We meet up in the morning get our gear sorted and stowed, and check in to ride the Alaska Marine Highway or board our float plane to the village of Angoon.
The move from the capitol city of Alaska, Juneau, to the village of Angoon located on the west side of Admiralty Island is a dramatic one. The hustle and bustle we experienced in Juneau fades away as we arrive in this village of 450 residents in the middle of old-growth temperate rainforest on the shores of Chatham Straight. This village is deep in the Tongass National Forest, home to generations of Tlingit people who have named this area Kootsnoowoo or “Fortress of the Bears” for the dense population of brown bears on the island. There are many more bears on Admiralty Island than there are people but, not to worry, your guide lives and works in this temperate rainforest, and has traveled through it safely and respectfully for years.
Preparing for departure, we will climb aboard our float plane to fly into the first lake on our adventure. Landing on floats, we will taxi to shore, unload our gear, and wave to our pilot as he flies away, leaving us in the heart of the Tongass. We get our gear situated, inflate our packrafts and have a safety talk. Shoving off, we explore our first lake while paddling its shores and floating into camp for a dinner, a campfire and maybe a little fishing.
Our trip will have us hiking over portages between inland lakes as we move across Admiralty Island. We are living and traveling in one of the largest expanses of wilderness in the world, an intact ecosystem containing a wide and diverse number of species including brown bears, black bears, wolves, Sitka blacktail deer and moose. As we hike and paddle from one lake to another, we are constantly on the lookout, hoping to catch a glimpse of these wild creatures.
As our week comes to an end, we will emerge from the forest onto the tidal flats of Mole Harbor, a bay on Seymour Canal. If we are on schedule, we can set up camp and explore the shores of this salt water bay on foot or by packraft, maybe glimpsing humpback whales or seal ions from our stealth craft. Waking on our final morning as we wait for our water taxi to take us back to civilization, we can take the morning to explore Mole Harbor further or just hang around camp relaxing as we wait for our ride and the showers that await us back in Juneau.
Meet your guide in Juneau for pre-trip meeting.
Meet in the morning at the Juneau Airport to board our plane to the village of Angoon where we will spend the first day and night.
After a hearty breakfast in Angoon we will board our float plane to fly into Thayer Lake where we will spend our first day getting our gear and packraft skills dialed in, while we explore the lake.
After a day on the water today, we see our first portage. Packing up our packrafts, we will head out through lush rainforest, making our way to to Distin Lake. Back on the water to explore our second lake of the trip, we have one more short portage today before making camp.
Today, camped on the shore of Lake Guerin, we paddle out toward the largest Lake yet, Lake Hasselborg. But before we get there, another portage.
Waking up on the shores of Lake Hasselborg, we will spend our day exploring its shores or maybe heading inland on one of the USFS trails. We can choose to use the same camp today or move on to another if we are itching to see more of the island.
Today we make way for salt water! With some paddling and a couple portages, we emerge onto the tidal flats of Mole Harbor, a bay on Seymour Canal. Here we will make our final camp of the trip.
If the weather cooperates today, we will catch our ride back to Juneau on our water taxi by midday, giving us the morning to explore or just hang around camp if we so choose.
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)