Rainforest Trail

Juneau’s Old Growth Forest

Around mile 11.5 on the North Douglas Highway there is a little gem of a trail hidden away from the main routes and local hangouts. Only about a mile long with 100 feet of decline down to the beach, the Rainforest trail passes through some of Juneau’s grandest moderate old growth forest. The thick high rising Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock that surround the trail provide shelter for a thriving understory.

The trail emerges from the forest on the northernmost shores of the island where Fritz cove and Auke bay meet up with Stephen’s Passage and a stellar view of the Chilkat Mountains unfold. The rocky beach can be slippery and awkward to explore, but is definitely worth the effort. Seals, sea lions, eagles, porcupines, and bears frequent these shores along with a host of seabirds. For the lucky, or the patient, porpoises and whales can be seen from the shore and make for fantastic sunset finales.

For a little bit longer loop the Outer Point Loop trail can be connected by walking along the beach toward the west. At low tides the adventurous can find their way out to shaman island, however it is safer with a boat. With tides averaging 18 feet, it is unlikely to make it back before the tide comes in. Its seclusion makes it a prime beach fire for locals, although it can be a haven for no-see-ums during peak summer.

Disclaimer: Path coordinates may not be 100% accurate.

Trailhead Location