Spend more than two hours peacefully kayaking through the typically calm waters of Chilkoot Lake, observing the unspoiled vistas and abundant wildlife.
After departing from the pier, you will drive through the National Historic Landmark of Fort William Seward and then head north toward serene Chilkoot Lake. Views of the pristine Alaskan landscape are magnificent in every direction and include dark-green Sitka tree forests and craggy mountain peaks. The lake’s crystal-clear water is typically calm and ideal for kayaking as the surrounding wilderness shelters it from wind.
After a thorough orientation, during which you will learn how easy it is to maneuver in a kayak, you will ease into either a 2- or 3-person kayak and paddle off into the glacial waters. The native Tlingit people named the lake Chilkoot for a word that means “basket of bigger fish,” as the waters here are teeming with large sockeye salmon and trout. In fact, a sockeye or red salmon is a principal symbol of the Tlingits.
Above the surface, you might spot frolicking seals and otters and majestic bald eagles soaring overhead. Larger animals such as moose and mountain goats are often seen ashore. You may also catch sight of brown bears at the water’s edge, as they commonly feed on salmon in their spawning beds. They arrive in such large numbers that the road along part of the waterway is known as “bear highway.”
After more than two hours of unhurried kayaking, you will leave your kayak behind and enjoy a tasty snack on the beach before transferring back to the pier in Haines.
Please note: This tour includes over 2-hours of mostly moderate kayaking and requires a significant degree of physical activity. There will be some uneven terrain and wooden docks and a boardwalk to negotiate. While the tour is suitable for beginners, it is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Layered clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Participants should be prepared for the possibility of rain. If necessary, a spray skirt, rubber boots and rain gear will be provided. The minimum age to participate is 8 years and children under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian. Guests over 6 ft. 6 in. tall and/or weighing over 300 lbs. may not fit comfortably in the kayaks.