Sea Kayaking in Alaska

Sea kayaking is the perfect mode of transportation to explore the beautiful waters of Alaska. Silently gliding along coastlines and icebergs allows the kayaker the opportunity to witness nature in a setting like no other. This opportunity often includes watching bears go through their daily routine or getting up close to seals and whales as they feed. Taking a sea kayaking trip to see the true Alaska is a wonderful adventure.

Alaska sea kayaking is available to kayakers with varying experience. Beginners to kayaking will enjoy the trip as well as the most experienced kayakers. Most adventure companies offer the guiding and training to beginners that will afford them the trip of a lifetime. Experienced kayakers have the opportunity to choose between tandems, singles or even bring their own kayak. These guide companies offer sea kayaking tours in Aialik Bay, Granite Fjords, Glacier Bay, Glacier Bay National Park, Admiralty Island, the Inside Passage, Kachemak Bay, Point Andolphus and Mount St. Elias.

Aialik Bay, a network of fjords extending from the massive Harding Icefield, covers over half of Kenai Fjords National Park. Three tidewater glaciers spill down off the Harding Icefield into Aialik Bay. The nutrient rich water provided by these glaciers spilling attracts a wide variety of wildlife. Black bears and seals are found near the glaciers as well as whales that feed offshore. Endangered Steller sea lions have a haulout in this location and masses of seabirds nest here in the summer. Adventures on Aialik Bay can range from one day to seven days. Seven-day sea kayaking trips generally provide an ultimate Alaskan wilderness experience as well as gaining an understanding of the area. The remaining trips, with fewer days, all have a little less time to explore while allowing the travelers to enjoy the pristine beauty offered to them.

Granite Fjords is pure wilderness with 3,000-foot high cliffs and cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush forests located in the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. Nutrient rich waters attract fish, marine mammals and sea birds. Paddle to get a spectacular view of Dawes Glacier. Even though this can be a strenuous trip with the kayakers in good shape, no previous kayaking experience is necessary.

Glacier Bay, once a great river of ice, is now water-filled fjord with glaciers fallout out of the mountains, meeting it. Pitch camp in the unforgettable setting and paddle around the remote, pristine wilderness found at the least visited portion of one of the world’s most famous glaciers. In this area, wildlife is teeming, so the kayaker may have the opportunity to spot bears, mountain goats, marine mammals and seabirds. This is also a very active trip, so kayakers should be in good physical condition.

Explore the Glacier Bay National Park’s East Arm, including spending several days experiencing Muir Inlet with the gorgeous McBride and Riggs Glaciers. In one week, the kayaker can observe the complete ecological process form dense lush rainforest to newly exposed rock. Paddling between huge icebergs in front of towering glacier faces is the best way to see Glacier Bay and is definitely an unforgettable experience. Wildlife in this area includes both black and brown (grizzly) bears as well as hump back whales.

Take the opportunity to paddle past wild bears as they fish in rich salmon streams and interact with nature. Admiral Island National Monument offers this opportunity as well as camping under the lush canopy of the forest while exploring this fascinating wilderness.

Explore the natural beauty of the Inside Passage while paddling through Alaska’s wilderness. Sea kayaking is the best way to discover the dramatic coastal ecosystem and the varied marine life found in the Tongass National Forest. The wilderness waters located around Juneau allow for unbelievable sights such as perched bald eagles, seals playing in the ocean surf, or even an occasional humpback whale. Paddle the scenic shores of Berner’s Bay or explore Echo Cove all the while keeping a watchful eye out for the beauty of the wildlife in the area.

Sea kayaking on Kachemak Bay is a trip that is both active and challenging. Once again, discover the pantheon of wildlife that Alaska has to offer. While in the Kachemak Bay area, take a paddling trip to Peterson Bay, to see Gull Island, which is a rookery for puffins, murres and black-legged kittiwakes. Discover the crystal clear Alaskan waters full of starfish, anemones, crab and urchin. Next, explore China Poot while searching for eagles, otters and spawning salmon, but be on the look out for black bear. Paddle to Halibut Cove, which is only accessible by boat or seaplane and is the home to anglers and artists. While paddling to Halibut cove, the kayaker will have the opportunity to spend another day filled with sea arches, eagles’ nests and even a glimpse of a glacier.

Point Aldolphus is Alaska’s most famous humpback whale feeding area. Spend days kayaking and watching humpback whales, Orcas, sea lions, eagles and sea birds.

Mount St. Elias, located west of Glacier Bay, is home to the remote and spectacular Icy Bay and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Here kayakers can view vast ridges, open meadows and wide beach flats created by moving glaciers. Kayakers can also witness steep fjords, waterfalls, massive glaciers and towering peaks that are home to bears, mountain goats, moose, wolves and seals, along with many types of birds.

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