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Contact Annette to learn more about planning for the following adventures as part of your Yakutat visit.

Wildlife Viewing

Bears may be seen almost anywhere in the Yakutat area.  Most commonly, bears will be near their source of food such as near rivers & along the shorelines.  Always remember that they are wild animals and keep your distance, especially around females with cubs. Moose also frequent the Yakutat area. They tend to like the meadows & boggy areas. Cow moose with calves can be even more aggressive than bears so never get too close.

In the salt water sea otters, seals, whales, sea lions, and porpoise are common sights. Along the rivers & inland there can be river otters, wolves, and you will see lots of eagles!  Use a telephoto to obtain your memorable photo.

For additional wildlife opportunities charter a boat on Yakutat Bay or hire a river guide. Getting away from the road system while gaining some safety space from a boat is a great idea. Wildlife are also often visible from the air while on a sightseeing flight or you can out on an ATV tour for more opportunity.

Bird watching

     Each spring and fall outstanding photographic opportunities are offered by huge migrations of shorebirds, raptors, and waterfowl that pass along the coast near Yakutat.
Use binoculars or spotting scopes to avoid disturbing the birds. All summer bald eagles are prevalent along the salt water shores and the rivers. Keep your eyes open to see the giant nests made by the nesting pairs that are used year after year.
Plan your trip around the annual Yakutat Tern Festival event (www.yakutatternfestival.org) to take advantage of the additional events planned for visitors and locals alike. Fieldtrips, glacier cruise, cultural dance performance, local foods, and more.


     Back in areas accessible in Yakutat, there are plenty of other beaches to comb including Ocean Cape with the best tidepools ever! You can rent a kayak or skiff to access the islands in Monti Bay or rent a fat-tire bike to get easily further down the beach (Ross Outdoor Adventures).
    Cannon Beach is an expansive ocean beach along Yakutat Bay. After storms, it is sometimes possible to find Japanese glass fishing floats. For the more serious beachcomber, a short flight from Yakutat to the Southeast will drop you in to remote ocean beaches where you are likely to find all sorts of treasure. Cannon Beach is named for the World War II cannons that were installed to protect the area.


Glacier Viewing

     Book a charter boat to take you to the face of Hubbard Glacier & enjoy great scenery along the route. Bears are often seen along the shores or on high mountain meadows. Near the glacier listen to ice in the water-it’s electric! You may see ice calve from the glacier. The knowledgeable charter captains will fill you in with stories & history of the area.

     View all the glaciers of the area on flight seeing excursion or drive the road to the Dangerous River and hike the short distance to Harlequin Lake. The lake is fed by Yakutat Glacier & usually sports many wonderful blue icebergs. Why not rent kayaks, drive them to the Dangerous River bridge, & use our carts to transport to the lake for an amazing experience.


     The following trails are ready for hikers in Yakutat. Mountain Lake Trail, Harlequin Lake Trail, Russell Fiord Trail, Situk Lake Trail, Situk River Trail, Maggie John (Lower Situk) Trail, Fish Train Trail, and Totem Trail (see detailed information at www.seatrails.org/com_yakutat) Yakutat is also the jumping off point for accessing the UNESCO Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek World Heritage Site which surrounds Yakutat, the Tongass National Forest (largest National Forest), Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve (largest National Park and home to Mount St. Elias-the second highest peak in the United States), and a portion of Glacier Bay National Park.


     Enjoy the natural beauty of the bays back of Yakutat Bay from the quiet of a kayak! Launch from the shore of Leonard’s Landing to enjoy the view of the towering mountains, watch for wildlife along the shores & in the bay. Take your lunch along, eat it on a deserted beach. Dig for some clams or do a little fishing.

     Transport the kayaks to many other great locations in Yakutat for even more scenery. Launch at the Ankau bridge for exploration of the salt water lagoons, slide into Tawah Creek & paddle through beautiful vegetation on the wide expanse of water, take the kayaks down the trail into Russell Fjord, or drive to the Dangerous River & launch in Harlequin Lake to paddle among the ever present icebergs.

     Sea kayaks may be rented for overnight trips & an inflatable double kayak is now available to rent in order to transport by air taxi for wilderness trips.


Photo opportunities

     With spectacular beauty in every direction, be sure your camera has enough space for all the photographs you will want to take.

     You may rent or charter a boat to take you into the bay, rent a vehicle to reach the places accessible by road, and follow the hiking trails to find the rest. See the information on wildlife viewing, birding, Wrangell-St. Elias National park, and Tongass National Forest for additional information on photography opportunities.


     “Fat-tire” bikes are now available for rent in Yakutat. Use for economic transportation, tour the area, or ride the beaches! See link to Ross Outdoor Adventure on our links page for contact information.


     Yakutat has become known for extreme surfing in both winter and summer. Surfing gear is available for rent from the local surf shop, Icy Waves (see trip planning for link and contact info). The surf shop has a website where tee shirts imprinted with “The Far North Shore” may be purchased. The shop proprietors are also an excellent source of more details about Yakutat surfing opportunities.

Flight seeing

     Flight seeing is available through Yakutat Coastal Airlines. These flights are custom charters that can include flying northwest up Yakutat Bay over the spectacular Hubbard Glacier with a return down Russell Fjord, along the mountains to the southeast, or anywhere you would like to go. Wildlife is also visible from the low altitude. It is an excellent way to utilize a partial day in Yakutat.

Yakutat historical sightseeing

     See cannons that protected the area during WWII, an old military tank, WWII era hangar (home of a future WWII aviation museum), the fish train, and more as you tour Yakutat.


     Life in Yakutat is rich with the culture of the Native people of the area. Here the elders share their knowledge and wisdom through storytelling in the local community gathering place. Hear their story and see the traditional dress regalia of the Tlingit people. Ask about opportunities to hear elders storytellers or see the local Tlingit dance group perform when you make your reservations.




               Above photo courtesy of Cliff & Nancy Hollenbeck
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Annette Harter, Director
Leonard’s Landing Lodge