From the rugged glaciers of the Chilkat Range to the calm waters of our local fjord we’ll explore the beauty and contrasts of northern Southeast Alaska with this combination rafting, hiking and kayaking trip near Haines.
Last updated: August 17, 2019
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guides for a pre-trip meeting at your hotel in Haines at 5 pm. Lodging included.
Weather permitting we fly, one at a time into the Upper Tsirku and land next to the glacier. Set up camp and let the fun begin!
A full day to hike in the upper Tsirku. We could hike to the very head of the valley and day-hike into the peaks above the glacier. Or stay closer to camp and paddle around in the glacial lake or scamper on the ice. It is dramatic and challenging country and there is no end to the adventures we can invent.
Down the River. We’ll paddle and row our raft captained by your guide 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. We spend this night at a local B&B in Haines. Lodging included.
Showered and with clean clothes ready for the next adventure, we load our gear into the water-taxi for a 1/2 hour boat ride across the inlet and south of Haines to our favorite campsite. We’ll pitch our tents above the tide-line in the grass near a small river, protected from the south-wind and with an amazing view of the mountains and ocean. Welcome to paradise! We’ll have the afternoon to collect driftwood, hike the beach or kayak along the shore in search of wildlife.
Tide and wind are our masters. We can paddle into quiet coves, or kayak across the broad grey sea. We can climb to the top of an island for views up and down the fjord, fish for halibut, or walk in the green woods. No matter where we go we’ll scan the beach for bears and the water for whales. Or if you’d prefer to hike inland, we can trek up the river dwarfed by 1,000 ft cliffs to the glacier. It is a challenging hike to a spectacular destination. There is no end to the adventures we can have on the wild and rocky shores of this northern fjord. With long days we can probably do a bit of everything!
All good things must come to an end. We’ll spend the morning packing-up, hiking and paddling. Mid-day we meet our water taxi for the ride back to Haines. If the weather permits, we’ll ask the captain to swing past a big rookery of sealions on the way back to town. We may miss the quiet of the woods and the rhythm of the tide but Haines is a fun town to end a trip in. Lodging included.
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.
3 nights lodging in Haines
2 nights camping on the Tsirku River
3 nights camping along Lynn Canal
Boating, camping and safety equipment
Food while in the field
Professional Guide Service
Transportation to Haines
Food in Haines
Lodging beyond the 3 nights included in the itinerary
Personal clothing and gear per our Equipment List
Gratuity for guides
The weather in Southeast Alaska is highly variable. It can be almost summery with temperatures up to 18C with sunshine or we can be visited by powerful storms with heavy rain and temperatures closer to 10 degrees celsius. The weather inland tends to be drier and cooler with the coast a bit warmer and damp. Each year is different and each day will be different. Pack for the cold and wet, but bring a short-sleeve shirt in case summer is lovely this year. Weather data is available at here.