Published: Apr 11, 2022
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2023
The harbors of Alaska’s cities are the center of activity—often offering incredible scenery and the chance to get right into the action of the local community during the busy summer months. Auke Bay Harbor is no different. Located in the neighborhood of Auke Bay within the capital of Juneau, Auke Bay Harbor offers some of the most popular photography opportunities anywhere in the city.
About Auke Bay Harbor
From May through September, Auke Bay Harbor comes alive with commercial fisherman, private boats, and charters for fishing and whale-watching tours. The harbor is framed by both Mount McGinnis and Mendenhall Glacier, which delivers stunning views and some of the area’s best opportunities to observe native sea life.
Auke Bay's History
The Auke Bay Harbor area was first settled by the Auke Tlingit people, and the area of Auke Bay didn’t appear on the U.S. Census until 1880. At the time, the census reported 640 Auke Tlingit settled there within three unnamed villages that extended from the Juneau area to Admiralty and Douglas Islands.
By the 1900 census, the area was referred to imply as “Auke”, before disappearing from the census altogether for 40 years. Today, Auke Bay Harbor area is a popular stop for tourists and those that want to get a firsthand look at the traditional fishing lifestyle of Alaskans, while also experiencing once-in-a-lifetime views of some of Alaska’s best scenery.
Like most places in Alaska, Auke Bay is a neighborhood built around the natural resources of the area. Auke Bay Harbor offers incredible fishing, beautiful views, and plenty of local attractions that make it a fun and interesting place to spend your day when exploring Juneau.
- Auke Bay Harbor is the homeport of Liberty, a Coast Guard cutter.
- The first flight of the “Alaska Clipper” for Pan American Airways landed in Auke Bay in 1940, and it made several stops that year before being destroyed by a 1941 bombing in Hong Kong Harbor.
- Auke Bay Laboratories made Auke Bay home for the last 47 years, and it’s the primary U.S. Government research facility for studying Alaska’s important commercial fisheries.
- Humpback whales are a common sight in Auke Bay Harbor, and sightseers may get lucky enough to watch these whales “bubble-net feeding” and coming close to shore.
Visiting Auke Bay Harbor
There is a lot to see when visiting Juneau, and stopping by Auke Bay Harbor should be on any traveler’s list. Whether wildlife and photography are your priority, or you want to stroll the weathered docks of the harbor to chat with the friendly local fisherman, the Auke Bay neighborhood of Juneau is one of its hidden gems.
Some of the best experiences in Alaska come from exploring the small communities that make up Alaska’s rich culture, and Auke Bay Harbor is a must-see place for those visiting Juneau. From the weathered wood of the harbor docks to the sweeping mountain and glacier views, you’ll find some of the best fishing, sightseeing, and scenery on the shores of Auke Bay Harbor.