Gold Creek Valley Lakes
Juneau was established as Alaska 's capital in 1906 when the government was transferred from Sitka. Today, federal, state and local government employs one out of every two Juneau workers. Tourism is the largest private employer and continues to grow. Commercial fishing and mining continue to play a role in Juneau 's economy.
Originally fishing grounds for local Tlingit Indians, the Gastineau Channel area became a focus of attention in the late 1800 's when a Tlingit named Kowee of the Auk Tlingit Tribe provided gold ore samples in response to a reward offered by George Pilz, a Sitka engineer. Pilz grubstaked prospectors Richard Harris and Joseph Juneau in August 1880. They found plenty of color in Gold Creek, but did not follow the gold to its source. At Kowee 's urging, Pilz sent the pair back again. Harris and Juneau climbed Snow Slide Gulch at the head of Gold Creek and looked down into the mother lode of Quartz Gulch and Silver Bow Basin.
Located in southeast Alaska's Inside Passage, Juneau provides visitors with endless recreational opportunities. Here at the foot of Mount Roberts and Mount Juneau lies the door to the spectacular scenery that is Alaska.
The region offers world-class kayaking, dog sledding, rafting, hiking and mountain biking. An abundance of waterways makes this area prefect for water sports. Mendenhall River offers rafting, or kayak on Mendenhall Lake at the foot of Mendenhall Glacier.
The tramway takes visitors from downtown to the top of Mount Roberts to enjoy breathtaking vistas and numerous trails. A favorite trek in the area is Perseverance Trail. It takes you through the Silverbow Basin and along Gold Creek, where you can try your luck panning for gold. And Mendenhall Glacier, only 13 miles from downtown, has 12 miles of trails of its own, just beckoning to be explored.
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