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Friday
Jul272018

Alaska Cruise Excursion with Kids: Review of Gold Panning and Salmon Bake in Juneau

Review of Gold Panning & Salmon Bake Excursion in Juneau with kids

Our cruise ship arrived in Juneau on a perfect Alaskan summer day. We were excited to embark on a Gold Panning and Salmon Bake excursion through Alaska Travel Adventures. Our first stop was to learn about the Gold Rush and pan for gold. My son is obsessed with looking for treasure. He loves finding unique rocks, shells, and pieces of wood especially when we travel. I was excited about this tour since we booked our Alaskan cruise as I knew he would love it.

Gold Panning

We hopped on our tour bus and our guide welcomed everyone and then told us stories about the Gold Rush. As he spoke, he drove up a secluded road until we reached “Last Chance Basin” on the Gold Creek. It wasn’t what I expected. It was quiet and secluded. With four cruise ships in town, I expected to see a bunch of buses. Our guide told us that Alaskan Travel Adventures are the only ones with permission to come to this spot. Our surroundings were beautiful.  

My son was captivated by the Guide showing us how to pan for gold. As he demonstrated the process for us, I wasn’t sure if he was going to find any as I only saw dirt. I was wrong! Since gold is heavier than gravel, it appeared in the rim of the pan. 

Now it was our turn to try. We were each given a pan with dirt from upstream and had about an hour to work on panning. It was relaxing and a fun activity for all of us. My son could have spent all day there.

When we were finished panning, we each got our own bottle to store our gold and received a cute “Gold Claim Deed” certificate. The Salmon Bake was next and we were hungry after working so hard to find gold.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake

It had been 16 years since my first time falling in love with salmon at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake in Juneau, Alaska.

My husband and I couldn’t wait to go back and take our two kids. The freshly grilled salmon with a sweet brown sugar glaze that was as delicious as I remembered. While eating, we found ourselves singing along with the live music playing some of our favorite songs.  

There are a lot of other activities to do at the site in addition to the buffet. It is so much more than the excursion title suggests. We took a nice stroll to a waterfall. At the base of the waterfall there was another opportunity to pan for gold. My kids loved panning for gold and getting wet in the cold mist of the waterfall. We ended our day by the campfire. My kids roasted marshmallows and talked about all the gold they had found earlier in the day.

Often times I shy away from cruise ship excursions since it can be difficult to be on a specific schedule when traveling with kids. The Salmon Bake worked out perfectly as shuttles left every ten minutes to go back to the cruise ships so we could stay as long as we wanted.

What to Know

Other important notes for taking kids to the Gold Creek Salmon Bake:

  • Beverage options are included: hot chocolate, hot apple cider, lemonade, etc.
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Many spots to explore throughout the location, it felt like two excursions in one
  • There is chicken, rice, beans, chowder, rolls, & salads in addition to the grilled salmon if your children aren’t salmon-lovers like mine
  • It’s good activity for all ages, grandparents, parents, and children
  • Live music while you eat, which always keeps my children at the table longer

FreshCruiser Tip: The Gold Panning & Salmon Bake excursion is a great option if you are looking for an activity to do with multiple generations.

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Reader Comments (3)

That looks great to do both the gold panning and salmon bake! We're planning a family cruise to Alaska next summer and definitely will try this out!

July 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlyn

I did the Salmon Bake last time I was in Juneau and absolutely loved it! We never tried gold panning though. Really seemed like a great experience.

July 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Looks like a really fun time!

November 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

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