Pack Creek to Juneau Kayak Expedition

Trip Details

2017 Cost: $1,299 per person (min of 2 people required).

Trip Duration: 3 days/2 nights

2017 Trip Dates: Custom Trip Only. Contact office to book.
Available May through August – Peak Season for Bear Viewing is July 4-August 25

What to Expect

Highlights: Brown Bear Viewing, Wildlife Encounters (possibility of seeing harbor seals, whales, orca, eagles and more), Exploring the Temperate Rain Forest

Areas you can cross off your bucket list are:
Brown Bear Viewing, Remote Wilderness Kayaking, Camping on Admiralty Island in Alaska

The Ultimate Alaskan Wilderness Kayak Expedition

 Witness the majesty of Admiralty Island, brown bears, and bald eagles from your sea kayak!

Join us for an unforgettable adventure to Admiralty Island: home to untouched old-growth rain forest, snow capped mountains, protected inlets, and one of the largest concentrations of brown bears in the world!  Admiralty Island is the 5th largest island in Alaska with an area of approximately 1,650 square miles.  Living on the island are about 600 people and up to 1800 brown bears: more than one per square mile.

Spend 3 days exploring and experiencing this gemstone of Alaska on a unique point to point route that entails an adventurous combination of a floatplane flight, remote kayaking, brown bear and wildlife viewing, wilderness camping, and a water taxi ride! Choose the direction you’d like to go, flying in to Admiralty Island and kayaking north toward your water taxi pick-up at Oliver’s Inlet or do the opposite route, beginning your trip by water taxi and returning in a float plane after a few days of experience the majestic landscape of Admiralty Island. Either way, this trip is an amazing opportunity to get the most out of your Admiralty Island Experience!

If you choose the Pack Creek to Juneau (south to north) route, you’ll begin with a 25 minute scenic floatplane ride from Juneau and will arrive at Admiralty Island in the heart of the Kootznoowoo Wilderness. Following the flight, the plane gently touches down at our wilderness landing site at Windfall Island, where kayaks await. Enjoy a remote paddle along the tranquil coastline to Pack Creek. Once on shore, the next several hours are spent observing brown bears and learning about their habitat and behavior, hiking through the old growth forest, watching salmon swim upstream to their spawning grounds, and taking in the scenic grandeur of the entire ecosystem while enjoying lunch on the beach. As the afternoon turns to evening, paddle on to camp for dinner and a quiet evening under the stars.

The second day will be spent exploring further as you move north toward Seymour Canal, finding just the right camping spot along the way. Spend your time kayaking, hiking along the shore and in the forest, observing wildlife, searching for bears and bear signs, and learning about the environment and history of the area before enjoying a delicious dinner and a good night’s sleep in the peaceful quiet of the wilderness.

Wake up and let the adventure continue on your third morning as you continue your paddle north to the top of Seymour Canal and the Glass Peninsula, where you’ll load your kayaks and gear onto a human-powered tramway, making the crossing by foot and tram cart to Oliver Inlet. Our boat captain will meet you with your water taxi, on which you and your kayaks will ride back to Juneau, keeping your eyes peeled for whales and marine wildlife sightings along the way. Upon returning to Auke Bay Harbor, your guide will drive you back to your local accommodations with photos to share with friends, an increased appreciation of wilderness solitude, and memories to last a lifetime.

A point to point trip (versus an out and back) provides the unique opportunity to experience new environments, views and perspectives every day of your expedition. Begin your trip with a floatplane flight or with a water taxi ride – either way, you can’t go wrong. This trip incorporates all things amazing about Admiralty Island from multiple perspectives and is one of our favorite expeditions.

John Neary the past USFS Manager of Admiralty Island National Monument and Kootznoowoo Wilderness, eloquently described the wilderness character of the National Monument.  “Tall columns of Sitka spruce hold a ceiling of branches far above deer trails and the thorny spread of devil’s club leaves.  Streams tumble down the steep shoulders of the mountains, the clear water drawing thousands of salmon to spawn in Admiralty Island’s streams every year, a colorful bridge to centuries past.  The Tlingit clans of Southeast Alaska have long known that bear outnumber people by a large margin on the rainforest island known as Kootznoowoo, the Fortress of the Bear, where the brown bear confronts us with our fear of the primeval forest and serves as the ambassador for all things wild.  If we follow a brown bear through the course of her year, from rocky alpine den to a coastal stream exploding with salmon, we’d discover a vast place known intimately by smell and taste.  If we follow bear tracks along the edge of a meadow to her lingering scent on the bark of a spruce tree, we’d inhale her secret message: ‘I am here, I walk this place.’  It is your place to feel the wild pulse of the earth, where the ambassador treads on padded feet.  Walk carefully.”

This expedition provides a unique opportunity to experience Alaska’s remote wilderness solitude and to see the world as it was centuries ago.  You will find no better place than the protected Kootznoowoo Wilderness of Admiralty Island to learn to appreciate the purpose and definition of the Wilderness Act of 1964: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

TRIP DETAILS

Location:  Pack Creek and Windfall Island in the Kootznoowoo Wilderness on Admiralty Island

Duration:  3 days / 2 nights.  Custom length trips are available by arrangement.

