Fjords of the Inside Passage Kayaking

Explore the pristine tidal waters of the upper Lynn Canal and the Chilkat Peninsula. The surrounding islands, meadows and coves offer paddlers a remarkable Alaska marine wilderness with incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, glacier hikes, and secluded camps.

Trip Photos

  • Departing from Kelgaya Point, a remote beach with fantastic views Departing from Kelgaya Point, a remote beach with fantastic views
  • Paddle south from the Haines Peninsula toward Eldred Rock Paddle south from the Haines Peninsula toward Eldred Rock
  • Camping along the Chilkat Inlet outside of Haines, AK Camping along the Chilkat Inlet outside of Haines, AK
  • Portage Cove, Haines AK Portage Cove, Haines AK
  • The Chilkat inlet offers protected paddling and unique camping options The Chilkat inlet offers protected paddling and unique camping options

Trip Notes

Location: Alaska/Yukon
Meeting Point: Haines, AK
Destination: Haines, AK
Duration: 1, 3, 5 days
Price: $185, $595, $895 (+ tax, in USD)
Activity Type: Kayaking
Season: May, June, July, August, September
Guide to Guest Ratio: 1 to 6
Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5
Paperwork Required: Registration, Health Form, Risk Acknowledgment
Related Trips:

Trip Description

Haines is home to beautiful tidal waters at the top of Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage.  Haines sits at the top of the Lynn Canal, one of the longest and deepest fjords in the world. This area offers excellent kayaking for beginners and experts alike. The beaches are wild and pristine, with more chance of seeing wildlife than people.  Marine life includes humpback and orca whales, sea lions, seals, salmon, eagles, waterfowl and more. The sandy beaches make for great campsites and the towering mountains add spectacular scenery.  The area offers access to remote islets, blue-ice glaciers, and pristine Alaska wilderness.

Our guides are trained naturalists and excellent instructors who enjoying sharing their knowledge of the area.   Our itineraries are flexible in order to make the most of the sea conditions, group abilities, and wildlife viewing opportunities.  We are often able to structure a private or small group departures at our regular cost.  Join us for a memorable adventure into this unique marine environment. All equipment is provided and beginners are welcome.

GETTING TO HAINES: Regular flight service runs to Juneau, AK. From there you are a short 45 minute flight or a 4 hour ferry along the Alaska Marine Highway to get to the small coastal community of Haines.

KAYAKING: Haines based kayaking programs focus on paddling time, allowing us to explore beautiful coves and islands in the Chilkat Inlet. Optional hikes along lush coastal trails can add to the adventure and offer good options when conditions are challenging.

LYNN CANAL: This kayaking adventure takes place along the Chilkat Peninsula and Chilkat State Park. Longer itineraries may allow us to paddle across the Chilkat Inlet to Glacier Point, where we are able to hike up right up to the face of the Davidson Glacier.

OUR GUIDES: Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School Inc. instructors and guides are professionals. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience guiding throughout Alaska and the world that they will truly enjoy sharing. Their skill and positive attitudes will ensure that you have the best possible experience during your trip. Your safety and enjoyment are their primary goals.

Trip Itinerary (in a printable PDF format)

We typically offer 1-day, 3-day and 5-day sea kayaking itinerary out of Haines.  Below is a sample itinerary based of a 5 day trip:

Day 0: Meet in Haines for a pre-trip orientation. Lodging and meals on your own.

Day 1: We’ll launch along the Chilkat Peninsula and paddle throughout the day, stopping for lunch along one of the beaches within Chilkat State Park.

Days 2-4: We’ll continue to explore the pristine waters along the Chilkat Peninsula. We will paddle through coves and small islands, walk along unspoiled beaches, and seek out wildlife in the waters and along the shore.

Day 5: We’ll paddle to the take-out and head back to town, guests may elect to catch an evening flight/ferry (must depart later than 5 PM) or enjoy a relaxing stay in Haines, Alaska.

What wildlife will we see?
A multitude of avian species occupy the Upper Lynn Canal. Depending upon the season, marbled murrelets, scoters, pigeon guillemots, Harlequin ducks, bald eagles, and Arctic terns are commonly spotted in and along the fjord.

Marine mammals such as humpback whales, Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, and river otters are frequently seen in the Chilkat Inlet. While it is possible to see orca or minke whales in any of the waters around Haines, humpbacks are far more common.

On land we may catch a glimpse of a moose traveling through the marshlands, brown bears roaming the shoreline, or mountain goats high above treeline. Though rare, it is possible to see wolves on shore from time to time.

