|Juneau is the Capitol of Alaska, but despite
that it has no road access to the rest of the world. Although Juneau
is on the mainland, a few miles inland is a huge icefield covered with
glaciers that prevents land access to Canada. Although there has
long been talk of a road up Lynn Canal, that is highly controversial and
many years away. The ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway, planes,
or boats are the only ways to reach Juneau.
Juneau lies along the northern side of Gastineau Channel. Mountains rise steeply behind the town limiting buildable land to a small strip near the water. Douglas lies across the channel from Juneau on Douglas Island and is reached by a single bridge, which creates a bit of a bottleneck for traffic from the island to town.
Although Gastineau Channel may look like a good way to get to Auke Bay, it dries out at low tide! Powerboats and commercial fishing boats often cross the bar at high tide, but few sailboats chance it. That means that instead of a 8 or 9 mile trip it is 30 miles around the backside of Douglas Island from downtown.