Activities:  Sea kayaking, bear viewing, hiking, photography, camping

Paddle Distance:  20-25 miles over 3 days, 5-15 miles per day

Trip Rating:  Moderate – No Experience Necessary

Highlights:  Boat cruise, flightseeing by float plane, viewing brown bears without barriers in their natural habitat, sea kayaking, hiking in old-growth temperate rain forest, unique wildlife encounters (harbor seals, porpoise, birds, bears and deer), Wilderness solitude, camping on an island in Alaska and enjoying a quiet evening by a campfire, exploring beaches and intertidal zone creatures

Bucket List:  Admiralty Island, Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary, Kootznoowoo Wilderness, Viewing Brown Bears in Alaska, Remote Camping in Alaska, Sea Kayaking in Alaska

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Trip Description/Sample Itinerary:

Note – Their are variations to this trip that involve paddling in one direction and flying in the other that may be available upon request.

  • Pre-Trip:  Prior to your scheduled departure, your guide will contact you by phone or meet with you in person to introduce themselves, answer any last minute questions, ensure that you have all the necessary equipment, and to discuss the route and expectations.
  • Day 1:  Our van will pick you up from your local accommodations and transport you to our warehouse for an orientation and gear outfitting.  After packing with your guide, our van will transport you to Douglas Boat Harbor, where we will depart by water taxi.  Enjoy an hour boat cruise to Oliver’s Inlet on Admiralty Island.  After being dropped off by the boat you and your guide will portage gear across a 3/4 mile long tram rail to Seymour Canal.  Once in Seymour Canal you will load up the kayaks and paddle to a coastal beach to set up camp.
  • Day 2:  Following a hot breakfast, pack up camp and paddle towards Windfall Island and Pack Creek looking for bears and eagles on the shore and seals and orca on the water.  The time spent in the kayaks will be broken up with breaks on land to relax, comb the beaches, or explore the old growth temperate rain forest.  Camp will be set up near Pack Creek on either Windfall Island, Swan Island, or at Staunch Point on Admiralty Island.
  • Day 3:  The morning starts with a hearty breakfast and hot drink of your choice and once everyone is ready a beautiful short paddle along the rainforest cloaked coastline brings us to Pack Creek Wildlife Viewing Area.  The entire day is spent at this site with activities including: observing brown bears and  learning about their habitat and behavior, stretching our legs on a one-mile trail through the old growth forest to a viewing platform, watching salmon swim upstream to their spawning grounds, and taking in the scenic grandeur of the entire ecosystem.  In the afternoon a short paddle brings us back to our camp where we pack up our gear and return by scenic float plane back to Juneau. A van awaits to return you to your local accommodations with photos to share with friends, an increased appreciation of wilderness solitude, and memories to last a lifetime. 

 

  • Professional Guide with kayaking, camping, and naturalist expertise
  • Roundtrip van transportation from your lodging to the boat harbor
  • One way water taxi boat cruise to Oliver’s Inlet
  • One way 20-minute float plane transport
  • Permits to Pack Creek
  • All of the necessary kayaking equipment (kayaks, PFD’s, rubber boots, safety gear, etc)
  • All of the necessary camping equipment (tents, sleeping system, stove, pots/pans, etc)
  • Dry bags for your personal clothing
  • Delicious meals and beverages
  • A spirit for adventure
  • Personal clothing (click for Recommended Gear List): We recommend you prepare for rain and hope for sunshine in regards to the weather.  Due to the cool, damp climate it is best NOT to wear cotton and instead, wear clothing made of polyester, wool, fleece, nylon, polypropylene, and/or capilene.
  • Toiletries and personal items (only the essentials, see the Recommended Gear List)
  • Camera with extra batteries and extra memory card
  • Your lodging for the nights before and after your trip
  • The ability to spend up to 2-3 hours in a kayak at a time and paddle 13+ miles in day
  • The ability to hike up to 2 miles over moderate terrain 
  • **WAIVER FORM**  Each individual on the trip must sign a waiver form at the start of the trip. Alterations and/or deletions to the waiver is not permitted.

  • This expedition will be camping at undeveloped, natural sites that do not have ANY amenities.  You will be sleeping in a tent and your restroom will be the open air of the intertidal zone (the area at the ocean waters edge that is affected by the tide).  Tents are 2 or 3 person backpacking style tents that are weather tight, but comfortably snug.

  • ABAK practices Leave No Trace principles and expects clients to do so as well.  Please see the Leave No Trace Camping information under the Additional Information tab.

  • There is a limited space capacity in the kayak hatches  Consider the necessity of each item you bring, how much it weighs, and how much space it takes.  Please review the Recommended Gear List found under the Additional Information tab.

  • We outfit all clients in sit-in double kayaks with spray skirts.  Single kayaks are sometimes available for experienced kayakers.

  • NOTE ON KAYAKING SIZE/WEIGHT LIMITATIONS: Our kayaks can accommodate a maximum torso (waist-chest) diameter of  52 inches (132cm). Maximum weight limits including gear are 300lbs (136kg) for single kayaks and 600lbs (272kg) for double kayaks. People taller than 6’2″ (188cm) have a hard time operating the rudder because the pedals only adjust to a certain maximum distance. However, people as tall as 6’6″ have been able to paddle in our kayaks.

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  • About ABAK

    Above & Beyond Alaska, LLC is a local, employee-owned guiding company based in Juneau. We have been exploring the region from Ocean to Ice for over 25 years and guiding others since 2002. Our goal is to provide a complete Alaskan wilderness experience by sharing with clients our passion for the outdoors, technical know-how, and natural history knowledge.

© 2013 Above & Beyond AK, LLC US Forest Service Permitted by the U.S. Forest Service, Tongass National Wilderness Back to top