Tracy Arm Kayak Expedition

Trip Details

2017 Cost: 3 days/2 night = $1,199 per person (Min of 2 and Max of 4 people per trip in Tracy Arm)

Larger group sizes can be accommodated south of Tracy Arm in Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier. Please contact our office for a quote to this area.

Trip Duration: 3 days/2 nights

2017 Trip Dates: June 1-3; June 16-18; July 1-3, July 19-21, August 2-4; August 16-18

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What to Expect

Highlights: Adventure Bound boat cruise, Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers or Dawes Glacier, blue icebergs, steep cliffs, large waterfalls, wildlife (possibility of seeing harbor seals, whales, bears, eagles, arctic terns, mountain goats), and kayaking in front of a calving tidewater glacier

Areas you can cross off your bucket list are:
Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm Fjord and Wilderness, Calving Glaciers, Kayaking Around Icebergs, Kayaking Next to a Glacier, Camping in Remote Alaska

Sea Kayaking – Glaciers – Icebergs – Wildlife – Camping: An unforgettable exploration of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness!

Wei-kayakers-south-sawyer-glacierTracy Arm and Endicott Arm lie within the Tracy Arm-Ford’s Terror Wilderness 60 miles south of Juneau and are one of Alaska’s premier paddling destinations.  The Tracy Arm Kayak Expedition allows you to explore the steep fjords, feel the awe-inspiring power of active tide-water glaciers, and provides an opportunity to see how the “lonely snowflake” has sculpted the valleys, fjords and majestic landscapes of Southeast Alaska.  In the late 1800’s John Muir described the beauty and grandeur of the Tracy and Endicott Arm fjords as “shut in by sublime Yosemite cliffs, nobly sculptured, and adorned with waterfalls and fringes of trees, bushes, and patches of flowers, but amid so crowded a display of novel beauty it was not easy to concentrate the attention long enough on any portion of it without giving more days and years than our lives can afford,” and “surpassing in some ways those of the far-famed Yosemite Valley.”  Over 100 years later, the fjords have only become more impressive. In Tracy Arm the Sawyer Glacier has receded separating into two tidewater glaciers and creating another inlet, the North Sawyer Inlet.  The recession of the Dawes Glacier has exposed Yosemite like granite domes and created the beautiful North Dawes inlet. With the exception of the glaciers recession, the fjords remain as the same unchanged, untouched and unspoiled Wilderness.

The steep cliff shoreline of Tracy Arm limits the size and number of potential areas to camp.  This in turn limits the number of people found exploring Tracy Arm by kayak and the size of groups that we guide to 4 clients.  For groups of 5-10 clients we will paddle and explore Endicott Arm and the Dawes Glacier.

Allow Above and Beyond Alaska to handle the logistics and provide exceptional guides and equipment to experience this natural wonder.  We will provide you with all of the necessary transportation, gear, food, instruction, naturalist interpretation, and local knowledge.

“Rough it” in luxury as we take care of every detail of your trip.



Location:  Tracy Arm in Tracy Arm-Ford’s Terror Wilderness

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

Activities:  Sea kayaking, paddling around calving tidewater glaciers and icebergs, wildlife viewing, photography, camping

Highlights: North Sawyer and South Sawyer calving tide-water glaciers, paddling beneath towering fjord walls and among glistening blue ice bergs, unique wildlife encounters (harbor seals, porpoise, birds, bears and mountain goats), large cascading waterfalls, wilderness solitude

Paddle Distance:  20-35 miles over 3 days, 5-15 miles per day

Trip Rating: Moderate – No Experience Necessary –

*NOTE – Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm are Wilderness areas with no established facilities. The camping is remote and wild. Additionally, clients will be expected to assist the guide with moving kayaks (weighing up to 90 pounds) on uneven terrain from the water’s edge to above the high tide line.



Trip Description/Sample Itinerary:

  • 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:  Early in the morning our van will pick you up  from your local accommodations and transport you to the Adventure Bound dock where we will pack up our kayaks and you will receive a safety briefing.  Once our kayaks are loaded we sit back and enjoy a three and a half hour boat cruise down Stephens Passage and up to the head of Tracy Arm.  We will then do a deep water launch into our kayaks right in front of the South Sawyer Glacier.  After spending as long as you want watching the calving glacier, drifting icebergs, and curious seals we will paddle to Sawyer Island to set up camp*.  Total paddling distance is approximately 6 miles**.
  • Day 2:  After coffee and breakfast we will load up the  kayaks and paddle into North Sawyer Inlet and up to the North Sawyer Glacier.  North Sawyer Inlet is a narrower and shorter version of Tracy Arm.  At less than 1/2 a mile wide you will simultaneously enjoy the intricate detail and immensity of the landscape.  Once our appetite for exploration of the Inlet is satiated we will paddle up Tracy Arm passing beneath the towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and hanging glaciers to our camp for the night; a small meadow at the edge of a glacially carved valley beside a flowing river.  Total paddling distance is 16 miles with a shorter option of 10 miles which bypasses North Sawyer Inlet.
  • Day 3: A leisurely morning will be followed by paddling further towards the mouth of Tracy Arm.  Time will be spent exploring a mudflat that frequently has beached icebergs, paddling up to more waterfalls, and enjoying the occasional wildlife encounter.  Total paddling distance of 7 miles is covered from camp to the Adventure Bound pickup site.  In the afternoon, we will board the boat with our kayaks for the return trip to town. Arriving back in Juneau at 6pm a van will be waiting to take you to your local accommodations.
  •  *  Tracy Arm has limited camping options.  Where we camp and when we arrive and depart from camp will be tide dependent on the first night.
  •  ** The prevailing wind and current flows from the glaciers and out of Tracy Arm.  This makes the paddling distances easier to cover.
  • Professional Guide with kayaking, camping, and naturalist expertise
  • Van transportation to and from your local accommodations
  • Roundtrip water taxi transportation to and from Tracy Arm
  • 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 3-4 hours in a kayak at a time and paddle 10+ miles in day 
  • **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.

  • Camp will be moved each night and space is limited in the kayak hatches (storage compartments).  Consider the necessity of each item you bring and how much space it takes.  Many smaller items are much easier to pack than a few large items. 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 available for experienced kayakers only!

  • NOTE ON KAYAKING SIZE/WEIGHT LIMITATIONS: Our kayaks can accommodate a maximum torso (waist-chest) diameter of  55 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.

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