made a list of things I wanted to do or see in Alaska, which included: see a whale, see a bear, see some totem poles, walk ON a glacier. Some of those were easier to figure out how to make happen than others! I researched which ports had the best whale watching (ISP and Juneau), which had the best bear watching (probably Ketchikan but we were there at the wrong time of year so we went with ISP instead), which had lots of chances for totem poles (Ketchikan) and which ports had an accessible glacier to hike to (Juneau and Seward). After those things were arranged we filled in the gaps with hiking or sightseeing. I suggest making an Alaska "bucket list" and arranging your trip around those highlights, rather than just picking excursions one port at a time.

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Thanks for your report. We may do a similar itinerary next May on RCCL's Radiance- lots of dominoes have to match up first. 2nd choice is r/t on the Celebrity Eclipse from Vancouver.

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We'll be cruising to Alaska with extended family in July 2020. Looking forward to your report!

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Looking forward to your report, since we will be doing this same cruise in August :). We also have many of the same bucket list items and booked excursions accordingly so I am interested to hear how yours went. Also, what kind of cabin were you in, and what were your impressions of the ship?

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We are leaving on this cruise on Friday.  I hope you post before we leave.  We are very excited.  What was your experience embarking in Vancouver?    We are hoping to board early because we want to make the lunch that they are providing concierge passengers.   Thanks for posting.

 

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Friday May 24: embarkation in Vancouver

 

After months of planning revolving around "Friday May 24," it felt so strange for it to finally be here! We took an early morning Bolt Bus from Seattle to Vancouver which was uneventful and ran on time. Bolt Bus lets off at the train station, so we took a quick cab to the cruise terminal. We dropped off our bags around noon which took under a minute (pro tip: there was a line of about 50 people waiting to get luggage tags printed, but if you print off your own tags ahead of time you just drop your bags and go). 

 

We've been to Vancouver before and it was a drizzly day so we went on a quick walk to Robson Street, where the nice shops are, but didn't do any other sightseeing in Vancouver. We were mostly just excited to get on board! So around 1:30 we returned to the terminal. The embarkation process was seamless and we did not have to wait in any significant lines. There were a million cruise terminal workers shepherding us from one area to the next and after 20 minutes or so we were walking on board! Our room was ready and our bags were already waiting for us.

 

We got a quick lunch at the buffet and then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the ship and unpacking. When the ship finally left, we spent some time enjoying live music and the view from the top deck as we sailed away from Vancouver. 

 

We stayed in an ocean view room which was just right for us. It wasn't terribly cold in Alaska but with the wind, I don't think I would have spent much time on a balcony. But I did really enjoy having a view right from our room, so I think upgrading from an inside room was worth it to me. 

 

The ship itself looked great! All the furnishings were new, modern, and clean. It really did look just as good as the pictures on Celebrity's website!

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Saturday May 25: Sailing the Inside Passage

 

I had had the impression that today would be a very scenic day of sailing past mountains and looking for whales...we actually were in open ocean, out of sight of any land at all for the entire day. Oh well! 

 

Instead, we had a leisurely day of sleeping in, enjoying the fitness center, eating a lot, listening to live music, and going to the evening show.

 

Fitness Center: It was reasonably sized and had a good number of machines, but it was quite crowded in the morning of an at-sea day. There were some yoga and pilates classes going on but they were an extra $20 or so which didn't really seem worth it to me.

 

Food: We mostly ate in the buffet for breakfast and lunch and the main dining room for dinner. We didn't really feel compelled to dish out extra money for the specialty restaurants. Me and my husband are both foodies from a foodie city and we liked the food on board fine! But definitely the quality of the food was probably closer to "cafeteria" (like an upscale, fancy Whole Foods cafeteria!) rather than "fine dining restaurant." I think some people have the expectation the food will be just as good as it would be in a gourmet restaurant with 10 tables, but that's just not feasible on a giant cruise ship. Anyway, we both felt like there were always enough delicious options to keep us quite stuffed at every meal, but thinking "fancy yummy cafeteria" will get you more mentally prepared than "that amazing French restaurant we go to for our anniversary."

