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Juneau, as most know, is the capital city of the state of Alaska and is the second largest city in the United States. The city is on the panhandle of Alaska and the Gastineau Channel, where the cruise ships’ docks and the Mount Roberts Tramway to Douglas Island are located. There are an estimated 32,406 people living in Juneau with a few thousand dogs, and there are many dog-friendly activities in town.
The city revamped Cope Park on Capital and Calhoun Streets to make it more people and dog-friendly. There is a dog park the size of a baseball field (it used to be a baseball field), running water, barbeque/picnic areas, covered shelters, climbing structures, and a gorgeous blue lagoon. There are also restrooms, playgrounds for the kids, and so much more.
Point Bridget State Park on Willoughby Avenue is also a great park for dogs with tons of stuff to do for both of you. This park has over 2,500 acres of hiking and playing in the middle of an oasis of meadows, cliffs, and beautiful beaches on the sea. It even has an actual rainforest and a salmon stream.
Mendenhall Wetlands is a game refuge that is very dog-friendly and has a huge wildlife population that will give you and Fido a chance to see all kinds of creatures. Just at the end of Radcliffe Road along the shoreline in Juneau City. You and your furbaby will love it!
In the Mendenhall area of north Juneau, Riverside Rotary Park offers free fun and exercise to humans and dogs. With breathtaking views of the mountains, there’s no better place for a quick run on a paved trail. Follow the wide trail around the pond. It’s ⅓ mile in length and lined with park benches. The park is sometimes known as “Duck Park”, because there are tons of ducks that swim on the pond (up to 46 species). A top bird watching spot, humans enjoy identifying the ducks while (leashed) dogs prefer salivating over them. Children will enjoy the small wooden playground and sandy play area, with swings, slides, and jungle gym. If your family enjoys this park enough to come back for a birthday party, the picnic shelter is available for rent. Facilities include portable restrooms and fresh drinking water.
Across the Sheep Creek from Juneau is Douglas, AK. These small towns are as close as two can get, like twins conjoined at the head. Savikko Park lives at the end of Douglas Highway and is a local favorite for family outings. Enjoy throwing driftwood sticks or tennis balls along the long sandy beach, because there’s nothing dogs love more than tearing it up in the sand! Then, pop over to the sporting grounds to watch a softball or soccer game. Kids will enjoy the climbing structure and swings, and parents will be happy to clean them up in the restrooms so they don’t have to dirty the car. A covered shelter is open for human lunches and rawhide munches. Be sure to pack a dog bowl to fill up at one of the drinking fountains.
So you want to get your dog excited for a day trip? Start by telling them you’re going to the Chicken Ridge Historic District, because what’s more exciting than our favorite food? The area is home to Cope Park, a beautiful campus with lots of amenities located off Capital and Calhoun. Park in one of the 40 parking spots and head over to the designated dog park by the baseball fields. After you’ve met lots of new fur-ends, stop at the pavilion for lunch. Then head to the trail loop for some exercise. Lighted at night, it’s a great little walking or running loop that’s safe and doesn’t venture far from the facilities. An unlighted section does continue on if you care to go further during the daytime. In winter, check out the toboggan hill. In summer, follow the creek access trail to the Gold Creek for some fishing fun. Dogs on leashes are welcomed as long as their parents clean up after them.
Point Bridget State Park is located about forty miles north of Juneau’s city center. Once home to the Tinglit Natives, the location was named by Captain Vancouver after his mother, Bridget, in 1794. In 1988, the state of Alaska created the park. With over 2,850 acres of designated parklands to explore, you can take a day trip or camp for up to 7 nights. Dogs will absolutely love exploring the meadows, overlooking rocky cliffs, watching the salmon spawn in streams, catching sticks on the beach, and maybe even dipping their feet in the icy sea. In the winter, this is a popular skiing and snowshoeing area. Park-goers are highly cautioned against the presence of brown bears, AKA grizzlies. Wear bells and keep bear spray within reach at all times. Dogs should be kept on-leash while hiking the trails for this reason. If you’re not comfortable camping in bear country, there are two cabins available for rent along the trail in the park.
Take a short drive north up Glacier Highway, past Mendenhall in Juneau, and you’ll find the Eagle Beach State Recreation Area. This public park has 16 primitive camping spots, meaning they do have fire pits, but not much more. The camping is in the wooded section of the park, but there’s also a large beach along the Eagle River. From there you can view both the Chilkat and Juneau Mountains. Many people come here to not only camp, but to fish or just relax. With lots of trails flanking the 590-acre park, it’s a great place for Saturday run along the coast with your dog. ADA-friendly facilities include toilets, water, a boat launch, and RV parking. Dogs should be on-leash and cleaned up after.
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