Flying over the Juneau Icecap in a “raft of Otters”

In Uncategorized by scott

Flying with Wings Airways past the face of Norris Glacier on the Taku River.

What do you call a group of otters? A herd? A crowd? A mess of pests? Nope. It’s called a “raft of otters.” How about when they’re airborne? A group of turbine-powered 9-passenger planes flying over the Juneau Icecap? I think “raft” works just fine, particularly since all five of the DHC-3 Otters were on floats! 

One of the DHC-3 Otters that flew in from Juneau to the Taku Glacier Lodge.

Fly with Wings Airways from their downtown dock to see five huge glaciers on your way to a delicious salmon bake at the Taku Glacier Lodge.

Most of the folks on our flight were sailing through Juneau on cruise ships. That’s why the planes leave from the dock right by the “Hangar on the Wharf” downtown. 

After climbing aboard, our pilot, Arnie, flew south along Gastineau Channel so folks could get a good view of the long line of cruise ships on one side and the town of Douglas on the other.

Looking north to Juneau along the Gastineau Channel

Then he turned east and went up over the hills to the Juneau Icefield. First we saw Norris Glacier, then the giant Taku Glacier, then Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier and finally the two Twin Lakes Glaciers.  He flew low and slow so everyone could soak in the grandeur and the awesome power of the glaciers. It’s especially impressive to see the giant icebergs that fall off the face of the glacier into the Taku River.

Flying over the Taku Glacier.

The Taku Glacier Lodge is on the south side of the Taku River. All five planes lined up nicely so we could get out and walk up to the lodge for a look around. The lodge has a colorful history, peppered with some scandals, some mysteries and  a handful of larger-than-life owners. 

Grilling up some silver salmon at Taku Glacier Lodge

The hosts whip up a delicious grilled salmon meal. Then, they’ll take you on one or two of the trails around the property to get a better view of the beautiful setting overlooking the Taku River and Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier. 

After everyone (well, most of us) have taken enough photos, it’s back into the plane for the ride back to Juneau. The pilot follows a different route back so everyone can get new views of the glaciers. 

Enjoy the photos. Then make your own plans to visit the Taku Glacier Lodge with Wings Airways. Cost for the whole package, which lasts about four hours, is $329 per person. Tell ‘em I sent you.

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