goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?

Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?

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When planning your Alaskan adventure, you’ll likely come across the Goldbelt Tram as a must-do in Juneau. And you might ask yourself, “Is it truly worth my time?”

Embarking on this journey myself during an October Alaskan cruise, I sought out the Goldbelt Tram experience. I was curious and had a strong desire to make the most of my limited time ashore. 

Whether you are an avid cruise-goer or just simply visiting, you will come to understand the constraints of cruise schedules and the quest for that perfect blend of adventure and memorable moments. There is a lot to do in Juneau, so you have to be picky. 

Through this post, I’ll guide you through the immersive experience that is the Goldbelt Tram. I am then hoping that you can make an informed decision on whether it’s the right fit for your Alaskan adventure.

With that being said, I can assure you that this review comes with no frills or sponsored bias. I bought this with my own hard earned cash. This is just a raw recount of an experience that nearly brought me to tears of joy while being immersed in Alaska

Goldbelt Tram Bucket List Review

An at-a-glance-review for those of you who are short on time.

Who Should Add This to Their Bucket List?Travelers who want to hike, get impressive views
or learn about Alaskan culture
Best Time to GoMay to September
Traveling DifficultyEasy
Physical DifficultyEasy
(Can be Moderate if hiking)
Popularity Rating7/10
Group Tour RequiredTicket Required
(Around $30 to $55 per ticket)
Wheelchair AccessibleYes, but not on the hikes.
Favorite Place to StaySilverbow Inn & Suites
(13 minuite walk from Goldbelt Tram)
Tour Including this ExperienceAlaska Native Tour and Goldbelt Tram
Traveler’s InsuranceGet Quote with VisitorsCoverage

If you need more information about the categories of this table, please check out the Bucket List Reviews guide.

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
One of the viewing platforms by the restaurant.

Introduction to the Goldbelt Tram

The Goldbelt Tram, a pivotal attraction south of downtown Juneau, Alaska, isn’t just a mode of transportation. It’s a gateway to breathtaking views and unforgettable nature and cultural experiences. 

Its history is intertwined with the cultural and natural landscape of the region. This offers visitors a unique perspective on Juneau’s rich heritage.

Brief History of the Goldbelt Tram

The Goldbelt Tram has a story that mirrors the evolution of Juneau itself, transforming from a humble, utilitarian tool into a celebrated icon of tourism and discovery. 

Originally developed as part of the expansive mining operations that defined the area, the tramway was repurposed in the late 20th century as a way to share the incredible vistas and rich history of the region with the world. 

The type of tram is known as a double-reversible or a “jig-back”.

It now stands as a testament to Juneau’s ability to adapt and thrive, seamlessly blending the rugged industrial heritage with the natural majesty that surrounds it. 

This transformation from a functional piece of the local mining infrastructure into a conduit for exploration and appreciation of the Alaskan wilderness.

It truly encapsulates the spirit of Juneau, making a ride on the Goldbelt Tram a journey through the heart of Alaskan history.

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
The Goldbelt Tram in Alaska view.

Overview of the Tram Experience

Boarding the Goldbelt Tram is akin to stepping into a different world. 

As you ascend, the sprawling city of Juneau falls away, replaced by the serene majesty of Alaska’s natural beauty and breathtaking views of Juneau and the Gastinteau Channel

The tram’s path takes you over lush forests and rugged mountain terrain. This results in panoramic views that are nothing short of spectacular. 

The facilities at the summit include viewing platforms, a theater, and a restaurant. This ensures that every visitor can soak in the vistas in comfort.

There are also several hiking trails that you can embark on that offer stunning views of the scenery that surrounds you. 

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
A traditional Alaskan totem pole found on a hike at the summit of the Goldbelt Tram.

Goldbelt Tram Review – Is it Worth Your Bucket List?

My review might differ from other travelers. But, here is everything I wish I would have known before going on the Goldbelt Tram.


★★★☆☆ (3/5)

The ticketing process for the Goldbelt Tram is streamlined and user-friendly, accommodating both advance purchases and on-the-spot decisions. 

I ended up booking directly from my cruise ship as an excursion.

My only complaint was the long queue. I have waited in worse and I understand that they can only take so many people up at a time. But when time is money is Juneau…it’s annoying, to say the least. 

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
I went to Alaska when I was little and made this same exact face…and now here we are…


★★★★★ (5/5)

The Goldbelt Tram enjoys a prime location, just a short walk from Juneau’s bustling cruise ship port. 

I walked from the cruise ship and it was only about 10 to 20 minutes. Then, since it was dark, I took a free bus back to the ship. It was a little tricky to figure out just where to walk, but luckily I had service on my cell phone.

Around the lower tram station, there were several souvenir shops and other places to explore.

