With our adventure just beginning, we board our boat for the Tlingit village of Hoonah. We will be taking either the Alaska State Ferry or a local water taxi. Either will take us and all of our gear for our week of kayaking from Juneau, the capitol of Alaska, west to the village of Hoonah.
Leaving Juneau, a large city by Alaskan standards, we arrive in Hoonah, a village located on Chichagof Island in Southeast Alaska. With around 850 residents and the largest Tlingit community in the state, Hoonah is set in the heart of the Tongass National Forest, part of the largest temperate rain forest and expanses of wilderness in the world. Made up of towering coastal mountains and lush green forests, the area around Hoonah is renowned for outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing and watching wildlife. Culturally rich and diverse, the Tlingit people have made Hoonah their home for generations and we have the pleasure of learning about their way of life. Whether listening to Tlingit elders tell us the story behind their totems, which can be seen on display in town, or watching Tlingit dancers, we will get the story of Hoonah from the people who live here.
Pushing off into the waters of Port Frederick and Tenakee Inlet we are in the heart of Chichagof Island and truly in the wilderness of South East Alaska. This area is still home to an intact ecosystem with an incredible number terrestrial and marine species. Paddling our kayaks allows us to travel silently, becoming part of the landscape and giving us the opportunity to see wildlife. These waters are home to humpback whales, orcas, seals and sea lions to name a few. Chichagof Island has the largest number of bears per square mile in the world along with an incredible diversity of other species including wolves, coyotes, moose and many others. Not to worry, your guide lives amongst these creatures and has spent many years traveling safely and respectfully in the backcountry of Southeast Alaska. Once we have reached the end of Port Frederick, we will use the wind and the tide to help us cross a short portage into Tenakee Inlet. As we make our way toward Tenakee springs via Tenakee Inlet, we can take the time to explore the many small bays along the way. Or if we are pressed for time, we can simply follow the northern shoreline to Tenakee Springs
If we are on schedule, we will have an afternoon and part of the following day to experience the unique community of Tenakee Springs, population 85. Famous for its hot springs we can take a soak or explore the town, talking with local artists or taking in the sites while sitting in a local cafe. Maybe if we are up for it we can swing by the Tenakee Market, a must-see and a perfect spot to pick up a delicious brew or bottle of wine along with a wide variety of other gourmet items. By our second day in Tenakee Springs, we will wish we had more time to spend, but our boat awaits to take us back to Juneau. The adventure isn’t over yet, however, as the ferry ride or water taxi ride will be full of amazing possibilities.
Meet your guide in Juneau for a pre-trip meeting.
Depart Juneau on the Alaska State Ferry or aboard a local water taxi for the village in Hoonah. Spend the afternoon and evening in Hoonah exploring this historic village and prepping our gear for our departure the following morning
After breakfast we shove off into Port Frederick and our expedition begins. Taking some time to get comfortable in our kayaks and have a discussion about on-the-water safety, we will head down the inlet toward our first campsite.
After a good cup of coffee or tea and a hearty breakfast, we will break camp, pack our kayaks, and head to the portage that leads us to Tenakee Inlet.
Waking the next morning with the portage behind us, we head to the southeast in the direction of Tenakee Springs. We have three days to cover the distance.
Mid-way up Tenakee Inlet, both Seal Bay and Long Bay offer excellent camping opportunities and lots of chances to explore the tidal flats.
If we are on schedule today it's our final day in our kayaks. We will arrive in the village of Tenakee Springs mid-afternoon and can take a soak in the legendary Tenakee Hotsprings.
After a good breakfast and some packing, we can explore the village of Tenakee Springs as we wait for our water taxi or the Alaska State Ferry to take us 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)