Inside Passage Sea Kayak

Northern Arm (8 days)

Start in Juneau, the capital city of Alaska, and paddle through glacially carved fjords along the Northernmost leg of the famed Inside Passage.  Finally arriving in the little fishing town of Haines at the foot of towering mountains and hanging glaciers just outside of Glacier Bay National Park.

Dates

May 1-September 31

weekly departures

Location

Haines and Juneau, Alaska

Cost

$1995 per person- 2 person minimum

Custom rates for individuals available

Details

The journey begins in Juneau, Alaska. Although part of the mainland, Juneau is not connected by any road system, making it a de facto island and the perfect place to start a sea kayaking expedition.

Starting in the waters of Echo Cove we will soon leave behind the bustling capital of our 49th state and move northward along the base of the Coast and Chilkat Mountains.  Paddling along rocky beaches and around uninhabited islands we are constantly on the lookout for wildlife.  Humpback andkKiller whales cruise these waters during the summer months feeding on herring and hooligan, alongside Stellar sea lions and harbor seals.  When the clouds part we can see rivers of ice from the Herbert and Eagle Glaciers running from the Juneau Icefield and eventually to the sea.

After a day or two of paddling our sea kayaks we will be alone for the most part, seeing the occasional fishing boat or subsistence fisherman.  The coastline of the fjord between Juneau and Haines is rich in wildlife and home to many species including brown and black bear, wolves, and moose to name a few.  Your guide lives and works in these waters and on this coast living with the creatures that have inhabited this area long before Europeans came to its shores and will teach you how to travel safely in this environment.  We will tread lightly and use Leave No Trace camping practices to not only maintain the wildness of this place but to keep us safe from harm.

We will use expedition style kayaks ranging from 17-21 feet in length designed to travel great distances.  This time of year the weather from the Gulf of Alaska pushes winds from the south and we will use those to aid our travel north to the not so sleepy little fishing town of Haines.

This sea kayak expedition will have its challenges and we will paddle nearly 80 miles over 10 days but we will have time to stretch our legs and explore the coastline on hikes in the evenings or on a rest day.  Physical fitness will be a factor more so than sea kayaking experience and extensive paddling experience is not required.  We will spend some time going over safety information and paddling technique so that your Alaskan sea kayaking expedition is not only a safe one but educational as well.

Sea kayaks have a long history in the waters of Alaska and are a great way to enjoy the fjord between Haines and Juneau.  They allow us to travel almost silently and be inconspicuous allowing us to become part of the this world we are visiting.

Trip Itinerary

The schedule below is a rough idea of events plan but we will be very flexible and our route may change with the wind and the tide.

Day 1

Meet your guide in Juneau for a pre trip meeting and dinner.

Day 2

We will pack our things early and meet with our driver for a 45 minute ride to Echo Cove.  Once at the launch we will get our kayaks squared away and go over some kayak paddling techniques as well as some safety items and then push off into the waters of Berners Bay.  We will spend our first day on the water exploring the bay and refining our paddling techniques.  Once everyone is feeling comfortable we will head north to our first campsite and a well deserved hearty dinner.

Day 3

Waking up below the towering mountains of the Coast and Chilkat mountain ranges, we will have a hearty breakfast, pack our gear, take a look at the wind and the tides and make our way through Berners Bay.  Leaving Berners Bay will take us out in to the main part of the fjord between Juneau and Haines.  Keep your eyes peeled for humpback or killer whales, which frequent these waters feeding on schools of herring and hooligan, a large smelt-like fish prized for its oil.  Making our way up the east side of the fjord we are heading for Point Sherman, a traditional camping spot for the Tlingit on their trade routes to the south.  We will camp on the gentle shores near Point Sherman as well.

Day 4

Rest Day!  We have earned a rest day.  Sleep in, read a book, build a fire on the beach, hike up the river bed into the mountains or perhaps to a glacier, or just relax in camp taking in what the Tongass National Forest has to offer you.

Day 5

Now into the heart of the fjord we will have our rhythm, making good time in the mornings on the water but always taking a moment to watch porpoises swim by or bald eagles fish along the shore.  In the afternoon when the breeze picks up we can choose to let the wind push us north rafting our kayaks together to give those paddling muscles a break, breaking out the binoculars and scouting for our next camp site on Sullivan Island.

Day 6

This day will see us head to the western shore of the fjord, and for the first time we may see a cabin or the remnants of a fox farm from the early days as we close in on our destination of Haines.  Our campsite on this day is at the mouth of the Harley River drainage.  Once camp is set up we can head for a hike up the Harley River and maybe just maybe to the glacier at the end of the valley.

Day 7

After one last camp breakfast we have Haines in our sights.  We may paddle into Letnikof Harbor to meet our ride into town or we may catch a ride in a water taxi or bush plane if our pace or weather has us a little behind schedule.  Either way we will be welcomed to Haines by the crew at SEAK Expeditions with showers in our very near future.

Included

Food in the field, and all group camping equipment

Expedition Kayak, paddle,PFD and safety equipment

Professional guide service

Not Included

Lodging while not in the field

Food while not in the field except pre trip dinner

Personal gear

Dry bags, tent, sleeping bag, clothing

Gratuity for guides

Rental equipment is available upon request