 

House music: There were a number of live music groups. 1 jazz band, 1 pop/rock cover band, an acoustic duo, and I think a string duo or quartet but I didn't make it to see that one. Sitting in a lounge with a good book, beautiful ocean views, and live music was really nice for me.

 

Entertainment: On this night the singers and dancers did a "Boogie Wonderland" show. It was basically a singing and dancing revue of a few dozen 70s songs with a very loose storyline trying to hold it together. I thought the dancing was awesome. The singing I'm pretty sure was good but they had the sound system turned up so loud it was kind of blowing out their voices :(

Anyway, this was an entertaining way to spend an hour but I was glad it wasn't any longer than that.  

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Sunday May 26: Ketchikan

 

My first time setting foot in Alaska! I was so excited to open the curtains at 6 am and see us pulling up to the dock!

 

As a lot of other forum members have noted, the excursions in Ketchikan seem to either be huge (expensive flightseeing!) or tiny (walk around town with us for $50). We decided to make this a "cheapie" day for us since none of the excursions were really calling to us.

 

First we hiked part of Deer Mountain. It was about a 1.5 mile walk uphill to the trailhead so we didn't feel terribly motivated to do the entire mountain.

 

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If you just do the first mile of the trail (which is pretty steep but not difficult if you're in any kind of shape), it will take you to a lovely scenic overlook. 

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And these pictures are great but it was even more stunning in real life. Like I said, a steep hike but a really great payoff in terms of a beautiful view. 

 

Can I also say that the ravens around Deer Mountain were hilarious? There's a sign at the trailhead saying something like "Ravens around here have learned 30 different cries, often mimicking other species." When we started hiking there was one that sounded so much like a bark/yip that I thought for sure there was a band of coyotes around. And later there was one that sounded like a person had climbed a tree and was just yelling at us. And later one that sounded like drops of water! So crazy. The crows here in Seattle just caw a bunch, it's much more boring.

 

After that we did a historic walk around Ketchikan. Here's the link to the pdf map we followed: https://www.experienceketchikan.com/support-files/ketchikan_maps_downtown.pdf. I think paper copies of this are available in the visitor's center. Ketchikan is a really sweet small town and we enjoyed walking along the creek and looking at people's gardens (the rhododendrons were out in full force!) and taking some peaceful relaxation time in the City Park. We saw a bald eagle perched right above the creek through the park! It was surprisingly big. Definitely bigger than a chicken. 

 

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It was a great little walk. I know Creek Street gets talked up a lot as a must-do but it was mostly just a crowded boardwalk with a bunch of souvenir shops. Not as enjoyable as the rest of the historic walk we did!

 

After our historic walk, we had been planning to take the city bus out to either Totem Bight or Saxman Park. We still had about 2 hours left at that point. However...we quickly realized the city bus only runs once an hour! Which would give us just enough time to ride out there and turn around and come back. Poor planning on our part! I'm spoiled living in a city with great public transit, I guess. 

 

Instead we went to Totem Heritage Center which is right in town. It was a princely sum of $6 each to enter. I actually really loved it. They focused on the history of totem poles in Alaska Native culture and the symbolism of the carvings. There were a few modern poles outside, but inside it was all historic poles salvaged from abandoned villages. Many of the poles were from the early 1800s. It was very well done and we found it moving to read about the Tlingit people's religious and spiritual beliefs, and how strongly they must have held these beliefs to invest so much time in carving these huge, beautiful sculptures. I would highly recommend the Totem Heritage Center. 

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And then it was time to get back on the ship! Entertainment tonight was a pair of Russian acrobats and they were incredible. It was the only act that got a standing ovation the whole week and they deserved it!

 

tl;dr: Hiked part of Deer Mountain, Historic walk downtown, Totem Heritage Center, check the bus schedules before you plan your day around them.

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Great info!  Following along for the ride.  We also have chosen to DIY Ketchikan, so definitely appreciate your insights on that stop.

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10 hours ago, verobay said:

Saturday May 25: Sailing the Inside Passage

 

I had had the impression that today would be a very scenic day of sailing past mountains and looking for whales...we actually were in open ocean, out of sight of any land at all for the entire day. Oh well! 

 

 

We’re sailing north from Vancouver on Coral Princess next week, and I had the same impression from various sources. That’s a bit disappointing, but I guess we’ll do as you did and enjoy the ship!

