|Go To See Alaska
Part 2 - Juneau and Red Salmon (紅鮭魚)
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夕陽晚霞， 詩情畫意， 美景如夢似幻。
Sunset as viewed from the Sapphire Princess on this Alaska Cruise. The sunset time is about 9 PM .
艷麗， 日落前的色彩是最迷人的， 夢幻美景。
Zoom in on the sunset view using my compact super-zoom camera (Canon PowerShot SX10 IS) with 20X
The back of the whale as seen from Sapphire Princess Cruise ship.
Tail of a whale. This is one of several whales that we saw from Sapphire Princess on this Alaska cruise.
When we arrived at the bus drop off location for Mendenhall Glacier, the bus driver told us that there are two
different ways to go to see the glacier. The first way is to go along the side walk of paved road and is not
interesting. The second and more interesting way is to take the short board walk trail as shown above. This
short trail is close to a creek and a pond where tourists can see many spawning red salmon (sockeye salmon)
in the creek. In spawning season, these mature sockeye salmon come back from Pacific Ocean into these
creeks with icy cold water from the glacier to spawn. The color of their bodies turns into bright red color but
the color of their heads stays in green color as shown in the following photos.
We also saw a porcupine on a tree.
A tail view of Sapphire Princess Cruise ship docked in Juneau harbor. The cruise ship docked here for 13 hours
so that tourists can get off the cruise ship to go on several possible excursion tours in and near Juneau. I
selected the Excursion Tour ID JNU-004. The tour bus took us to visit three places. The first place is Mendenhall
Map: Click here to see Google Map showing location of Juneau
After that board walk trail, then we saw the Mendenhall Glacier and the Mendenhall Lake. Notice that there are
two waterfalls. One at the base of Mendenhall Glacier and the other taller one to the right side.
Zoom in for a close up view of the waterfalls of melted glacier water at the base of Mendenhall Glacier. This is
somewhat similar to that at the base of Lamplugh Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park.
Beautiful fireweed flower near this glacier (and all over Alaska as we saw them in our one-week driving tour of
Alaska after we finish the Sapphire Princess Cruise at Whittier.)
The returning mature salmon at the entrance to the fish ladder
We also saw this black bear near the creek looking for salmon to catch
I zoomed in to get a closer view of the porcupine.
Zoom in for a closer view of the other waterfalls (Nugget Falls ). Notice the size of people at the bottom of this
After getting up the fish ladder, the returning salmon come into this pool. The salmon species here include King
salmon, Coho salmon and chum salmon. They are not red (sockeye) salmon.
Then the tour bus took us to this Gold Creek Salmon Bake which is an outdoor salmon bake restaurant at 1061
Salmon Creek Lane in Juneau. It is very close to Salmon Creek where there are many spawning salmon
swimming and spawning in the creek. It also has a guitar playing singer singing Alaskan folk songs to entertain
Map: Click here to see Google Map showing location of Gold Creek Salmon Bake
Salmon are cooked over open alder-wood fire which adds very nice flavor to the baked salmon. The use of
open alder-wood fire is a traditional Native Indian way to eat delicious baked salmon.
After eating at this Salmon Bake, we walked the short lush green trail to the nearby Salmon Creek to see
many spawning salmon swimming in the creek. Many of them are in pairs as shown in the following three
pictures, but they are not red salmon.
Nice waterfalls on this Salmon Creek within a short walk from the Salmon Bake location.
A view of Juneau from the deck of Sapphire Princess when it is docked at Juneau harbor.
I saw this kind of berries near this Salmon Creek and at many other places in Alaska, but I am not sure about
its name. May be Devil's Club berries or Elder berries.
The Gold Creek Salmon Bake provides its free service of shuttle bus running frequently between this
restaurant and Juneau harbor so that tourists can stay as long as they want to enjoy the rain forest setting
with waterfalls, Salmon Creek, spawning salmon, lush green vegetation and red berries.
In the 7-day cruise from Vancouver in Canada to Whittier in Alaska, Sapphire Princess stops and docks at
Ketchikan for 7 hours, at Juneau for 13 hours and at Skagway for 13 hours. At each of these three locations,
Princess Cruises company and local tour companies jointly offer many excursion tours for tourists. Information
on these excursion tours are available on the website of Princess Cruises at:
For each excursion tour, the website provides narrative description, sample photos and video. After reviewing
the information of various available tours and selecting the desired Excursion Tour, the tourist can make online
reservation on the website of Princess Cruises or after getting on the cruise ship. However, making reservation
after getting on the cruise ship may have the disadvantages of (1) Waiting on long line for a long time, and (2)
Highly desirable excursion tours may be sold out already.
