Mount Roberts Tramway

The local native corporation, Goldbelt, Inc., took the initiative in 1996 to build a $17 million dollar tramway from the cruise ship docks strait up the face of Mount Roberts.  From the terminal at the top, one gains a bird’s eye view of the state capital.  Beautiful nature trails with lookout points offer the lazy adventurer great photo opportunities from mountainsides without having to do the climbing!

Inside the terminal at the top there is a restaurant, gift shop, toilets and a movie theater showing a film about the Tlingit culture and history entitled “Seeing Daylight.”  The movie is captioned.

To find the tramway, just step off the cruise ship!  But if you are driving in from the airport or ferry terminal take the Egan Highway through downtown.  Egan will become the Marine Highway as it curves through downtown.  The tramway is on the right side (harbor side) of the road.  Parking for the tram is about two blocks down on the right.  There are small signs stating that the lot is for tram patrons.

Tickets for the tram cost $19.75 per person and are good for rides for the entire day (until 9:00 p.m.).  This price includes the film.  The tram is open from mid-March through early October, depending on the weather.  There is virtually no wait as the tram runs every seven minutes.  It takes only 4 and a half minutes to gain 1,800 feet.  Despite the speed, the tram is incredibly smooth and the motion is hardly noticeable.

We were fortunate to have visited on a beautiful sunny day.  We enjoyed walking the short half mile loop trail that begins near the nature center just outside the tram terminal at the top.  Along the trail we saw a fat marmot munching on some leaves.  There was also a porcupine half way up a tree about thirty yards from the trail.  The trail is easy, relatively flat and quite well maintained.  At about the halfway point around the trail there were other trails extending out into the mountains.  Time permitting, these would also have been wonderful to explore.  Unfortunately for us, we had arrived too late in the evening to be able the take one of the longer hikes.

Last Visited: July 2000

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