Rental Car in Skagway, Juneau & Ketchikan easy?

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#1
Anaheim, CA
83 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
We are thinking about renting a car in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan to provide a little more freedom and comfort than the ship excursions.

I'm looking for info on where/how to pick up the car. Can you walk from the port to pick up the car?

Any pros or cons from folks that have done this?

We will be traveling in mid May of 2018.

Thanks.
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#2
2,759 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Skagway is a good place to rent a car if you want to drive into the Canadian Yukon. I don't really see the point in Ketchikan or Juneau. The road system is very limited and unless you just want to drive around to see some local sights and eat lunch or go shopping.... There are rental companies within walking distance of the piers in Juneau and Skagway. Not sure about Ketchikan, as I use the bus there. Rental cars run around $100 a day and up, so unless you have a group it's not terribly economical. If this is your first and/or only trip to Alaska, I can't imagine giving up whale watching/dogsledding/Mt. Roberts tram, etc. to drive around looking at Juneau's strip malls with a stop at St. Theresa's Shrine, the Mendenhall glacier, and Eagle Beach. Ketchikan is pretty much the same except that it's smaller and not as many roads. You could drive out to the local Walmart or Saxman village....
#3
26,864 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
The only port I have rented a car in is Skagway. If you are remotely interested in this, I would reserve right away from Avis. You can cancel if your plans change. Avis is within walking distance of the pier and you can drive to the Yukon very easily and it is a wonderful day. If you don't plan on driving to the Yukon, I probably wouldn't rent a car in this port as most other things are easily walkable. This port, cars fill up very quickly and in high demand.

You can google "Murray's Guide Yukon" for an inexpensive guide to the drive.
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#4
San Diego
972 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
I often rent a car in each of these ports. I like the freedom of going where I want to, at the time I want to, and for as long as I want to!

In Juneau I rent from Juneau Car Rental, which is at the J dock. Depending on which ship you are docked at, it could be a one mile or so walk, or across the parking lot from where you dock. They do not offer pick up service at the dock. I've driven to Mendenhall Glacier, Last Chance Mining Museum for the Perseverance hiking trail, Alaskan Brewing Company, Shrine of St. Terese, Eagle Beach, Treadwell Mine, and Salmon Hatchery (no, these have not all been done on the same trip!). You can take an excursion or public bus to many of these places, although I prefer to drive myself.

In Ketchikan I rent from Alaskan Car Rental which is also about a mile from the dock, although they will come pick you up if you don't want to do the walking. I have driven to various trail heads, Ward Lake, Totem Bight State Park, Settlers Cove, and Saxman Village. Again, there are tours and public buses, too.

In Skagway, I rent from Avis, and the office is right in town. I only rent a car if I'm going to Emerald Lake in the Yukon Territory (a fabulous ride!). Otherwise, I walk every where.

Hope this helps you decide if renting is good for you.
#5
Syracuse, New York
51,746 Posts
Joined May 2000
I have rented cars in these 3 ports several times. I suggest- you determine where you are going to go and what you want to see, to make sure this is how you want to spend your time.


being that Avis also moved to the AJ dock, it isn't as undesirable to also rent from the airport in Juneau. It's imperative you plan carefully with bus schedules, but can and does work.

I've used Alaska Car Rental over a 15 year span, I find it simple to walk to. Same with Skagway- Avis.
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#6
Anaheim, CA
83 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Thank you so much everyone for the replies.

We have decided to only rent the car in Skagway. I purchased the Murray's Guide. VERY helpful indeed.

In Juneau we will do a Mendenhall Glacier / Whale Watching trip.
In Ketchikan we will do the Misty Fjords boat trip... and pray for no rain.

This is my 5th cruise/trip to Alaska - but my husband's first. I NEVER thought I'd get him on a cruise ship so I want to make this as hassle free as possible for him (in hopes that he'll do it again sometime).

Thanks again.
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#7
Visalia, California
162 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
If you do rent a car in Skagway, show up early at the rental car counter as you are able before the lines form. We were able to get off the ship early and got our car relatively fast. Carry passports with you as you will have to cross the border into Canada on the way up to Carcross, Emerald Lake and of course to the sled dog puppies. We made such good time avoiding the crowds that we drove all of the way into Whitehorse for lunch. Lots of exploring to do in the area between the attractions. We also visited the slide cemetery area on the way back into Skagway. It was a great time on our own.
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#8
Virginia
257 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
We are interested in car rental for Juneau, and just meander with a Juneau map. We will be on the Eurodam in May. The four of us did the Whale Watching & salmon Bake before, and not interested in an excursion this time.

Is there any way we can find out Eurodam's docking location?
#9
Tampa, FL
1,002 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Is there possibility of snow in mid may? I am not sure I would want to be driving to the Yukon if there is . Just something to consider. I almost got stuck in Yosemite for Memorial weekend once.
#10
San Diego
972 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by Tahoe Boater
If you do rent a car in Skagway, show up early at the rental car counter as you are able before the lines form.
I actually prefer to arrive at Avis between 9:00 and 10:00 - the crowds are gone by then and I've never had a problem with them not having a car. I call when we get into port to let them know what time I will come by. I've never had to wait in line, and there's still plenty of time to do a leisurely drive to Emerald Lake and back with all of the side trips. If you want to stop at the Suspension Bridge, do it on the way up - they might be closed when you return.
#11
Anaheim, CA
83 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Tahoe Boater
of course to the sled dog puppies. .
Where did you stop to see the sled dog puppies. I believe there are two possibilities. One was at the kennel of a former musher and the other is at more of a touristy area.
Thanks.
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#12
Anaheim, CA
83 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by CM1984
Is there any way we can find out Eurodam's docking location?
Here's the link to the 2018 port schedule.

http://claalaska.com/?page_id=1551
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#13
Visalia, California
162 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by go4ak
Where did you stop to see the sled dog puppies. I believe there are two possibilities. One was at the kennel of a former musher and the other is at more of a touristy area.
Thanks.
We ended up at Caribou Crossing to see the dogs.Some of best pics of our trip was my wife with the dogs. The first time we arrived there were tour buses on site. We kept driving and stopped in the afternoon on our way back to Skagway. There was hardly anyone there when we returned. We much prefer to arrive at any attraction after the mass of people on the tours have departed.
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