It had started raining while we were enjoying the Salmon Bake, but not heavily. We traveled by tour van from the heart of downtown Juneau to the Era Helicopter Headquarters. After being weighed, divided into groups of four and geared up, we were ready for our helicopter/glacier excursion. Again, a very well organized business, very friendly people and we felt very secure with the adventure we were about to take.
Era Flightseeing Helicopters Landing
Flying over the Taku Glacier
See four of Alaska’s most spectacular glaciers as your pilot flies over the ice spires and pinnacles of the “cascading” Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier, the “advancing” Taku Glacier, the “retreating” Norris Glacier and either the mysterious “floating” Dead Branch Glacier or the “river-like” East Twin Glacier.
Land on a remote glacier to step out and explore the ancient landscape with your pilot as your guide. Peer down into a crevasse and look for a glacial stream. On the return trip, watch for bears, mountain goats and moose.
Each glacier we saw during the excursion is part of the Juneau Icefield. The whole trip lasted a little over an hour. We started with flying over the Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier, flew through the Taku Glacier and came to land on the Norris Glacier. It was a completely different world.
Foggy Treeline Gives Way to Blue Glacier
Glacier Surface Blue Ice
Once we departed the helicopter, we found ourselves walking on rocky, uneven ice. Albeit uneven, the pattern in the ice was consistent. It almost looked like it had been purposefully carved with ripples. Several crevices in the surface gave us view to that brilliant blue color of the ice once again, water running over the blue ice like a miniature waterfall or a sculpture.
Norris Glacier Panorama - Juneau AK
Tug pulling barge from Juneau Port as seen from helicopter
Era Flightseeing also sponsors Dog Sled Excursions on Norris Glacier, we’d love to try this the next time we make the trip. The glacier walks and dog sled lessons are only accessible via air travel.
We sadly returned to our helicopter and began our way back to Era after viewing the last two glaciers on the itinerary. After returning to Juneau, we completed our day in the city just traveling the streets. We poked our heads in the historic Red Dog Saloon and ultimately decided to check out some of the jewelry shops along the main street. Ryan bought me an incredible sapphire and diamond ring, and then we found a great Jade shop next door where we were able to buy some gifts for family members back home.
All in all, a great day in Juneau.
Aerial view of Juneau, Alaska and Cruise Ships at Port
Era Helicopter Flightseeing Brochure 2010