Frequently Asked Questions

Are children welcomed on the tours?

Families with children find our hikes and walks to be very attractive. We ask that children unable to walk or hike the full distance of the tour on their own be carried in a suitable backpack. Strollers are not recommended on our hikes and walks. Should you bring one they must be able to fold, handle variable terrain and are the responsibility of the user.

Are there mosquitoes?

In spite of what you may have heard about Alaska, our area has a relatively low population of mosquitoes. Where steep mountains drop right down to the sea, almost all of the fresh water is rushing downhill, rather than pooling to provide breeding habitat. This is why you will see rivers and waterfalls on our excursions, but not those pesky little "Alaska State Birds."

Are your guides really the best in Alaska?

It's our guides who give us our outstanding reputation as a personable and knowledgeable tour operator! We provide you with the top guides in the business, known for their knowledge of the area's nature, culture, and history. Our photo guides come with a strong background in photography and are also trained as naturalists! Our mission is to provide a high quality experience with accurate interpretation and interesting stories from a local's perspective, all the while creating a fun and memorable adventure. 

Do I need a fancy camera for the Photography Tour?

This tour is suitable for fledgling photographers and those more seasoned. Any type of camera is advisable; however, even a non-camera spouse will also enjoy the interpretive and sightseeing elements of the tour as well.

How fit do I have to be?

You need a certain amount of strength and agility to walk over uneven terrain. Age is usually not a factor. We offer a variety of walks, hikes, and excursions, from a strenuous outing to a relaxed pace. Check tour descriptions and the view tour details lists for specific information.

How many people go on a tour?

Groups are limited to 14 people or fewer per guide. We believe that this preserves the quality of the experience, allowing for a connection to this beautiful natural area and ease of interaction with your guide.

I have a multiple lens camera, which lenses do you recommend that I bring?

It's a good idea to have a long range telephoto or telephoto zoom for wildlife that extends into the 200-400 range, especially on the boat portion of the tour. VR is handy, as is a fast lens, as you want to be equipped to get sharp shots on cloudy days. As for your time on the trail at the glacier be sure to bring your macro if you like shooting close up, or your wide angle if you enjoy taking landscape photos. If all you have is a single all in one lens, you'll be just fine with that. Remember it's how you use what you've got!

What about safety?

The benefit of going on a guided walk, hike or day cruise with us is our familiarization with the area, the weather, and the unpredictable behavior of the wildlife. All of our guides are certified in CPR and First Aid. All carry hand-held emergency radios or cell phones, and train regularly in incident response procedures. And of course, we plan and practice safety awareness so we won't have to use this training.

What about tipping?

This is strictly up to you, and would be a reflection of the safety, service and 'sense of wonder' provided by your guide.

What do I wear on your hikes and walks?

Good sturdy footwear, such as hiking boots or walking shoes are recommended for all walks, and are required on the longer hikes. Dress in layers, as our weather changes rapidly, as will your comfort needs as you move from walking or hiking to resting. We recommend a light layer of clothing under fleece or wool outerwear. If you have good rain gear, bring that too. We provide rain ponchos on all of our hikes and walks.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you have booked an independent tour with us, we will provide a full refund within 2 weeks notice. If you have booked a Shore Excursion with one of the Cruise Lines, you should contact the Shore Excursion Department for cancellation details.

What will the weather be like?

Juneau is located in one of the largest remaining temperate rainforests in the world. This means it rains a good deal; 60-90 inches a year, depending on specific location. Our driest months are May-August, when we may experience periods of up to two weeks of dry and sunny weather. Expect summer temperatures to range between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with changeable precipitation. Conditions can vary dramatically. People have a good time on our tours, rain or shine, its all a part of the Alaska experience. 

Will I see whales, bears, birds?

Wildlife is wild life and has it's own agenda. We take a cautious approach when observing wildlife so that we do not apply pressure to animals that might otherwise change their behavior. We so not bait animals, nor do we solicit their attention. It is therefore timing, luck, and the animals themselves that determine encounters. Our naturalist/guides are very good at spotting animals, so be sure and bring your binoculars. For our water based tours, please see our descriptions for details on whale sightings and approach regulations.