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Sitka Wildlife Viewing
Sitka Sound

photo of Sitka Sound area wildlife Take a boat tour on the protected waters of Sitka Sound in search of marine mammals. The confluence of open ocean and protected waters allows marine mammals to feed near the relative safety of deeper water. Islands dot the Sound, providing safe haulouts for Steller sea lions and harbor seals. Sea otters are commonly seen in the Sound during the summer months. Humpback, gray, killer and even a few minke whale sightings are possible throughout the summer. Humpbacks can also be seen here in large numbers between mid-September and mid-January, when whale sightings are less common elsewhere in Southeast Alaska. The area is thought to be a last feeding stop for humpbacks before migrating to winter breeding and calving waters in Hawaii.

Habitat

The Pacific Ocean’s Japanese current slightly warms the waters of Sitka Sound, making it a productive area for the fish and small organisms that are food for whales and other wildlife.

Species

  • Gray Whale
  • Harbor Seal
  • Humpback Whale
  • Killer Whale
  • Puffins
  • Rhinoceros Auklet
  • Sea Otter
  • Steller's Sea Lion

Hints

Look for sea otters tangled up in kelp beds near islands, or floating on their backs in rafts of two or more animals.

Facilities

  • Fee
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Within Walking Distance

Notes

Not all boats are wheelchair accessible, ask when booking your tour.

Plan to spend at least: 2 hours - full day

Best Months

█ Best Month

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

Directions

Boat tours depart from Crescent Harbor in the heart of downtown Sitka.

Contact

Sitka Convention and Visitor's Bureau - (907) 747-5940 or http://www.sitka.org

Additional Information

Alaska's Wildlife Viewing Festivals