prince william sound and valdez kayaking

-- Last Updated: Jan-26-08 6:03 AM EST --

in my reaserch it seems that for beginners these places might work for 1 or 2 day trip--when there is saftey and experience concerns---for my up coming trip july 1---r these doable options --
1-seward--- paddling only caines head and thumb cove
2valdez--water taxi to shoup bay and sawmill bay and paddle back to valdez in 2 days


3--where do u get the most bang for your buck for rafting---6 mlie creek seems like the best i have found so far----ive done the upper lower new and gauley rivers---flat water on the colorado through glen canyon----so i am mainly looking for thrills and most of all great scenerey----thanks

besides sixmile
Sixmile is about it on the Kenai as far as whitewater rafting goes. I haven’t done it, but most people that do it, rave about it.

Another good option for rafting with scenery is the upper Kenai river. Find a company that runs trips down through the canyon all the way to Skilak Lake. The upper part of that trip will be crowded with people fishing but still pretty. The lower half won’t have near as many people.


Keystone Rafting out of Valdez does a nice job as well. they offer short trips through Keystone Canyon on the Lowe, and slightly longer trips on the Tsaina (great scenery and quality whitewater.

If you are looking for some good hiking where you won’t see another soul, there are some amazing hikes near my lodge 60 miles north of Valdez on the Richardson Hwy.

More info…
Keystone rafting is a great way to go, out of Valdez.

Considerations for you…my boyfriend is a life-long sailor, and lived in PWS for years on his sailboat.

When I asked him about your options, here’s what he said, "The weather in the Sound in July has the potential for high fog season. When you are close into coastline, your chances are higher for fog and bad weather because the maritime layer comes in and hits the glacier fields converting the moisture to fog. You have to get out a ways to escape the bad weather.

Your idea about Shoup Bay is good, but if it were me, I would take the water taxi both ways. The passageway in and out of Valdez is VERY HEAVY traffic. You have the entire commercial fishing fleet with boats of all sizes, the charter fishing and sight-seeing boats, the small personal fishing boats, (weekend warriors), and most of all you have the Oil Tankers and their accompanying tugs. It’s a commercial port with BIG business.

Valdez Narrows requires an extreme amount of planning, weather watch, and marine knowledge. I have been in some really nasty wind chop in a 45 foot trawler, and I would never want to see that while in a kayak.

These are state maintained cabins for rent. I have never used one, but looks good.

Kenai Fjords and Seward, I have not paddled there. Google for kayaking, I know the guys in Homer have a great reputation. I have had friends take guided trips out of Seward and love it.

If you kayak in the Kenai Fjords, you are not protected, and are exposed to the Gulf of Alaska, and the wind, tide, and weather from it.

This may sound like I am discouraging you, but really I am not. I want you to pick a place that will fit your capabilities, be safe, and enjoy your trip. This is a big wild place; we love to show it off, and share it with visitors.

We have created a Blog for some friends that will be joining us for a kayak trip for 2 weeks in PWS, and it was created to be able to collaborate with them about gear, places, safety, etc. I think I will duplicate it and put it out there for anyone who would like some great information about kayaking in Alaska, and collaborate with us about information.


good info—thanks
i took your thoughts with good intentions–it was very helpfull–i know my options r pretty limited so all of your advice is helpfull–it looks like at best i will use a water taxi to shuttle me back and forth —thanks---- — i just hate the thought of paying someone to provide food and shelter when i can do that----but i just may have to—take care—more ideas r surely welcomed----phil

check out passage canal
Hey, if you only have a day or two take a drive to whittier (only 40 min south of anchorage) go through the tunnel (an adventure in itself…it is two miles long and one lane) and launch from the whittier small boat harbor into the passage canal. You can hug the shore the whole way out into the sound and explore shotgun cove or even blackstone bay and you can’t look in any direction and not see a glacier. I kayak there all the time in the summer…unless there are whitecaps there is no better day trip anywhere

Passage canal
I agree with PatriotBless, passage canal is a great place to access the sound. Plus like he said getting to Whittier is half the fun. Danger lurks in any big water so take precautions and watch the weather and stay close to shore when ever possible. Blackstone Bay is not too far and well worth the visit and if you are really in to some serious adventure head the other direction to College Fjord and Harriman Fjord for some serious glacier action. The hanging glaciers there are awesome. Watch out for that damn Yukon express tourist catamaran if it still runs as it puts out a serious wave.

yep --going there–just need a plan --just got done looking—do i need a water taxi to those places----thanks

water taxi
if you are gonna take a taxi out anyways, you should consider going past shoup and go the Columbia Glacier instead.

You can paddle directly out of Whittier, but it is a fairly busy port as well, and you’d be dealing with a days paddle to get out of there, and into something wild. Same deal coming back. There is a lot of traffic coming in and out of Whittier, but you can hug the shore, be careful, and you’ll be OK. You might be better off getting shuttled out and back, as you’re going to get some better scenery, and away from the traffic near Whittier more quickly. Beautiful place to paddle, but it does get rough when the weather comes in. Make sure to bring a weather radio and listen to the forecasts. Lots of great camping as well, and bring a hand line (after getting a license) so you can troll for salmon as you paddle.

i dont fish—but after readin all the stuff about alaska u got do some type of fishin dont u!!!—thanks