Juneau, Alaska's capital and gateway to the southeast wilderness areas, has a temperate climate during the summer months.
I prefer August, the end of the dry season, because of its mild, warm days and cool nights. There's still the summer lushness, but with a hint of coming autumn. Be prepared for rain. It's part of the southeast experience and not unpleasant.
Juneau offers various accommodations, including an excellent hostel--the Juneau International Hostel, 614 Harris St., Juneau, Alaska 99801, (907) 586-9559. It's $7 a night for members of American Youth Hostels, $10 for nonmembers. Reservations are accepted.
There are two bed and breakfast inns: Mullins House, 526 Seward, Juneau 99801, (907) 586-3384, and Frances House (same address and phone). Rooms are $50 to $60 per night, double.
The Alaskan Hotel, a registered landmark, offers accommodations with a Gold Rush flair--167 S. Franklin St., Juneau 99801, (907) 586-1000. Rooms $45 to $50 double.
The Baranof Hotel, 127 N. Franklin St., Juneau 99801, (800) 544-0970, $89 double, and Westmark, 51 W. Egan Drive, Juneau 99801, (800) 478-1111. Rooms $96, double. Accommodations more deluxe than others.
Another good choice is the Driftwood Lodge, 435 Willoughby Ave., Juneau 99801, (800) 544-2239, which charges $62 double.
This summer, regularly scheduled service to Tracy Arm and Ford's Terror will be offered twice weekly through Alaska Naturalist & Photography Cruise Tours, 9951 Spruce Wood Park, Juneau 99801, (907) 789-7429. Round-trip cost is about $90.
Wilderness Swift Charters, P.O. Box 022026, Juneau 99802, will transport and pick up Tracy Arm kayakers. Cost for a vessel is $1.50 per mile. In addition, virtually any charter vessel big enough would be willing to charter to that area.
Juneau Sportfishing, P.O. Box 20438-JT, Juneau 99802, (907) 586-1887, will set people up with charter vessels, most of which are big enough to accommodate hard-shell kayaks.
Kayak and equipment rentals are available through Alaska Discovery, 369 S. Franklin St., Juneau 99801, (907) 463-5500.
Double kayaks rent for $40 a day. Guided trips also are available. Alaska Discovery is a good source to consult before planning any kayak adventure. For more information on travel to the Juneau area, contact the Davis Log Cabin Visitor Information Center, 134 3rd St., Juneau 99801, (907) 586-2201 or 586-2284.