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Monday May 27: Icy Strait Point

 

Icy Strait Point is an odd little stop. It's about 1.5 miles from the actual settled town of Hoonah. A few years ago they decided to build a cruise ship dock and a bunch of cruise ship attractions outside of town, and that's what they call Icy Strait Point. So when you get off the ship, you'll be in a little "village"--except nobody lives there and the village only exists to serve cruise ship passengers. So there are a couple restaurants, a gift shop, an "excursions hub," a little nature trail through the woods, a zipline facility, etc. It's honestly a great idea to serve a lot of tourists without ruining the character of the village where people actually live and I'm glad that the people who thought it up are making so much money (and it sounds like the money is mostly staying locally, which is great). But it definitely has a different feel than other normal towns you will visit.

 

Because it's not really an organic town, there's not a lot to do here other than take excursions. The actual village of Hoonah where people live is tiny and does not have much there set up to appeal to tourists (like historical attractions). We looked into hiking in this area, but it is so tiny and has only been drawing tourists for such a short time that there are not many resources out there on local hikes. I talked to some of the locals and they said there is lots of great hiking but you mostly need a car to get there. (There's no car rental places here). 

 

Anyway, I say all of that not to complain, because we had a great day here, but to explain that if you want to have anything to do here, it will need to be an excursion. There's no DIY-ing ISP.

 

For that reason, we specifically chose to do our whale-watching here as opposed to in Juneau, where we had lots of other options. We went with Hoonah Travel Adventures and had a great time. They picked us up in ISP near the cruise ship and then drove us over to Hoonah to actually board the whale-watching boat (which was aptly named "Tail Chaser"). There were probably 15-20 people on the boat total? First they took us over to a little island just off the shore to see a mother brown bear and cub chowing down on some grass right on the shoreline. Amazing luck for us! Then they took us through Icy Strait to where a pod of humpbacks had been seen earlier that morning. We spent about an hour getting some incredible views of a pod of about 7 of them. We even saw them bubble net feeding once! It happened so fast that I couldn't get a picture, just memories I guess.

 

 

It was a really amazing experience getting to watch the whales for so long, and especially to get to do so while being surrounded by such beautiful scenery. Great day. 

 

After that, we walked around the little town of Hoonah (not a whole lot to see, but we did see some people in the process of carving a totem pole which was neat) and then walked back to ISP. There's a paved sidewalk that skirts the beach the whole way, which was nice. One thing to point out is that we had heard a lot of people saying "a one mile walk from ISP to Hoonah" but it was actually quite a bit longer than that for us. We got let off in Hoonah, walked around the town a bit, then walked back to ISP, which was actually close to 3 miles for us. Just so everyone knows, it was a longer walk than we had heard about!

 

We also booked a bear watch tour through the ship (it was called something like "Spasski River Valley Bears" or something). We knew from reading these forums that late May was really not at all an ideal time to see bears, but we both love wildlife and wanted to know we had done everything we could to get to see one...they loaded us up on an old school bus and drove us down dirt roads for about 20-30 minutes or so. We were very lucky to encounter a large male bear grazing on grass right by the side of the road!

 

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I'll be the first to admit that the pictures I got are extremely unimpressive. But in real life, this was awesome! We stopped and watched this huge bear lumbering around the edge of the woods, just chomping on grass and ignoring us. I really "get" the whole teddy bear thing now because this guy looked so sweet and cuddly and fluffy! He certainly didn't look like the vicious predator he was when he was munching on grass. It was a really great experience just sitting and watching him from so close. If we hadn't been in the safety of the bus we definitely would not have been this close. 

 

Speaking of the safety of the bus, we also got some drama on this trip! As we were getting ready to leave Mr. Bear, the bus driver attempted to restart the bus...which chose that exact moment to have an engine failure. To fix it, the bus driver had to actually step outside the bus, walk around to the back of the bus, and do something to the engine back there. I thought the tour guide was joking when he told us that, but it was totally real! The bus driver was not happy about it. We all had to be completely silent for a minute while the bus driver snuck out of the bus, 30 feet from a large male bear, and fixed the engine. Fortunately the bear remained undisturbed but it sure added a heart-pounding element of drama to our excursion! 

