The Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier
in North America & is located at the head of Yakutat
Bay. The glacier is 75 miles long, has a face
6 miles wide and up to 400 feet high. It is one of
the most active glaciers in the world. It has
been known to travel up to 36 feet in a single day.
Hubbard Glacier continues to advance and threatens
to close off the entrance to Russell Fjord which
will turn it into a freshwater lake. If this
happens, the water is expected to eventually
overflow into the Yakutat Foreland creating a
braided river system that will overtake the Situk
River and its tributaries. Just west of Yakutat the
Malaspina Glacier appear as a huge white ice field
and is part of what makes the Yakutat area the most
glaciated area of North America.
Yakutat is on Monti Bay on the south shore of Yakutat Bay
approximately 2 miles from its mouth. Monti Bay is the only
sheltered deep water port within 100 miles. Barges,
the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries and other cargo and
fish processing vessels use this port regularly to deliver
goods, pick up supplies & transport visitors to the area.
Monti Bay is bordered on the northwest side by Khantaak
Island, the site of the original village of Yakutat.
Just outside of this island is some of the best early season
fishing for the wily silver salmon. From Yakutat to the
north & east are an array of islands that create protected
waters for exploring, fishing opportunities, & wildlife
viewing from charters, skiffs, & kayaks.
Fish for halibut, ling cod, black cod, king salmon, & silver
salmon in Yakutat Bay from charters or rental skiffs. Unlike
many other Alaskan destinations, fishing for halibut in
Yakutat is usually just 40 minutes from the dock in 50-200
feet of water. While seeking the large flatfish, by-catch
can be ling cod, black cod, & even salmon. On your charter
day, choose to make salmon fishing your priority and land a
nice king salmon or box 6 silvers for each person on the
For more information about Yakutat, call the lodge at
907-784-3245 & order “The Place in Alaska Called Yakutat” on
DVD for $13 & plus $5 shipping/handling. Thank you to Ted
Heikell, writer, producer, & moderator of the DVD for
information about Yakutat.
Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains and
The highest coastal mountain range in the world with
7 of the highest ten peaks in North America, this
mountain range sits to the north of Yakutat and is
visible from Leonard’s Landing Lodge. The
largest of the mountains is Mt. St. Elias which
soars 18,008 feet from the ocean to the clouds
making it the second tallest peak in the United
States. The Danish explorer Vitus Bering first saw
Mt. St. Elias emerge as fog lifted and named it in
honor of the Danish holiday, St. Elias Day. In
the Tlingit language, the mountain name is Was-eiti-shaa
meaning “Mountain in Icy Bay.” Another peak, Mount
Logan has the most massive summit in the world, with
a ridge top extending for more than 10 miles.
Climbers seek out this mountain range for the
adventure of climbing the tremendous wilderness
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve was established in 1980.
With 13.2 million acres it equals the area of 6 Yellowstones. The
park offers opportunities for all kinds of wilderness activities
such as sightseeing, flight seeing, fishing, hunting, river
floating, kayaking, & more.
million acres, the Tongass National Forest is the nation’s largest
national forest. It is comprised of forest, mountains, lakes,
streams, muskegs, & glaciers. The mild, wet climate provides the
correct conditions for the largest old-growth temperate rainforest.
The Forest Service office in Yakutat offers sale of maps & plenty of
information on wildlife and hiking.
Yakutat area inland
Drop a drift boat in at the upper end of the world
class Situk River & spend a day in the Alaskan
wilderness with the wildlife. Fish your way to the
lower end where your transportation will take you
back to the lodge. Why not hire a drift boat guide
so you can concentrate on fishing and enjoying the
scenery? This trip is a good idea for your first
trip to Yakutat as it gives you the opportunity to
learn more about this amazing river.
As an alternative to drifting
the Situk you can drive to the upper or lower end and hike to
the best fishing holes. The trails are well-maintained with
little elevation for easy hiking. You will quickly find your
favorite fishing spots.
The banks of the local rivers,
the Situk along with the Lost River and Tawah Creek and River
are home to grizzly bears and moose who visit the rivers for
their bounty. River otters play along the shore as do minks and
ermine. Bald eagles fly overhead as they tend their nests and
many other Alaskan bird species can also be seen.
The 25 mile drive to the Dangerous River provides access to
Harlequin Lake which is fed by the Yakutat Glacier. Icebergs
floating in the lake are viewable from the first ever “bridge to
nowhere” in Alaska (there was originally a plan to connect Yakutat
to the road system through Haines) that crosses the Dangerous River.
Or hike the trail to the lake itself for the best sight of blue
icebergs that float on the lake before finding their way down the
glacial silt filled river towards the ocean.
Astounding collections of wildflowers border the route to the
Dangerous River. The best spectacle of color and species are
in full bloom in late July. Take along your Alaskan wildflower field
guide for identifying all the varieties. Keep your eyes ready to see
the wildlife that lives along the road.
Book a charter and fly
for the day to one of many destinations that are less than an
hour away. The Italio, East, and Akwe Rivers are located south
and east of Yakutat and all have a strong runs of silver salmon
in the fall. The Akwe and East also produce king salmon. North
of Yakutat, the Tsiu River has an excellent silver salmon run in
the fall. These brief flights also offer the opportunity to view
the spectacular scenery along the way. The next large bay off
the Gulf of Alaska, Icy Bay is a breathtaking area of glaciers,
mountains, and icy blue water. Take some time there to view
wildlife, explore by kayak, or do some hiking.
Ask more about these areas
when booking your trip to Yakutat.