This convenient placement makes it an easy and attractive option for tourists looking to explore Juneau’s natural beauty soon after disembarking.

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
The view right as you come out of the Goldbelt Tram.


★★★★☆ (4/5)

The staff’s knowledge and enthusiasm significantly enhance the tram experience. 

Their commitment to safety and customer satisfaction is evident, making every passenger feel well-cared for throughout the journey.

They did, rightfully so, give me an earful for lingering and enjoying the view as I stepped off the tram. 


★★★★☆ (4/5)

Safety is paramount at the Goldbelt Tram. With state-of-the-art equipment and rigorous safety protocols, passengers can enjoy the ride with peace of mind.

There are limited barriers from where you exit the tram onto the platform, which might be unsettling for some travelers. Don’t go to close to the drop off once the tram leaves…the staff does not like that.

Overall, I never once felt unsafe throughout my entire journey where the Goldbelt Tram was concerned. I mean, I saw a kid brutally face plant while running down the long hallway towards the tram…but that was about it.

You must, obviously, use caution on the trails. It did start raining during my trek and this caused the trail to become quite slick. And although they are laid out quite well, there were some drops as you got deeper into the wilderness.

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
Photographing Juneau from where the tram lets you off at the summit.


★★★★★ (5/5)

At the summit, the Goldbelt Tram offers a range of facilities that cater to the needs and comfort of every visitor. 

I would say this means that it can be for every type of traveler: families, cultural junkies, and nature enthusiasts alike.

What stood out to me was all of the culture! The summit of the Goldbelt Tram offers numerous learning opportunities about Alaskan culture. With its informational displays and local guides ready to share their knowledge and stories, it is truly an enriching the experience for visitors.

I also quite enjoyed the restaurant which offers a menu featuring local Alaskan cuisine, allowing guests to sample the tastes of the region while enjoying the scenery. I would especially recommend going onto the balcony attached to the restaurant for some less-trafficked pictures from the back. 

In addition to dining, there are other viewing platforms (around the front) designed for optimal sightseeing.

And of course, there is a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs to commemorate their experience. 

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
Boarding the Goldbelt Tram from the bottom of the mountain.


★★★★★ (5/5)

At the top of the Goldbelt Tram, adventurers and nature lovers will discover a network of hiking trails that cater to all experience levels

These trails wind through the lush Alaskan wilderness, offering breathtaking views of Juneau and the surrounding areas. 

The trails are well-maintained and marked, providing a safe and immersive outdoor experience. 

Along the way, hikers can expect to encounter the local wildlife, unique flora, traditional Alaskan totem poles, and perhaps even the serene silence that only nature can provide, making it a highlight for those seeking to explore Alaska’s majestic landscape on foot.

I wanted to go hiking but did not have the time to take on a full-fledged hike since I was on a cruise. 

Because of this, I chose to do the smaller loop since I was running out of time. Don’t let it fool you – it was short but mighty! It even made me a little teary once I reached the top. 

I think that this provides a great opportunity to hike Alaska. Especially if you don’t have a lot of time and don’t want to commit to more intense trails.

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
Going on a rainy hike through the tails at the summit of the Goldbelt Tram.

Overall Value for Money

★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Considering the unique perspective it offers on Juneau’s natural beauty, along with the high standards of service and safety, the Goldbelt Tram represents excellent value for money…if you are there all day. 

I, on the other hand, had to get off the ship, walk, wait in the massive queue, go up the tram, and figure out where everything was. By the time I got done with all of this, it was dark and I didn’t have the time I craved. 

Granted, I did visit in October at the end of the season so the days were shortened. Unfortunately, I did wish that I had more time. And I wished it was cheaper for the amount of time that I actually ended up having. 

I did have an epic hike and jaw-dropping views…so I can’t complain too much. I just wish it was a little cheaper. 

Comparisons with Alternative Experiences

While Juneau boasts a plethora of attractions, from glacier tours to wildlife excursions, the Goldbelt Tram holds its own with its unique blend of accessibility, beauty, and educational value. It is an experience that complements other adventures in the area, rather than competing with them.

Top Cruise Excursion Activities in Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska, is a premier destination for cruise passengers, offering a blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural experiences.