 

After that they took us to our actual destination, a series of three lookout points connected by a boardwalk overlooking a little river valley. We hung out there for almost an hour but did not see any bears or other wildlife there. We thought it was funny that all of the excitement happened technically "on the way" to our excursion and not when we were actually there.

 

So, we definitely got our money's worth on the Spasski River Valley bear search! However, I will say that our tour guide mentioned that out of 6 groups he had taken in the last 2 days, we were the only ones to see a bear. Definitely be prepared that if you come in late May/early June, your odds of seeing a bear on this excursion may be significantly less than 50%. Our guide mentioned that for a few weeks in late July/early August the salmon are running in the river and your odds of seeing a bear during those times will be close to 100%. 

 

Overall, an expensive but lovely day viewing wildlife in ISP!

 

We had dinner on the ship and went to the "Elysium" show which was a song and dance revue with some bizarre good vs evil plotline. The dancing was good but the plot they tried to make up was not successful. Also the main "bad guy" was dressed up just like the Night Man from It's Always Sunny so we had to stifle a lot of giggles about that. 

 

tl;dr awesome whale watching with Hoonah Travel Adventures, we got lucky on the Spasski River Valley bear search, the walk from ISP to Hoonah is closer to 2.5-3 miles one way, and it's only worth it for the scenery along the way. 

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Following with interest - we are doing a similar itinerary next year and thus far my thinking on excursions parallels yours. Can't wait for the next installment!

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On the same itinerary in August. How was the temperature onboard? I am always cold so I want to be prepared!

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54 minutes ago, musik07 said:

On the same itinerary in August. How was the temperature onboard? I am always cold so I want to be prepared!

Temperature was basically fine. I run cold and I usually wore jeans and long sleeves or a light sweater. My husband wore short sleeves and often shorts.

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enjoying your review & photos, this is really helping me plan for next year, so thanks!

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Posted (edited)

Tuesday, May 28: Juneau

 

This was the best dang day of the whole trip, and the one I had done the most planning for.

 

I mentioned earlier in this thread that one of the items on my Alaska bucket list was to walk on an actual glacier. It was surprisingly hard to find a way to do that on our itinerary! It came down to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau vs Exit Glacier in Seward. Since Seward was going to be our last day before flying home on a red-eye that night, we opted against getting all sweaty from hiking all day. So Mendenhall it was!

 

We rented a car from Juneau Car Rental. We got a clean, but, uh, well-loved Chevy Impala for about $100. It was the oldest and junkiest car I have ever rented and also the highest daily rate I've ever paid! Oh well. It got us where we needed to go and it was a small part of our overall trip budget so I'll stop complaining. One recommendation I have for other cruisers looking to rent a car in Juneau is to look at the map of the cruise docks and check the distance from your ship to the rental company you're considering. We were surprised to walk over a mile to pick up our car. It looked so close on the map, but cruise ships are really big and it took a long time to walk past 5 of them to get to the pickup area!

 

And then it was off on our glacier adventure! We had researched some guided tours of the glacier, including some where you paddle a canoe with a big group across the lake and then walk up the glacier, and some where you hike with a group up to the glacier and then walk on it. They were kind of expensive and just out of curiosity I started looking into whether one could just take oneself on the same hike that the guide would take you on. Lo and behold: the West Glacier trail is free and open to the public! 

 

I read a lot of mixed reviews. Some people found this extremely challenging and dangerous and some people found it to be no big deal. I would say the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It was a 6.6 mile round trip and took us 5 hours--including plenty of time goofing around climbing on the glacier itself.

 

The first 1-2 miles were a delightful and easy stroll through the mossy rainforest on a wide, well-maintained trail. 

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There are a bunch of cairns with years marked on them, signifying the extent of the glacier's reach at that time. When you get to 1942, there's a branch point and you start following a much more primitive trail from here until the glacier. This was the hard part! Although there's not much elevation change, much of the trail from here on out is over slick rock faces and up and down gravel slides. It was not the most cardiovascularly strenuous hike I've done, but it was very technically challenging. There are many parts where you have to actually use your arms to climb up the side of a boulder or scramble up a stone staircase. 

