Advice on SE Alaska Sept. 11 to 17

Celebrating 60th birthday with three best friends and looking for fun and adventure with part time in day trips in kayaks and rest on trails,hot springs?..

Not too spendy or rough and can we minimize bugs and rain? Plan to leave from Bellingham on Alaska ferry Sept. 9 but to where in Southeast Alaska?

All this to realize a life long dream of exploring with your buds in the real sour dough country.

Thank you in advance for any help and suggestions.


We did four months there a few years
ago, and I have every day documented with a bunch of good places, (ocean, rivers and lakes) all over AK.

If you want I will gladly e-mail our trip report if you want to read it.




Glacier Bay, or Sitka area
Hello, I’ve been throughout SE extensively over the years, and I think you’d find either Glacier Bay, or the Sitka area very nice. You can fly into the Bay, rent boats, and get shuttled up bay to incredible country. Likewise Sitka area has lots of great camping and paddling. Rain is just a fact of life up there. There’s less rain in Haines, Skagway area, but Lynn Canal, though beautiful, offers fewer camping options. How knarly do you want to get? Much of SE is rocky and camp spots can be hard to find…harder than one might think, depending on the area. You’ll want a nice logde etc., to return to perhaps?

Misty Fjords SE of Ketchikan is also a super spot, but tends to be very wet. Central BC coast from Port Hardy to Klemtu is my favorite section of the Inside Passage.

You have time prior to departure, so make some calls and do some web surfing. Can’t go wrong really. Enjoy!

Thank you
Your pictures tell me you had a great time and both of you are tough to locate such an experience that few will ever know.

Nice shots JackL!
Very cool bear pics. I love the bears, and enjoy being around them. Seen dozens and never a problem, though I respect their space. One of my old climbing buds is a big time bear biologist in Alaska! Where were the shots taken? Tracy Arm? Take care.

Their “Space” is the key !
You are absolutely right.

We had encounters with them all over Ak.

We left a beach that we were having lunch on in Valdez, because one came out of the woods and had his nose in the air sniffing the food.

We encounterd six while we were climbing to the Harding ice field.

We saw them daily on Chilkat Lake in Haines, and one mother that was trying to teach two second year cubs how to fish for Salmon gave a fake charge at us even though we were in deep water.

Two of our most awesome experiences were one in Danali when we were hiking and were going through a Willow patch, and thankfully doing the “hey bear” thing. A mother brown with two first year cubs stood up about fifty feet from us. She stood what seemed to be twice as tall as either of us, and just sniffed and sniffed. We stayed still and just kept talking the way we were and after what seemed to be an eternity, she went back to grubbing for what I was guessing a ground squirrel. We still stayed where we were and kept calmly talking, and every so often she would check us out, until she finally ambled off with the little ones.

The big problem was she was in the direction we had to go, and there was a icy river on our left, and a cliff on our right. We opted for the cliff.

Later that day in talking to a ranger, he said we were very fortunate, since most people never get to see new cubs. These were only about 13 or 14 inches long.

The second was when we had a black so close that we could smell its breath, (about two feet).

Thankfully again we were both talking, so the bear knew we were there even though we didn’t know it was. It stood up in bushes right in front of us, gave us a look and ( if a bear can grin, I swear it grinned) and then walked away.

I could go back through my trip report and see where each encounter was, but we had another close one on a beach in Johnston Straight BC.

From all our wildlife encounters, the most thrilling are the ones with bears. They are wondeful ceatures, and are to be admired and respected, but not fooled with like we do with the gators down in Florida.



Se Alaska
You can not go wrong in southeast Alaska for adventure. I would recomend spending sometime in the Petersburg area. It is the smaller of the towns the main ferry stops at and has good hiking trails and paddling areas. I would suggest a hike up Petersburg creek to Petersburg lake and a paddle to Le Conte Glacier which is the southern most tide water glacier in Alaska. Well worth the visit. Lots of bears on that Petersburg Creek trail, especially if the salmon are running so be aware and give them there space and they will leave you alone. Paul

To add to the list…
There are lots of cabins you can rent from the USFS in the Misty Fjords area and one of them is close to some hot springs called Bailey Bay Hot Springs. Just google them up.