9 Best Spots For Kayaking In Alaska - Paddling Through The Last Frontier

Kayaking in Alaska

One of the most scenic places in the world to put your kayaks in the water and enjoy paddling is in the heart of the Last Frontier, Alaska. From the towering snow-capped peaks of the surrounding mountains to the lively wildlife like sea otters and mountain goats to humpback whales, there’s never a moment with a dull view.

Though you could surely plan an adventure kayaking in Alaska on your own or with a group of friends, there are plenty of tour operators and experienced guides throughout the state to help you find some of the most magical places to go sea kayaking and more. Whether you’re searching for a peaceful experience or a challenging adventure kayaking with whales in Alaska, there’s something here for kayakers of every skill set.

 

1) Go Paddling Across The Placid Waters Of Icy Strait Point With An Experienced Guide

While planning your adventure full of kayaking in Alaska, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to check out Icy Strait Point with an experienced local guide. You’ll paddle into the peaceful waters of Port Frederick where you can take in the serene setting as you glide easily along smooth waters.

Amidst the stunning landscape of Alaska, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like bald eagles, harbor seals, sea lions, Sitka black-tail deer, humpback whales, and brown bears feasting on the shorelines. Because your guide is local to the Hoonah area and has over 10 years of experience paddling these waters, you are sure to see the best sites available in Icy Strait Point.

All of your safety equipment and instructions are available at the beginning of the tour, and you don’t need any experience to enjoy some time on the water. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience! Head over to our Fairweather Kayak Adventure page to discover more about our incredible kayaking excursions.

 

2) Take In The Sites Of One Of Alaska’s Most Stunning National Parks

When you paddle through the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park, you have the opportunity to experience the breathtaking power of tidewater glaciers as you kayak through the frigid waters. The waters in this national park are rich with food for various birds and marine mammals, so be sure to keep a lookout for wildlife while you enjoy Alaska sea kayaking during the summer months.

Inexperienced paddlers should always plan a kayak trip here with an experienced professional as summer storms can push ocean swells into the fjords and landing ashore often includes dealing with choppy surf. Consider the potential risks and your personal skill level if you plan on kayaking here in Alaska.

 

3) Experienced Alaska Sea Kayakers Love Prince William Sound

One of the most beloved features of Prince William Sound is that it’s a generally protected body of water with unmatched glacier kayaking access. Prince William Sound typically provides consistent flatwater paddling conditions, though the conditions of the waves and weather can change rapidly in this area.

Because of the sometimes challenging conditions of this kayaking location, you should approach with experience and caution. Kayakers visiting this location should have baseline kayak paddling and rescue skills as a requirement for a safe day on the water. You should have sea kayaking experience on the ocean and the backcountry under your belt to be sure you’re ready for this Alaska kayaking excursion.

 

4) Go Kayaking In Alaska With Whales And More Wildlife At Resurrection Bay

If you’re staying anywhere near Seward, Alaska, then a potential whale-watching location is just a short drive away at Resurrection Bay! This kayaking location is surrounded by vibrant green forests and lofty mountains, making it a coveted location for kayaking in Alaska.

The waters are calm at Resurrection Bay, and there are plenty of wildlife to encounter, including seals, otters, and even the occasional humpback whale sighting! One of the most majestic sites to see at Resurrection Bay is the soaring bald eagles whose white heads stick out against the colorful green forests and bright blue waters of the bay.

 

5) Choose Your Kayaking Adventure In The Largest National Forest In The U.S.

Indulge in a day of kayaking in the Tongass National Forest during your trip to Alaska, and enjoy both freshwater and saltwater experiences while you’re here. Because this is the largest national forest in the country, there are endless opportunities to create your own kayaking adventure.

Glide through the pristine wilderness of the Tongass National Forest by exploring the lakes, rivers, and inlets here. This is definitely a location you’ll want to take your time in, and have a camera ready to capture the view of the enormous emerald green trees, and the landscape and wildlife that make this one of the most beautiful regions to kayak through.

 

6) Capture The Beauty Of Bear Glacier On The Kenai Peninsula

If you already plan on paddling through the Kenai Fjords National Park, then you should carve out some time to kayak out to the Kenai Peninsula and get up close and personal with one of its most enormous and breathtaking glaciers.

Bear Glacier is a popular spot for kayakers in Alaska because of the sheer size of the massive glacier. You can paddle up close to see the magnificent ice formations in all their glory, as well as capture the majesty of the nearby mountain tops and landscapes near the shorelines.

 

7) Challenge Yourself To Some Of The Most Grueling Kayaking In Alaska

Seasoned kayakers should definitely have Inside Passage on their bucket list of places to see. This kayaking route is not for the faint of heart and should only be attempted if you have plenty of time on your hands. Weather and conditions along the route vary depending on the weather, but the incredible sites and wildlife experiences, including whale watching, make the experience on Inside Passage more than worth it.

If you start in Skagway, Alaska, and make your way down the entire 1250-mile route to the border of the United States and Canada in Washington, it will take you about 80 days to complete your journey; that is if you paddle for 15 miles a day and don’t take any days off or take the time to layover in any particular location. If you’re willing to make the trip, however, you’ll see just why so many kayakers call this one of the most beautiful kayaking routes in the world.

 

8) Kayak One Of The Most Stunning National Parks In Alaska

A visit to Denali State Park will get you so much more than great views of the landscape and towering distant peaks like its namesake, the tallest and most prominent mountain around, Denali Mountain.