 

This picture might give you a good idea: here's my husband going up one of the steep parts. He's a mountain goat who didn't use his hands but I was rather clinging to the side of the rock wall and trying not to look down too much. Those other two people were part of a guided tour and we couldn't help feeling sorry for them having paid so much more money to do the same thing as us, and not even getting to go at their own pace! Shortly after this their group had to stop for a rest and we got to charge ahead full speed.

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Finally after a few hours we arrived at the glacier! We had bought cheap $20 crampons online which worked out great for our purpose of spending a half hour walking up the glacier. 

 

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It was just astounding, and worth every bit of scrambling to get up here. I remember looking at Nugget Falls way in the distance from here and thinking how the people there must be awfully jealous of us getting to be on the glacier itself. :D

 

If anyone is wondering, at least as of May 2019, we did not find any accessible ice caves. There are a few ice caves, but the ones we found had rushing rivers coming out of them and were not accessible by foot. Darn!

 

After a bit of clomping up the side of the glacier in our crampons, we decided to head back. Reportedly there is a way to do a loop back, but I highly recommend just retracing your steps to avoid getting lost. 

 

All in all, I would highly recommend this hike to anyone with an adventurous spirit and who's in reasonable shape! To be clear, neither my husband or I are athletes but we usually hit 10-15k steps a day and do a few light workouts a week. 

 

Here are the supplies I would recommend if you're considering hiking the West Glacier Trail:

MUST have:

Good hiking shoes, preferably waterproof since you will ford several streams

A bottle of water

Crampons, if you want to walk on the glacier at all

A phone with GPS so you won't get lost. GPS map here: https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?appid=606b20759d184d74a3e7aed97d98d877

 

NICE to have:

Trekking poles. I found these useful on some of the gravel slides, while fording streams, and on the glacier itself. My husband didn't need any but he is more sure-footed than me.

Bug spray. We forgot this and got a bit eaten up

A selfie stick. Not a lot of people around to take your picture

A little cup to drink some fresh glacial water

A helmet, if you're doing any significant exploring on the glacier. We just kind of goofed around for half an hour and didn't go to any parts that looked too scary, so we skipped this

 

It was a great day and probably one of my favorite hikes I've been on!!

 

We had a very long day in port so we had some time to kill after we finished the glacier. Since we had a car, we decided to go to the Shrine of St. Therese. I didn't really understand what it was before we went, but it was a lovely, peaceful, beautiful way to wrap up our day. It's a retreat on the coast north of Juneau, with cabins where people stay for religious retreats or writing or other quiet, personal retreats. For day visitors like us, there is a very lovely chapel on a little island just off the shore, as well as interesting tide pools on the rocky beach and beautiful gardens. It was so peaceful and beautiful that I'm seriously considering going back just to stay here for a week next summer.

 

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How would you like to go for a walk along this beach? The mountains were out on this relatively clear day, the forget-me-nots (Alaska's state flower!) were blooming, and there was a lone humpback whale repeatedly surfacing out in the bay. Just an incredible day. 

 

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After that, we returned our rental car and hiked back to the ship for a relaxing dinner and show (a humorous a capella group tonight). Really a spectacular day and probably the highlight of the trip for me. My Fitbit said I walked 37,000 steps which is quite a lot for me!

 

tl;dr Rented a car, hiked the West Glacier trail to Mendenhall Glacier, then went to the Shrine of St. Therese. So many beautiful sights all day long!

Edited by verobay

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Great photo of the glacier!!

 

We were actually docked beside you in Skagway on the Azamara Quest.......

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Very exciting day! Your report solidified what I had found about the West Glacier Trail. Easy beginning...and a significantly technical section following. Would you agree that the technical section would be questionable in wet weather? It looks like you had nice enough weather, no rain?, but was the ground wet from rain? And how did that impact the technicality of the trail?

 

I didn't seriously debate West Glacier Trail because I knew that I wasn't fit enough to do it. It is something that I would aspire to do though, so I would appreciate any more details that you would offer.

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57 minutes ago, Anita Latte said:

Very exciting day! Your report solidified what I had found about the West Glacier Trail. Easy beginning...and a significantly technical section following. Would you agree that the technical section would be questionable in wet weather? It looks like you had nice enough weather, no rain?, but was the ground wet from rain? And how did that impact the technicality of the trail?

