Early summer in Southeast Alaska is a magical time. All is a-flutter: birds are on the move, bears and their cubs are feeding, and the weather is (usually) fine. Join us for fishing, wildlife viewing, boating and flying in Southeast Alaska.
Last updated: January 10, 2019
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide at the Juneau airport in the morning. After a brief orientations we’ll board a float plane and head into the sprawling green wilderness. You’ll take the scenic route to Gustavus with a stop for world-class bear viewing at Pack Creek along the way. By evening you’ll be settling into the comfortable accommodations of the Bear Track Inn. (L,D)
Explore the heart of Glacier Bay on a full-day boat tour, where you’ll come face to face with ice calving off the glaciers, huge rafts of sea-otters, and with luck, bears grazing on the shore beneath towering peaks. Another night at Bear Track Inn.(B,L,D)
We’ll charter the Taz, a private whale watching boat, to Point Adolphus and spend the day observing whales and bird life in Icy Straits. We should have some time to explore the Galcier Bay Park headquarters and visitors center in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
Wake up at Bear Track Inn, and spend a couple of hours exploring Gustavus. In the afternoon you’ll fly up Glacier Bay, above the spectacular ice field and over the 2500 meter peaks to the small coastal community of Haines, Population 2,400. Stay at the Halsingland Hotel in historic Fort Seward. You will meet with your rafting guide to prepare for your camping expedition the next day. (B)
Weather permitting we fly, one at a time, in a “bush-plane” deep into the mountains and land next to the glacier. Set up camp and let the fun begin! WE’ll have the afternoon to hike and explore. We can walk on the glacier or work our way up towards the head of the valley. It is dramatic and challenging country and there is no end to the adventures we can invent. (L,D)
Down the river. We’ll paddle and row our raft captained by your guides through the initial rapids and down through the braids. Once we pass the rapids we enter the forest and tundra gives way to lush greenery on the banks. If water levels and time permit we’ll have a chance to explore and fish in the Little Salmon River before paddling the remaining miles to the Chilkat River and the road. It is a quick drive back to Haines to freshen up at the Halsingland. Maybe you’ll want to celebrate at the distillery. (B,L)
Where else can you camp in the mountains one day and paddle on the ocean the next? We’ll plan to enjoy a full day on the ocean sea kayaking. The wind and the weather will dictate where we go, but the green and grey waters beckon us to explore. Worn-out from a day of paddling and searching for wildlife we’ll return to Haines mid-afternoon. Stay at the Halsingland Hotel. (L)
On your last day in Haines you can choose your own adventure. Either spend the day fly-fishing on the river, or drive into British Columbia for a bike tour in the tundra. Either direction you choose will be full of fun and amazing scenery. A final night at the Halsingland. (L)
It is an early morning farewell to Haines, but the adventure isn’t over. Board the Fjordlands catamaran to travel from Haines to Juneau. This is a 70 mile boat ride through some of the finest scenery in Alaska (with a little en route whale watching just for fun). You can schedule your flights out of Alaska anytime after 2 pm.
Such a joy to spend days where time was meaningless. A wonderful adventure and I would like to return next year for a longer, more challenging trip.
You mentioned to me in an email that you have terrific guides - you do indeed. Dave is a superb guide. He is personable, knowledgeable about the Arctic, and has excellent group management skills. I appreciated the time he spent teaching me to read the map, which is not easy without trails. He allowed Adrian and me to hike at our own pace and he encouraged all of us to explore the area surrounding our campsites. I know the others would concur in my praise.
Bear Viewing en-route from Juneau to Gustavus
3 nights lodging at Bear Track Inn in Gustavus
Private boat trip up Glacier Bay
Whale watching at Point Adolphus
flights to Haines
4 nights lodging in Haines at the Halsingland Hotel
overnight camping expedition on the Tsirku River
full day of sea kayaking with Southeast Alaska Expeditions
full day of either freshwater fishing with Fly Guides or biking in the Haines Pass with Sockeye Cycle
transportation from Haines to the Juneau airport via Fjordlands
Transportation from your home to Juneau or return
Meals other than those specified above
Gratuity for guide
Expect it to be cold and wet and plan accordingly. With luck it will be 60 and sunny many days. Bug shouldn’t be an issue at this time of year. Climate data for Haines can be found here.