Glide out on the glassy waters of Byers Lake to take in the serene forest views and countless mountain peaks in the distance as you take a relaxing and simple kayaking trip through the park.

 

9) Don’t Miss Your Chance To Kayak With Whales In Alaska

Many people travel to locations like Hoonah and Kenai Fjords and other popular locations to go whale watching, but did you know you can get up close and personal by kayaking with whales in Alaska? Although this is an exhilarating experience to include in your travels, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you hit the water in search of these majestic creatures.

You’ll want to stay over 300 feet away from whales when you see them in the wild, trying to keep your kayak to the side of the animal rather than to the front or its rear. Let the whale decide if they want to come closer to you. And don’t worry, whales are picky eaters and are not known to eat or attack humans, but they are very curious creatures and may come up close to get a better look.

If you’re lucky enough to get close to a whale while kayaking in Alaska, keep your hands to yourself and be sure not to feed them anything. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime view of these beautiful creatures as they get to know you.

 

Make The Most Of Your Trip With Our Alaska Kayak Tours

Whether you want to make sure to see all the best sites in Alaska without missing anything important, or you simply feel more comfortable with a professional guide leading your group, our team at Icy Strait Point Excursions can help you make the most of your trip with our Fairweather Kayak Adventure.

We lead you out onto the waters with all the safety equipment you need and offer our expertise so you don’t have to have experience before hitting the water. Be sure to check out our website to learn more about our tours and to set up the experience of a lifetime here in the Last Frontier of Alaska.

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 10

Wilderness Tour and Brown Bear Search - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

This Alaskan wilderness and bear search tour is offered on Chichagof Island, a one-of-a-kind location with the highest population of bears per square mile of any place on Earth. Depending on the season, catch the bears coming out of hibernation and looking for food; or later on in the season when the bears are mating and eating grasses on the tidal flats. Older males fight each other for dominance and mating rights with the females, who at times are not receptive and force the male to give chase. This is truly an experience for the books, and cameras.

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 30

Guaranteed Whale Watching Tours in Icy Straits - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

Join us for the best show in town, a 3-hour whale watching excursion (includes transportation time and approx 2.5 hours on the water) which begins when you board the bus that departs from the Icy Strait Point Excursion Hub, just a short 5-minute walk from your cruise ship. Travel just 1.5 miles through the picturesque landscape of Hoonah, Alaska. On arrival at the Hoonah Harbor, it's “All aboard!” and you’re off for the waters of Icy Straits and the ultimate whale watching experience. The area near Icy Strait Point, with its proximity to Point Adolphus and Glacier Bay, is home to one of the largest summer populations of humpback whales found in Alaska and the whale watching is second to none.

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Saltwater Fishing Adventure

Join local maritime hero Captain Billy, a locally raised Tlingit of Hoonah, Alaska on this unforgettable fishing adventure. His knowledge of area waters is unsurpassed and his desire to share it with you is second to none! Southeast Alaska and Icy Strait in particular, is home to some of the best halibut and salmon fishing around. The biggest halibut on record was caught inside Icy Strait! Hoonah is just a stones throw from Icy Strait so no time is wasted getting to the fishing grounds and the hooks down!

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 12

Kayak Adventure

Your Kayak experience will take you into the peaceful waters of Port Frederick. Enjoy the serenity that can only be had while quietly gliding across the waters near Icy Strait Point enjoying the beautiful Alaskan scenery. Wildlife such as; eagles, seals, sea lions, Sitka black tail deer, whales, and even a bear on the beach are possible sightings. Take a journey into this serene kayak adventure on Icy Strait for an unforgettable experience!

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 14

Whales, Wildlife & Drones

This whale watching tour is personalized, as it takes out a maximum of 14 guests at a time. This allows for a great crew to guest ratio, ensuring your experience is personal. The areas we search near in Hoonah near Icy Strait Point and Point Adolphus are known Humpback whale feeding grounds. Josh has captained in this area for many years and knows the area well! He know how to find the whales! Add in the communication he has with other captains on the other boats, and it's a perfect whale finding system!

What really makes this tour unique is the Drone imagery. Drones are able to see below the water surface and broadcast live video back to the boat.
View pods of orcas effortlessly gliding under the waves, on rare occasions, see humpback calfs playing with their mothers, on rare occasions, the amazing phenomenon of "bubble-net" feeding by groups of humpbacks is seen. Your personal view of the whales is not repaced with drones; just supplemented! You will experience seeing and hearing these amazing animals with your own eyes and ears, and then we take you to the next level with our displays onboard.

Duration
4 to 5 hours
Group Size
1 to 6

Freshwater Stream Fishing

Professionally guided stream fishing excursions on the hidden edge waters of Chichagof, Island.

Duration
3 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
2 to 10

Icy Strait Birding & Nature Experience

Come experience the birds and nature of Chichagof Island, near Icy Strait Point! Every trip is an adventure in this lush rainforest where Brown Bears outnumber humans. While we love delivering stunning target birds like Varied Thrushes, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Bald Eagles, and Steller’s Jays, we aren’t just about birds on this tour. You will be led by an expert birder and naturalist who will set the stage by sharing the human and geological history of the area. You will then get to see how the birds, fish, mammals, plants, forests, rivers, and climate all weave together to create this lush, vibrant ecosystem!