The Mount Roberts Nature Center is located at the top of the Mount Roberts Tramway, only a 5 minute ride from, and 1800’ above, downtown Juneau. You can get there by purchasing a Tram ticket or by signing up for our “Town, Tram & Trek” excursion.
However you arrive, take time to relax on our deck high above the bustling waterfront below. Enjoy the fresh alpine air as you take in views of downtown Juneau, the Gastineau Channel and beyond...
You can even enjoy a cup of cider while you muse around many interpretive displays or browse through our gift shop for unique nature oriented gifts, books and maps.
Inquire about our self-guided alpine audio tour “Tracks and Trails”. Our naturalist staff offers frequent deck talks and presents a narrated slide presentation on the nature of Southeast Alaska in the “Marmot Theatre”.
Whether you are looking for the perfect gift, need mountain trail information,
or have questions about the natural history of Southeast Alaska, we invite
you in for a taste of warm Juneau hospitality.
At the Nature Center, we are very close to tree line in the heart of the Alaskan Rainforest. Exploring the Mount Roberts trails, hikers quickly enter the fragile and treeless alpine zone. Here, flora and fauna may take many years to mature, due to harsh climatic conditions. Views are spectacular even though weather conditions can be unpredictable. The Tongass National Forest, which surrounds the borough of Juneau, is the largest contiguous rainforest in the US. It is also one of the most important, in that it is the last substantial remaining temperate coastal rainforest. The temperate rainforest ecosystem is more rare and threatened than tropical rainforest systems. For instance, "Only 4% of the Tongass National Forest contains the biggest, most productive old-growth forest--the biological heart of the Tongass. These old-growth forest lands support critical fish and wildlife habitat that sustains subsistence, sport and commercial hunting and fishing, recreation and tourism." - Tongass Fact, SEACC.
The weather here is dynamic as Southeast Alaska rainfall can range from 20” to over 200” per year. The abundant precipitation and moderate temperatures translate into lakes and tumbling rivers, impressive glaciers, and blankets of lush, green trees and plants. This creates a unique habitat for abundant wildlife, from marmots to eagles to black bears, all thrive in this environment.
The dominant trees in the Tongass are the Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock.
Due to shallow soils and highwater tables, the roots of the trees are spread
close to the surface. During the rainy and windy season, trees are vulnerable
and are often blown over. These fallen trees are essential parts of the rainforest.
They provide habitat and nutrients for the soil as they decay. They act as
nurse logs, supporting the next generation of saplings. The openings they
leave in the high canopy allow light and rain to filter to the ground, which
nourishes the rich forest floor. This in turn provides food and habitat for
an array of wildlife.
Tongass Quick Facts
Anual Rainfall: 20” to 200” of rain anually depending on location
Animal Species: At least 40 species of land mammals, 200 species of birds and 5 amphibians
Miles of coastline: 15,000
Acres of land: over 19 million
Acres of old-growth forest: 5 million
Years it takes for a clear-cut to return to old-growth forest: At least 200 years