 

I didn't seriously debate West Glacier Trail because I knew that I wasn't fit enough to do it. It is something that I would aspire to do though, so I would appreciate any more details that you would offer.

When we hiked it, it was lightly drizzling for the first hour or so and then stopped just before we got to the technical part. So when we got to the rocky parts, surfaces were still pretty slick, but on the way back everything had dried off. We just told ourselves that if it started seeming too dangerous, we could always turn around. The first rocky slopes were a bit challenging even with hiking shoes and trekking poles (I actually slipped and fell on my butt once) but got much better once we got out of the woods and into open air where things were drying much faster. The way back was just fine. I think if it had continued to mist/drizzle it probably still would have been fine for us, just slower going. If it were actually out-and-out raining, I'm not sure if I would have felt safe continuing.

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53 minutes ago, verobay said:

When we hiked it, it was lightly drizzling for the first hour or so and then stopped just before we got to the technical part. So when we got to the rocky parts, surfaces were still pretty slick, but on the way back everything had dried off. We just told ourselves that if it started seeming too dangerous, we could always turn around. The first rocky slopes were a bit challenging even with hiking shoes and trekking poles (I actually slipped and fell on my butt once) but got much better once we got out of the woods and into open air where things were drying much faster. The way back was just fine. I think if it had continued to mist/drizzle it probably still would have been fine for us, just slower going. If it were actually out-and-out raining, I'm not sure if I would have felt safe continuing.

 

Thank you for that frank information. It reaffirms what I had concluded for myself from what I read before. For me, this hike would be a good option for a longer stay in Juneau when we could really time it better with weather...or for a cruise stop when we had a long time in port and also wouldn't be too attached to the plans for the day. I have a knee challenge and so I would definitely have to have optimal weather to tackle that trail I think.

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Wednesday, May 29: Skagway

 

Another of our $0 days! We looked and looked at the excursions and just couldn't find one that seemed very "worth it." I know everyone raves about the railroad or van tours up into the Yukon but the idea of spending a whole day sitting down looking out windows sounded so tedious to me. Beautiful I'm sure but I prefer to work for my scenic vistas!

 

We arrived in port at 7 am but since we had planned a leisurely day, we slept in a bit and had breakfast and made it off the ship somewhere around 8:30 am. Our first stop was the National Park Service building to get tickets for a Gold Rush walking tour. You can reserve them for a dollar each online, or for free if you go in person the same day. We ended up picking a 1 hour "Gold Rush 101" talk. It was a very light walk (walk for 2 blocks, then stop and listen to the ranger for 10 minutes, repeat a few times) and 1 hour was about right for our level of interest. Thanks NPS!

 

After that, hike time! First we went to Lower Dewey Lake. The trailhead is just a few blocks off the town's main drag and is about a 2 mile round trip just to get to the lake; if you want to walk all the way around the lake's perimeter it looks like closer to 4 miles. It is initially a bit steep (bad knees beware) but overall it's so short that it still felt pretty breezy. There are a couple intersections and my advice is take all the right turns. You'll end up with a lovely lake view before too long. I was wishing I had worn some Tevas instead of my hiking shoes because the water looked so cool and inviting!

 

This panoramic shot looks a lot nicer on my phone where you can "look" around for an immersive view, but it distorts the edges when the image is flattened. But this should give you an idea of the Lower Dewey Lake scenery.

 

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After that we walked out to Yakatunia Point. This was really much more of a stroll than a hike, to be honest. No real elevation change and the first half of the walk was just walking across town to the "trailhead." Great views on a rocky outcropping and only about a two mile roundtrip. I was surprised I didn't see more people on this beautiful and easy stroll! Very easy for anyone who can walk two miles and step over an occasional rock or tree branch. 

 

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We continued on to Smuggler's Cove afterwards. Just keep following the trail away from town for another 10 minutes to an even more secluded cove. All told the addition to Smuggler's Cove made it a three mile round trip. 

 

And that was it! 25,000 steps and $0 in Skagway. Then back on board for a tasty dinner and a show (old school comedian, hilarious). 

 

tl;dr NPS historic walking tour, a few quick, easy hikes, and some really gorgeous scenery. 

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