Yakutat Wildlife Viewing
Water Trails

Hundreds of miles of Yakutat area waterways, including rivers, fjords, estuaries, bays, and open waters, may be explored by canoe, kayak, raft, drift boat and motorized skiff. It’s as easy as renting a car, and perhaps a boat, and driving to any of several access points, most of which are relatively close to town. Some people also plan multi-day trips and camp along the way. In some areas, the U.S. Forest Service has cabins available for overnight use.

Some waterways have been used for centuries. The original inhabitants of the area, the Yakutat Kwaan, established a canoe trade route between Yakutat and Dry Bay of which Yakutat to Dry Bay Ancestral Lingit Canoe Route is the official name. A large portion of this historic route is passable between Summit Lake and the Ahrnklin River/Seal Creek estuary. This route may be accessed from several launch sites. Due to changes in topography and the river channels over time, however,travel beyond Ahrnklin River Delta is not recommended

Access to Water Trails

The starting point for the following directions to all destinations—trailheads, boat launches, etc—is the intersection of Forest Highway #10 (FH#10, also called the Dangerous River Road) and Airport Road in Yakutat. Driving distances listed on this site are one-way and approximate.

Additional Resources and Information:

  • Contact the Yakutat Chamber of Commerce for information such as lodging, car rentals, boat rentals and area information.
  • Contact the US Forest Service in Yakutat for information on paddling and camping in the Yakutat area, especially the inner islands of Yakutat Bay.
  • Use Google Maps ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the lay of the land and water.
  • Spring, summer and fall are the best times for paddling and seeing wildlife in the Yakutat area. The spring and fall seasons are especially great for experiencing extraordinary bird migration events. Check the USFS website for more information on birding.
  • Water crafts come in many forms—kayaks, canoes, and drift boats, motorized skiffs—to name a few. Be sure to choose an appropriate water craft for the location and your skill level. Motorized skiffs and sea kayaks are fine on Yakutat Bay but are not a good choice for places like Tawah Creek or the Situk River. Contact the USFS ranger district office for more information on the use of water crafts in the area.
  • Using local air services to access paddling areas will require water crafts that can be either disassembled or deflated.