Below are your other options to consider, depending on when you visit:

  1. Mendenhall Glacier Tour: Explore the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier, accessible by bus from Juneau. The visitor center provides stunning views, trails, and educational exhibits about the glacier’s history and geology.
  2. Whale Watching Adventures: Take to the seas for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, spotting humpback whales in their natural habitat. Many tours offer guaranteed sightings, making this a must-do for wildlife enthusiasts.
  3. Dog Sledding on a Glacier: For an exhilarating experience, take a helicopter ride to a dog sledding camp. Learn about this unique Alaskan tradition and mush your team of huskies across the ice.
  4. Historic Downtown Juneau: Stroll through the charming streets of downtown Juneau, filled with shops, cafés, and historic sites. Don’t miss the iconic State Capitol Building and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.
  5. Tracy Arm Fjord Excursion: Embark on a boat tour of the Tracy Arm Fjord, renowned for its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and tidewater glaciers. Keep an eye out for eagles, seals, and other wildlife along the way.
  6. Alaskan Breweries: Discover the art of brewing in Alaska with a visit to the Alaskan Brewery. Enjoy a guided tour and sample some of the state’s most famous beers.
goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
The entire view of Juneau from the summit. Can you spot the Tram coming up the hill?

But Should You choose the Goldbelt Tram?

The choice to choose the Goldbelt Tram over the others is a personal one. It depends on you as a traveler.

If you can combine it with other activities, I would recommend doing so. 

For me, I am an adventurer. So, I would have probably preferred to participate in dog sledding at Mendenhall if I had a choice. I was on a cruise at the very end of the season and this wasn’t an option. Fortunately, I had a great time on the Goldbelt Tram as an alternative.

Insider Tips for Visitors

To make the most of your visit:

  • If your schedule allows, aim for early morning rides to avoid the crowds and enjoy clearer views. I was not afforded this luxury and it showed…
  • Don’t rush your visit to the summit; there’s more to explore than the initial viewing platform. I would allow for a few hours just to be safe.
  • Check the weather forecast in advance, as visibility can greatly affect your experience. Luckily, if it rains, it rains. It rained during my visit and I still had a great time!

Goldbelt Tram FAQ

All your questions answered from a traveler that’s actually checked it off of their bucket list!

The Goldbelt Tram in Juneau, Alaska, is a state-of-the-art aerial tramway that transports visitors from the city’s waterfront up to the Mountain House, located at 1,800 feet on Mount Roberts. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of Juneau, Gastineau Channel, and the surrounding mountains.

One of the most Vertical Tramways in the World!

The tramway is not only a popular tourist attraction but also a gateway to a variety of recreational activities available, including hiking trails, a nature center, and restaurants.

This experience provides an unparalleled opportunity to witness the stunning natural beauty of Alaska from an aerial perspective.

The cost of the Goldbelt Tram ride varies depending on several factors such as age, group size, and whether the ticket is part of a package deal with other attractions.

Price Examples

Generally, adult tickets are priced around $50, children’s tickets (ages 6-12) are approximately $30.

I bought these directly from the ship, but they were also available when I arrived at the tram.

Absolutely, the Goldbelt Tram is an excellent option for those visiting Juneau. The opportunity to see Juneau from such an elevated perspective is unparalleled, offering visitors a unique way to experience the beauty of Alaska.

The tram ride itself is an adventure, providing breathtaking views as you ascend Mount Roberts. Once at the top, the variety of activities available ensure that there’s something for everyone, whether you’re interested in hiking, exploring Alaskan wildlife at the nature center, or simply enjoying a meal with a view.

This Depends on the Traveler…

There is much to do in Juneau, so don’t be afraid to be choosy with your time in Alaska’s magnificent captial.

With that being said, the Goldbelt Tram is a well-rounded excursion that will not disappoint!

The ride on the Goldbelt Tram itself takes about 6 minutes one way, allowing you ample time to soak in the majestic landscape of Juneau from above.

However, visitors often spend several hours at the top to fully enjoy all the activities offered, such as hiking, dining, or visiting the nature center. The overall experience can vary in length depending on how much time you wish to spend exploring the attractions.

If this is all you are doing, I would spend as much time as you can up there to make the ticket worth it.

Budget more time than you think!

The Goldbelt Tram is conveniently located just a short walking distance from the cruise terminal, approximately one quarter of a mile away.

This makes it an easily accessible attraction for those arriving in Juneau by cruise ship. You can expect the walk to take about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your pace, allowing you to quickly transition from ship to tram with minimal effort. I also found a free shuttle tram as well.

goldbelt tram, Goldbelt Tram Review – Is It Worth Your Time in Juneau?
One of the mountain views from my hike.

Final Thoughts on the Goldbelt Tram in Juneau, Alaska

The Goldbelt Tram in Juneau offers more than just a ride; it provides a comprehensive experience that combines adventure, education, and unparalleled beauty. It is an essential addition to any Alaska adventure travel or cruise excursion itinerary.

Have you experienced the Goldbelt Tram, or do you have questions about planning your visit? Share your thoughts and inquiries in the comments below, and if you’re ready to book your trip, you can book a tour that includes the Goldbelt Tram.

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