On the other hand, some people enjoy the Alaska Cruise and tours so much that they have been doing it over
and over again. One friend on this cruise said that this is her 11th Alaska Cruise. They were seriously
considering moving to live in Alaska. These lovers of Alaska Cruise and tours know the Alaska cruise and tours
inside out. They said that when you get off the cruise ship at any of these stops, there are many stands of local
tour companies lining up at dock side next to the cruise ship trying hard to get you as a customer as shown in
the following photo at Juneau Harbor:
(In my subsequent one-week of driving tour, I saw many more red (sockeye) salmon and other species of
salmon in several other creeks and streams in Alaska.)
Very green color of grass in Alaska
We heard that the number of salmon returning to spawn varies from year to year and appears to have a 4-year
cycle. Please see the large number of spawning red salmon in Adams River in British Columbia, Canada during
October of a peak year (2002) of the 4-year cycle at the following YouTube website:
These experienced Alaska travelers said that it usually is less expensive to buy ticket for an Excursion Tour
own websites providing ample information on the tours they offer and on their contact information. Such
information are very helpful for tourists in planning their Alaska sightseeing trips and to call these companies
ahead of time to make sure the compatibility of the tour schedule and the cruise ship schedule.
Furthermore, a Park Ranger of a National Park in Alaska told us that one can buy Alaska TourSaver Book that
has more than 100 discount coupons. Each of these coupons is Buy-One-Get-One-Free or 2-for-1 type of
discount and can provide substantial savings to Alaska travelers. Many of those excursion tours cost $200 or
more each. Using such discount coupons can save a lot of money. Such discount coupons cover not only
excursion tours, but also hotels, rental car, etc. Such discount book costs about $100 or less with more than
100 discount coupons. Information on such Alaska TourSaver Book can be seen at the following websites:
However, these TourSaver coupons are usable on only those companies participating in such TourSaver
program and not all companies in Alaska participate in such program. Furthermore, some participating
companies have additional restrictions. For example, a rental car company has restriction printed on the coupon
indicating that such TourSaver coupon is usable only at its Anchorage Downtown Rental Office, but not at its
Anchorage Airport Rental Office.
Some additional factors to consider in choosing these excursion tours are available at the following website:
The sequence of our 2-week Tour of Alaska is the Following:
One-week Alaska Cruise:
Vancouver in Canada, the starting point of 1-week Alaska Cruise --------> Ketchikan in Alaska (Misty Fjords
National Monument) --------> Juneau (Mendenhall Glacier, Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, Gold Creek Salmon
Bake) ---------> Skagway (8-hour Excursion Land Tour into Yukon Territory in northwest Canada) -------->
Glacier Bay National Park --------> College Fjords --------> Whittier, the end point of our Alaska Cruise.
One-week driving tour of Alaska starts from Whittier as follows:
Whittier --------> Denali National Park --------> Fairbanks (Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge,
Georgeson Botanical Garden, Large Animal Research Station of the University of Alaska) ---------> Town of
North Pole --------> Scenic Richardson Highway going south --------> Boundary of Wrangell-St Elias National
Park ---------> Scenic Glen Highway going west ---------> Scenic Seward Highway going south -------->
Seward, (Kenai Fjords National Park, Exit Glacier) --------> Seward Highway going north to Tern Lake, then
Sterling Highway going west to Kenai, then south ---------> Homer --------> Sterling Highway going north to
Kenai, then east, to Tern Lake, then Seward Highway going north ---------> Alaska Wildlife Conservation
Center --------> Anchorage, the end point of our driving tour of Alaska
Location: Roderick Haig－Brown Provincial Park between Adams Lake and Shuswap Lake in British Columbia,
Best Month to see spawning red salmon in Adams River in Canada: October with 4 year cycle to reach peak
number of salmon
1. In British Columbia (BC), Canada, take Trans-Canada Highway 1 (or Highway 5) east to reach Kamloops
2. Continue on Trans-Canada Highway 1 east through Chase to reach Squilax
3. At Squilax, take Exit and turn right into Jug-Handle to go north over the bridge that cross the river and
get into Roderick Haig－Brown Provincial Park
4. Follow Red Salmon Signs on Poles (of electric power line) to go 5 miles to reach the main parking lot of
the provincial park
傳宗接代，急流比肩， 雙雙對對， 甜甜蜜蜜的鮭魚， 生命慶典，神
綠冠紅袍的紅鮭魚， 輕游慢舞 ， 有如優雅的華爾茲。
游慢舞，神采飛揚， 卵石游魚清晰可數， 蔚為奇觀！。