Off the Beaten Path

Hiking in Bear Country: Smaller Group, Big Difference

We stand on a bridge overlooking Steep Creek in the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area on the edge of Tongass National Forest in Juneau, Alaska. Behind us, lost to our view in the dense summer understory, we can hear the crash of Dipper Falls. Beneath and before us, a narrow tongue of fast water flattens into a shallow, sandy-bottomed flow. A dozen sockeye salmon slip side to side, battering their bodies to prepare beds, on which eggs are laid and fertilized.   Read More

The Price of Fresh Flounder: How A Professional Earns Their Keep in Juneau Alaska.

Whether whale watching, bear watching, or dining on fish and chips with a window table, a visit to Juneau is almost guaranteed to include plenty of bald eagle sightings. Scanning the Sitka Spruce trees along the miles of coastline and river bank reveals the polk-a-dots of white heads contrasted against dark green boughs.   Read More

The Other Whale: Juneau waters offer more than just a Whale Watch

The thought of whale-watching in Southeast Alaska evokes in some people visions of shiny black orcas — killer whales — the largest of the dolphin family that hunt the world’s oceans for seals, sea lions, or salmon. Who doesn’t recognize their stout, starkly-patterned black and white bodies?And who isn’t chilled by the sleek, black foreboding dorsal fin of a large male orca when it silently punctures the surface of the water, slicing the air, forewarning the massive, toothy jaws beneath the surface? We do not see these marauders as often, but when they arrive on the scene, they always steal the show.
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Fish in a Barrel: Humpback Whales coming together in Juneau, Alaska

It is mid-summer in Southeast Alaska, near Juneau, where a large flock of gulls is floating in Lynn Canal—the deepest inland fiord in North America. If you encountered this raft of birds, you might logically think they are just resting, being social, or finding safety in numbers. And, maybe, you would be right.
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Not My Job: The Work of a Local Guide in Juneau

I was scanning the shore line on a perfectly cloudy and cool summer day in Juneau, as our small whale-watching boat eased up to the dock. Inside the boat, my guests passed their cameras back and forth, sharing photos of humpback whales, sea lions, and glaciers. I stood in the door, lines in hand, ready to step ashore. When the boat was just a few feet from the dock, I saw them.   Read More

Alaska, a Land of Interpretation Opportunity

Alaskans lovingly and proudly refer to the 49th state as the “Last Frontier,” and rightfully so. Encompassing almost 580,000-square miles, Alaska is one-fifth the size of the lower 48 states combined. It offers 33,900 miles of shoreline, 3,000+ rivers, 3 million lakes, the highest mountain in North America and 100,000 glaciers covering 29,000-square miles.  Read More

Journey to the Last Frontier: Guide Andy Davidson shares his Adventure to Alaska

When I woke up in Haines Junction, a small Canadian town, feeling like frozen herring wedged in the driver’s seat of my truck, I knew my journey to Alaska was almost complete. Some would say I resigned myself to that fate for trying to drive to Alaska in only three long days. If I knew what I know now, my drive across two thirds of North America would have been quite a different experience.  Read More

5 easy tips: How to get that perfect whale tail shot.

Photographers come from all different skill levels. Cameras come in all different styles. Dr.Suess could write a book about the gizmos and gadgets that fall under the title of camera equipment. No matter your skill level or brand you photograph with, we can give you some great tips! Pressure runs high with wildlife and landscape photography; be it whales or glaciers, you want to be sure you’re getting the best shots of your tours in Alaska. Follow these tips to avoid the added stress!   Read More

An interview with Bob Janes, Founder & CEO of Gastineau Guiding

Bob Janes has a busy mind. Having worked for him for nearly eight years, it is not uncommon for a relatively routine conversation about staff needs or boat maintenance to suddenly turn into a passionate diatribe about his latest vision for how drones could best be incorporated into existing tours, or how Juneau’s community could best tackle affordable housing, or even just the best place in town to get an affordable hamburger (spoiler alert: it’s our local hospital cafeteria, where you’ll find Bob at least once a week).   Read More

Hi, we're Gastineau Guiding! Juneau's premier whale watching and guiding company. We provide small group and fully guided excursions to guests traveling from far and wide to enjoy and explore the beauty of Southeast Alaska. More About Gastineau Guiding