What is the weather like in Southeast Alaska? What are the best months to go?
Weather in Southeast Alaska is often associated cool temperatures and frequent rain fall. May and June offer the least average rain fall of any months, with July and August precipitation steadily increasing up to the rather wet September and October. Daytime temps are typically in the 50’s and 60’s.

Will I be paddling in a tandem or solo kayak?
Tandem (double) kayaks are more stable and the preferred method of paddling for all of our guests. If you have extensive experience, and skilled with self-rescue techniques and comfort with paddling a solo kayak, we are happy to consider making this option available to you.

What is the Camping like? Are there any facilities?
Campsites are often in the intertidal zone, on sand or small rocks and gravel. Chilkat State Park has a network of trails developed along the peninsula, the conditions on which become more rugged the further we paddle away from Haines. Disposing of waste happens in the intertidal zone (beaches) according to LNT practices. Guides will choose the campsite based on conditions. You may find yourself camped on a beach with breathtaking vistas of the nearby Davidson and Rainbow Glaciers, or in a small protected cove. Most sites offer plenty of room to explore and flat, well-drained sites for tents.

What is a typical day like on a trip?
Each evening we will discuss the following day’s plan. The route for the day will dictate your wake up time. The guides will greet you for drinks and breakfast, and you can begin to pack up your personal belongings. After breakfast, we will break camp, pack the kayaks, and depart for the day’s paddle. We may stop to check out certain places on shore, or float around and view wildlife or glaciers in one spot for a while. We will stop for lunch, and continue on to our next camp. Sometimes we may scout for camps, and keep paddling due to bear activity or site occupants.

How close do we get to glaciers?
While on the water we’ll have several great viewpoints of the hanging Rainbow Glacier and the Davidson Glacier, which are just a few miles inland. It is possible to add in a short hike to see the Davidson Glacier up close, feel free to express interest in this optional hike to your guide!

How much paddling will we do each day?
The desires of the group largely control how much paddling is done. We will typically move camp every night paddling about 3-5 hours on the water per day.

What type of food will we eat on kayak trips? Can you handle special dietary needs?
Although we use NO freeze-dried or pre-prepared meals, you can expect to each eat meals with bases such as rice, pasta, and other grains on a nightly basis. Fresh vegetables are served on most days, and canned or smoked meats and fish add a great source of protein. Meals will be very similar to what you would cook at home, and we definitely aim to please with interested and varied menus and good presentation. We are also happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions and preferences.

Do I need previous kayaking experience for this trip?
No previous kayaking experience is required, but different trips may require varying levels of fitness. We can suggest a trip to best fit your experience and fitness level, and make every accommodation for you to have a successful and rewarding trip. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns over fitness levels needed for our trips.

How difficult will this trip be? What physical fitness level do I need for this trip?
Physical conditioning before your trip will increase your enjoyment. You must be prepared to help carry personal and group gear as well as your kayak (about 65-80 pounds among four people) up and down the beach. The terrain is uneven and may be slippery. If you don’t normally follow a fitness or exercise regime, we recommend beginning one now. Incorporate activities that build up arm and core strength and flexibility. In paddling, it is more important to be able to maintain a steady pace than it is to have a powerful stroke.

Price: $185, $595, $895(+ tax, in USD)
2020 Dates: May - Sept
2021 Dates: May - Sept

What is included in the trip price:
  • Kayaking & camping gear – group camping equipment, tents, kayaks, paddles, PFDs, etc…
  • Expedition food – all food while out in the field
  • Transportation during trip – travel to our launch area, boat transfers
  • Professional guides – Our guides have extensive knowledge of the area and a passion for kayaking in wild places.
Guests are responsible for the following:
  • Personal clothing & equipment – review the equipment list included under “Documents”
  • Food & Lodging in town – most lodges in Gustavus provide quality food options
  • Trip insurance – we highly recommend trip insurance for all of our programs
  • Airfare – review the “Travel Information” under “Documents” for more details
  • Reviewing trip policies – please reference our policies page for policies regarding payment, cancellations, refunds and guest responsibilities.
  • Gratuities
To Book your adventure, follow the steps below:
  1. Please call to confirm availability at 1-800-766-3396 or fill out an online form to request more information via this link:
  2. Place a $250 deposit to reserve your spot: this can be place over the phone by credit card, check in the mail, or through our payment gateway.
  3. Once you’ve reserved your spot, you’ll receive a welcome packet with all the necessary registration forms and trip information.
  4. We kindly ask that you submit all of the necessary trip registration information at least 45 days prior to your trip.

Feel free to call or email anytime if you have questions about your upcoming trip. Our team is excited to help you prepare for your adventure!

Guest Comments:

Thanks for a great trip. You have allowed me to experience things that I never could have done on my own. It will be a lifetime memory.
– James