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Alaska

See the Upsidedown Trees of Glacier Garden

Tucked gently within America’s largest national forest, Tongas is one of the most unique wonders in all of Alaska. Juneau is well known for its untouched natural beauty be it impossibly tall rocky mountains, swathes of neverending pine forests, streams full of swarming salmon, or crystalline mountain glaciers which can be found around every corner of America’s most scenic city. A perfect compliment to see alongside these natural wonders on your Alaskan adventure is making a stop at Glacier Gardens home of the upside down trees. A perfect time to visit is while attending Continuing Education Company’s yearly Alaska CME cruise.

What later would become known as Glacier Gardens was first just a dream by couple Steve and Cindy Bowhay after a devastating landslide obliterated a sizable portion of the surrounding landscape. Where others saw devastation, the couple saw an opportunity. After purchasing the land from the Alaskan government Steve, a professional landscaper set about creating one of the most unique botanical landscapes in the country. What sets Glacier Gardens apart from other botanical gardens isn’t just its exotic location but the unique features that set it apart from other creations. The most iconic feature of the gardens is its surrealistically beautiful upside down trees. These trees look like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland or a fantasy movie and as you make your way through the gardens it can feel as if you’ve been transported to another planet. Although at first, the trees seem like a surreal quirk of the natural landscape they are actually just a creative design choice. Each of the trees takes several hours of meticulous construction to complete.

The idea of creating an upside down tree first occurred to Steve while initially clearing land and a felled tree flipped over by accident. Noticing the roots pointed upward he got the brilliant idea of transforming them into flowerbeds. Every upside down tree in the garden is created by recycling a fallen tree from the grounds turning it upside down and burying the top of the tree. Artists then set to work cleaning the roots and methodically planting a bed of annual flowers within their branches. The old trees act as a kind of natural flowerpot while the seventy-five to a hundred different species of annuals are sculpted to resemble a kind of treetop full of a tangle of flowering beauty.

Taking a tour of glacier gardens would be the perfect complement if you’re planning on taking a hike through Tongas National Forest’s temperate landscape or you’re looking for something memorable to visit during your excursion to Juneau. The gardens are a perfect example of the hybrid between natural beauty and human ingenuity not to mention all the amazing photographs you can take along the way. Each guided tour takes guests through the fifty acres of the grounds where you’ll get plenty of chances to take pictures of the upside down trees and through the raw beauty of the landscape you’ll get to see panoramic views of wilderness you can’t find anywhere else.


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Want to attend a live CME conference in a beautiful locale or complete an online course from the comforts of home?


At Continuing Education Company, we provide you with options to make your medical continuing education fun, engaging, and relevant. Check out our conference calendar to view the dates and locations of upcoming conferences as well as the online learning courses and live streaming that are currently available. And, for a limited period of time, take advantage of our Special Offer! Attend one of our LIVE conferences in person and you will receive a FREE online 15 credit CME course from CME365™.

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