Gustavus Wildlife Viewing
Icy Strait

photo of Icy Strait area wildlife Icy Strait is the primary passage for water flowing between the open Pacific Ocean and the northern Inside Passage. Humpback whales, sea otters (in the kelp beds near islands), Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoises and killer whales are drawn to Icy Strait by the abundant food sources. Point Adolphus on the southern shore of Icy Strait is especially well known for whale watching. Look for marbled murrelets, pigeon guillemots, Pacific loons, pelagic cormorants, black-legged kittiwakes and surf scoters in Icy Strait throughout the summer.


  • Harbor Seal
  • Humpback Whale
  • Killer Whale
  • Loons
  • Marbled Murrelet
  • Pelagic Cormorant
  • Pigeon Guillemot
  • Sea Otter
  • Steller's Sea Lion
  • Surf Scoter


Multi-day charters are a great way to increase your chances of seeing wildlife. Local operators offer extended trips (tailored to a range of ability levels) that combine boat tours, kayaking and overnight camping into a multi-day adventure.


  • Fee
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Within Walking Distance


Guided multi-day kayak tours also explore Icy Strait and Point Adolphus. Many accommodations in town will arrange an Icy Strait wildlife tour, or you can check with the Gustavus Visitor’s Association for information.

Plan to spend at least: 4 - 6 hours

Best Months

█ Best Month

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • Best Month May
  • Best Month June
  • Best Month July
  • Best Month August
  • Best Month September
  • October
  • November
  • December


Boat tours to Icy Strait depart from the Gustavus dock (found just south of the main intersection in town) daily in the summer.


Gustavus Visitor's Association - (907) 697-2854 or