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.
Tracy and Endicott Arms are fjords. Fjords are glacially carved valleys that have filled with sea water after the glaciers have receded, leaving typically a V-shaped and extremely deep body of water. About 45 miles south of Juneau, and adjacent to Stephens Passage, these two fjords are deep inside the Tongass National Forest and are designated wilderness areas, protected to ensure generations have access to them as they are for years to come. Both of these fjords are more than 30 miles long and have approximately twenty percent of their area covered by glaciers creating a field of floating icebergs in their waters during the spring, fall and summer seasons.
The end of each one of these fjords is the home of a massive glacier, the Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm and the Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm. Wildlife in both of these fjords is rich and diverse. Cruising these waters are harbor seals, sea lions, and humpback whales to name just a few species. On shore, bears, both black and brown, and wolves stroll along the shoreline and in the mountains. Looking down on us from the cliffs above, mountain goats and wolverine can often be seen.
These deep bodies of water have complex interactions between offshore waters flowing in from Stephens Passage and the inner waters of the fjords. Cold water temperatures full of tons of nutrient-rich food and strong currents provide habitat for an incredible amount of sea life beneath the waters surface and are home to rare corals. The presence of these corals and other species has designated these waters as habitats of concern and afforded levels of protection to ensure it is available for research.
For seven days we will have the honor of paddling, hiking and camping in this unique wilderness area. When we are ready to climb aboard our boat for our return ride to Juneau, we will miss its beauty, but with a shower and the possibility of a pizza tonight, we wave goodbye and know we can return some day.
Meet your guide in Juneau for a pre-trip meeting and dinner.
The first morning of our Endicott & Tracy Arm Fjord sea kayak trip we will meet up at the harbor in Juneau, pack our boats, load them onto our water taxi and head out to the south toward Endicott & Tracy Arm. We will arrive at Holcomb Bay near Harbor Island and depart our water taxi via a deep water launch. This means we won't go ashore but rather will go directly into the water from our boat. Once we are all underway, we can spend the rest of the day exploring and make camp at one of the campsites nearby.
Day 2 to 5
From this vantage point and with current weather information, we will look at the wind and the tide and decide whether we will venture into Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm. If we want to make it to the back of one of these breathtaking fjords, we will spend our week in just one of them. If we want to sample both and have a relaxed laid-back trip, then we can spend half the week in each fjord. Either way this week will be full of Alaskan wilderness.
Today is the last full day of our expedition. By evening we want to be back at one of the numerous campsites in Holcomb Bay. Next to a campfire after a hearty dinner, we can bask in the beauty of this shoreline looking out on Stephens Passage as the sun drops on the last night of our trip.
This morning we can sleep in, have one more camp breakfast and then pack up our kayaks before our last day exploring Holcomb Bay and its surrounding islands and coves. If the weather and wind cooperate, we will meet our water taxi in the afternoon and make our way back to Juneau.
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)