What follows is a rough guide line of our adventure but we will always watch the winds and the tide as we navigate the fjords around Haines, Alaska.
We will begin our adventure just south of Haines, Alaska, first traveling by van with all the equipment we will need for the next week. This short but scenic journey overland will take us along the base of towering cliffs and snow-capped peaks, past historic canneries, and along black gravel beaches, giving us a view of the seascape that will be our home for the next 7 days.
Starting in a little cove on the western shore of the Chilkat Peninsula, we can get our sea legs, practicing paddling techniques and getting comfortable in the kayaks that will make our journey possible. Once we are feeling confident, we can head north toward the mighty Chilkat River or south along the shores of Chilkat State Park. Whichever direction we decide to travel, we will use the wind and tide to help us on our trip.
Wildlife is abundant in this part of the fjord and we are always looking for marine life. In these waters porpoise and Stellar sea lions are very common along with Harbor Seals but if we have just a little luck we will see the spout of a humpback whale or the 6-foot tall dorsel fin of an Orca, both of which spend their summers in these waters. As we cruise close to the shore we'll keep our eyes peeled for all manner of wildlife cruising the beaches for a snack – maybe a brown bear grazing on beach grasses or shell fish? Bears are just one of many species that frequent the shorelines in the area around Haines.
Under blue skies, our eyes may spy the brilliant blue of the Rainbow Glacier hanging high above the fjord with hundreds of thousands of gallons of water pouring from waterfalls to the sea below. The Davidson Glacier is just to our south now and, if we choose, may be a great terrestrial adventure if the winds kick up and we decide to stay ashore.
Each day will see us traveling along rocky shores, sandy beaches or towering cliffs, never staying the same with new surprises around each point. SEAK expedition guides work and live in this fjord and whether we are on the sea or on its shores, they are with you to make your adventure a safe and enjoyable one. We will tread lightly and use Leave No Trace camping practices not only to maintain the wildness of this place but to keep us safe from harm.
We will use expedition style kayaks ranging from 17 to 21 feet in length, designed to travel great distances. This sea kayak adventure will have us traveling along the shores of the Lynn Fjord, 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 than time spent sea kayaking. Extensive paddling experience is not required.
Sea kayaks have a long history in the waters of Alaska and are a great way to enjoy the fjord around Haines. Traveling by sea kayak lets us move almost as one with the environment around us, allowing us to experience this seascape in a truly unique fashion.
Meet your guides in Haines for a pre-trip meeting.
We will pack our things early and meet with our driver for a 30-minute ride to Letnikof 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. Then we'll push off into the waters of the Chilkat Inlet. We will spend our first day on the water exploring and refining our paddling techniques. Once everyone is feeling comfortable, we will head south to our first campsite and a well-deserved hearty dinner.
Waking up looking across the fjord at the Davidson and Rainbow Glaciers and the Chilkat mountains, we will have a hearty breakfast, pack our gear, take a look at the wind and the tides and decide our plan for the day. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback or killer whales who frequent these waters, feeding on schools of salmon, herring and euchalon or hooligan – a large smelt-like fish prized for its oil. Making our way along the shores of the Chilkat Peninsula, whether traveling north or south, our destination for the day is up to us. But be assured, a true Alaskan experience is in store.
Rest Day? Maybe for the upper body muscles? If we choose, we can spend the day hiking through temperate rainforest to the toe of the Davidson Glacier. Even on your rest days, we will have stunning scenery and maybe, just maybe, set foot on ice thousands of years old.
Back on the water we set our sites on the Chilkat Islands just off of Ayiklut Point. Circumnavigating the chain of 4 small islands with stunning shorelines will be our goal for the day. We can take our pick of which one to break for lunch on and, if we are lucky and the weather cooperates, we will catch a glimpse of Eldred Rock and its lighthouse. In the afternoon, we will head back toward the mainland and our campsite for the evening.
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 campsite on Sullivan Island.
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.
After one last camp breakfast, we have Haines in our sights. We may paddle back into Letnikof Cove or meet our ride in the Haines Harbor. Either way, we will be welcomed to Haines by the crew at SEAK Expeditions, with showers in our very near future.
Food while in the field
Group camping gear
Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads
Kayak, paddle, PFD, safety gear
Professional guide service
Lodging while not in the field
Food while not in the field
Gratuity for guide(s)