At the northern most end of south east Alaska lies the sleeepy little town of Yakutat. Set on the Gulf of Alaska in the middle of some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable Yakutat is home to right around 1000 brave souls. More than 100 miles from any other town and isolated from the road system the only way to get into or out of is by sea or air. The residents of Yakutat make a living most in the areas of commercial fishing, tourism in the form of mostly guided fishing and hunting as well as a growing ecotourism trend.
About 65 miles north of the town of Yakutat on the eastern shores of Icy Bay lies Icy Bay Lodge a small fishing and hunting lodege that also provides expedition support as well as some sight seeing opportunities. They also provide water taxi service which is great for pick ups and drops for adventurers looking to access Wrangell St. Elias National Park, which surrounds Icy Bay.
Icy Bay in the heart of Wrangell St. Elias National Park is a rarely visited area and is considered a crown jewel to any kayaker or hiker who experiences the area. Icy Bay is full of truly unique opportunities for us as kayakers, allowing us access to tidewater glaciers with countless icebergs to weave in and out of. A plethera of marine mammals and sea birds frequent the waters and shores of these waters all being watched over by the tallest coast mountains on the planet. Rich in life both in its waters and on its shores Icy Bay is home to so many types of life, barring one, humans. We will most likely be the only group in the area and there is a very good chance once we leave Icy Bay Lodge we will not see any human beings on our trip. In the evenings we have access to wonderful beachfront campsites which offer opportunities to sit next to a camp fire gazing out at towering peaks and sprawling glaciers carving highways of ice throurgh the mountains passess.
Over our week of kayaking with the opportunity for a number of day hikes we will experience one of the truly best kept secrets in Alaska. In a place which it takes a life time to explore all this area has to offer Icy Bay and Wrangell St. Elias National Park is the perfect place to start.
Meet your guide in Yakutat for a pre-trip meeting.
On our first morning we will head out to the Yakutat airport to meet our pilot for our flight to Icy Bay Lodge and the begiinig of our week in Icy Bay. Stowing all our gear we climb aboard for the 65 mile flight and a nice smooth landing on the beach near the lodge.
After our first breakfast in the field we will pack our kayaks, check the wind and the tide and head out, either in our kayaks or aboard a water taxi. We will make our way into Taan Fjord where we will spend the first half of this expedition.
Deep in the heart of Taan Fjord we will have breakfast on the beach break down camp and head out into its icy waters. Paddling through icebergs or cruising the shoreline to see if we can spot bears or other wildlife we make our way to the next inviting stretch of beach for a well deserved dinner and an evening by the campfire.
Today we will cross over to the west side of Icy Bay so we make our way to Kageet point and if we are all feeling strong and the wind and tides are in our favor we will make the two mile crossing to the west side of the bay and head toward Tsaa Fjord.
Waking up in Tsaa Fjord we can sleep in a bit today. Off in the distance we can see the Guyot Glacier a tide water glacier ending at the sea. Today we can paddle toward its terminus keeping in mind to stay a safe distance, it calves quite often in spectacular fashion which is both beautiful and dangerous if not respected.
Today we will return to Icy Bay Lodge so we get up early, have a good breakfast, pack up and explore more of Tsaa fjord during the morning as we await our water taxi and a ride back to the lodge. After we are situated at the lodge we can cast a line and do a little fishing or relax near the camp fire as we relish in the glow of our last night in Icy Bay.
This morning we pack up all our gear and explore the area around Icy Bay Lodge, keeping an ear tuned for the sound of our plane and a flight back to Yakutat where a pizza and a shower are now an option.
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)