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Alaska's surreal inverted forest hiding close by

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Juneau, Alaska's Upside Down Forest in Glacier Gardens

By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley

Go to the most scenic capital in America – Juneau, Alaska. Here, at the head of the Gastineau Canal, you will find an absolutely unreal natural beauty where the mountains meet the sea in perfect harmony. A true hidden gem that many don't know about is the upside down forest of Glacier Gardens. During this premier attraction, visitors have the opportunity to roam over 50 acres of lush botanical gardens in a truly magical and enchanting setting.

Flickr – Wendy Cutler

Resident tour guides accompany visitors through the fascinating garden creations and offer instructive information about the ecosystem of the surrounding temperate rainforest as well as about plant and animal life. Perhaps the most notable attraction here is the upturned trees known as "flower towers". Steve, one of the owners, had a brilliant idea after a landslide in 1984. Having to nail down boulders and masses of earth, roots, plants and fallen trees through a lot of frustration, he had an "ah-ha" moment. The way the roots hung from the root ball actually looked pretty much like vines on a petunia basket.

Flickr – Ninniane

Steve's vision quickly caught on: Recycle the trees from clearing the land by turning them upside down and turning them into so-called flower towers.

Flickr – oklanica

The flower towers are made by turning a spruce or hemlock tree over with the "root ball" facing the sky. The log is buried 5 to 7 feet into the ground. Then each year a local gentleman known as Mr. Bowhay personally plants each flower tower with about 75-100 remarkable, colorful, flowering plants. This is garden art at its best!

Filckr – oklanica

Unique is the most accurate way, Glacier Gardens, A.K.A. Alaska's unreal inverted forest. These "flower towers" were even recognized by Reader & # 39; s Digest 2012 as “America's Most Interesting Landmark” according to a survey of readers.

Flickr – oklanica

After visiting the upside-down forest at Glacier Gardens, don't forget that Juneau has so much more to offer. From day trips fishing different species on the saltwater to sky-high hiking adventures with panoramic views that will take your breath away. Or, if you want to take it easy with more moderate activities, you really don't have to go far. Downtown Juneau and nearby Douglas Island offer tons of easily accessible options such as sightseeing, shopping, great dining, and more. Just being in such a spectacular setting is a real treat in itself.

Flickr – 阿 橋 HQ

The lush rainforest of Alaska's "crown jewel" surrounds you. It's hard to deny the magic of soaring bald eagles, spawning salmon, fascinating wildlife and sweeping views of “wild” Alaska. One of the most alluring attractions is undoubtedly the one Mendenhall Ice Cavesthat offer a surreal glacier viewing experience.

Flickr – Ninniane

Have rare and unusual memories of Glacier gardens A.K.A. Alaska's Wrong Forest? We'd love to hear your stories and see all of your funny photos!

Flickr – oklanica

Are you looking for some more great read? If you love Alaska's idyllic charm, check out these 11 charming Alaskan small towns that will make you crave more. Buckle up and prepare for: Road tripping ’Alaska; Your perfect way to escape the crowds in 2020. For all of your adventure seekers who like an off-the-beaten-track experience, check out the least-visited American National Park here in Alaska.

If you live and love The Alaska Life, share your adventures with us on our Facebook page HERE and they may be featured in one of our next blog posts.
Written by Courtney Dowd-Stanley
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