Published: Apr 11, 2022
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2023
Arriving on the shores of Juneau is a sight you won’t soon forget, with incredible mountains, glaciers, and harbors all found within the capital city’s boundaries. The best way to see the impressive Juneau scenery is from above, and the Mount Robert’s Tramway takes you up over 1,800 feet in just six minutes for some of the best views in Alaska.
About Mount Robert’s Tramway
An aerial tramway that has been in operation in Juneau since 1996, the Mount Robert’s Tramway takes visitors up Mount Roberts from the cruise ship docks—making it one of the most convenient ways to get stunning views of the city. At the top of the Tramway, there’s plenty to see and do, including stopping by the park, nature center, shops, and restaurants that all have incredible, expansive views.
In 1994, John Heiser devised a plan to build a tramway near Downtown Juneau. Along with some local support, he formed the Mount Roberts Development Corporation (MRDC) that partnered with Goldbelt, Incorporated to finance and build the tramway.
In September of 1996, the Mount Robert’s Tramway opened for limited operation, and the official grand opening of the attraction took place in May 1997. The following year, MRDC sold its interest to Goldbelt—the ANCSA corporation for Juneau’s Alaskan Natives.
There’s more to Mount Robert’s Tramway than just the phenomenal views! With management by Alaskan Natives, the facilities and surrounding area at the top of the tram offer some of the most unique experiences you’ll find in Alaska’s capital city.
- In its first year of operation, the Mount Robert’s Tramway took almost 160,000 people up the mountain, bringing in million in revenue.
- The Sky Belt and Mountain House complex at the top of the tram are operated by Goldbelt and include a gift shop, restaurant, and a free 18-minute film in the theater about the Native Tlingit way of life.
- A large cross can be seen on one of the trails leading up the mountain, and it was erected in the early 1900s by a Roman Catholic named Father Brown.
- The style of aerial cable transportation system that is used by the Tramway was first put into use in the late 1800s in the European Alps.
- The two 60-passenger cabins of the tram travel at a maximum speed of 23 mph (or 2,000 ft./min) and can take 1050 people up the mountain every hour.
- A series of hiking trails surrounds the facilities at the top of the tram, ranging from backcountry hikes to wheelchair-accessible forest paths complete with totemic carvings and interpretive nature markers.
Visiting Mount Robert’s Tramway
Mount Robert’s Tramway is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Juneau with its convenient location on South Franklin Street—just across from the cruise ship terminal. With incredible views, hiking trails, modern facilities, a live bald eagle display, and more waiting at the top, 200,000+ people a year visit the tram to take in the sights of Juneau.
Juneau is a top Alaskan destination, and there’s no better way to see the full beauty of the city than from the top of the Mount Robert’s Tramway. At 1,800 feet above sea level, you’ll enjoy incredible views of Douglas Island, Chilkat Mountain Range, and the Gastineau Channel, while also getting a chance to explore the Native culture and natural wonders that the Tlingit people have fought to preserve over the centuries.