One of the best places to go when visiting Alaska during the summer months is the Juneau Glacier Gardens. This is definitely one of the places that you would not want to miss. The Glacier Gardens is located inside a rainforest on Thunder Mountain. One of the main attractions is the Flower Towers that were created from uprooted trees.
The story of the gardens started in 1984 when a landslide destroyed most of the face of Thunder Mountain. The gardens were created due to the diligence of landscaper Steve Bowhay in reclaiming the area damaged by the landslide. A streambed was first created so that the heavy volume of rainwater could be safely guided down the mountain. It was during this process that some of the trees that were uprooted during the landslide were discovered. These trees were uprooted and had surprisingly landed with their roots facing straight up in the air. The idea of Steve to plant flowers on the roots of these trees became the highlight of Glacier Gardens and is now known today as the Flower Towers.
The landscaping of the Glacier Gardens is simply magnificent. A walk around the garden paths treats any visitor to a wide variety of flowers and plant life such as Sitka Spruce, Devil’s Club and the Elderberry. More adventurous travelers can take a trip up to the top of the 580ft mountain to get a glimpse of the scenic Mendenhall Valley. It is recommended to take an umbrella or a hat along since summer in Juneau also has a lot of rainy days.
This is indeed living proof that a paradise can still be created from places that have experienced devastation. Determination, ingenuity and perseverance were the key to the creation of this small paradise on Thunder Mountain.