Best Sea Kayaking in Alaska

Trying to find the best sea kayaking in Alaska? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.


Alaska, Haines County

10 :29 hrs
13.1 mi
5.153 ft

Lutak Inlet is a scenic bay located just a short distance north of Haines off of Chilkhoot Inlet. The bay is known for awesome paddling and wildlife viewing. The opportunity to view marine life is abundant during the spring when lots of sea lions, orcas, and humpback whales arrive for the Eulachon run. The inlet is also a good option for beginner paddlers as the water fairly protected and calm as long as weather is cooperating. There is also lots of development and access along the shoreline making it easy to pull off the water if needed. This trip starts from the harbor in Haines and follows the shoreline to the mouth of Taiyasanka Harbor. Paddlers with a bit more experience can continue on into Taiyasanka Harbor and return back by crossing the inlet but this should only be attempted during good paddling conditions.


Alaska, Haines County

03 :15 hrs
8.1 mi
0.60824585 ft

Chilkhoot Lake offers fairly protected waters and a beautiful wilderness setting for kayaking when visiting the Haines area. The large lake is connected to Lutak Inlet by Chilkhoot River and is situated in a forest of dense Sitka Spruce trees. The area is great for wildlife viewing and some of the best salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska. The lake is accessible by road and offers a state recreation site with a boat launch, campground, and picnic sites.


Alaska, Gustavus

07 :30 hrs
9.4 mi
10.585586 ft

Glacier Bay National Park is a large wilderness area in southeast Alaska that consists of millions of acres of rugged mountain terrain and protected coastline for visitors to enjoy. The park is one of the most popular destinations in the Inside Passage for padders to explore and the trip options are numerous. The waters here also provide great wildlife viewing opportunity including diverse birdlife, bears, and humpback whales just to name a few. Bartlett Cove is where the headquarters of the park is located and is accessible only by boat and plane. During the summer there is ferry service to the park through the Alaska Marine Highway System. This trip starts from Bartlett Cove and explores a bay located to the north on the other side of Lester Island. The water is fairly protected but there is a lot of large boat traffic in Bartlett Cove. Passing through the channel between Bartlett Cove to the other side of Lester Island requires good timing with the tides so be sure to check out the tide schedule before heading out. Contact the park service for information about visiting the park and current ferry schedule.


Alaska, Ketchikan

53 :57 hrs
134.8 mi
9.551526 ft

Misty Fjords National Monument is a large wilderness area along the Inside Passage that offers some excellent sightseeing and paddling opportunity. Paddlers departing from Ketchikan should plan on spending a week or two covering the area and taking in all it has to offer. This trip follows Behm Canal up to Manzanita Island and into Rudyerd Cove and back. Rudyerd Cove has a lot of large boat traffic for paddlers to take into consideration. There can also be rough water and windy conditions while paddling Behm Canal.


Alaska, Haines County

06 :57 hrs
17.4 mi
5.7124314 ft

Taiya Inlet, a scenic fjord that runs between Haines and Skagway, is a popular destination for paddlers due to its dramatic and breathtaking scenery. High cliffs, a tall waterfall, and distant views of large glaciers are just some of the sights that paddlers can expect to see when paddling the inlet. This trip is only suitable for experienced paddlers due to limited opportunity to take-out when waters are rough and the windy conditions that can exist in the area. There is also lots of large boat traffic that uses the waterway to transport between Haines and Skagway. The trip can easily be paddled as a one-way route by utilizing ferries and other water transport to shuttle back to the launch site, or as a longer out-and-back trip if desired. The area is tidally influenced and using the tides to your advantage is advised so reference tide charts before setting out.


Alaska, Kenai Peninsula County

05 :16 hrs
6.6 mi
0.9165268 ft

This paddling trip starts from Upper Skilak Lake Campground and follows the shoreline of the large glacial lake east to the outlet of the Upper Kenai River. The trip follows scenic and rugged shoreline where lots of wildlife and birdlife can be seen. The water on the lake can get rough during bad weather and the water is very cold so be sure to stay close to shore. The lake is also used for motor boating so be aware of other users on the lake.


Alaska, Kenai Peninsula County

04 :49 hrs
6 mi
1.6681099 ft

Skilak Lake is a large glacial lake known for its clear green waters and spectacular scenery. The lake and surrounding terrain also offers some of the best wildlife viewing and birdwatching opportunity on the Kenai Peninsula. This out-and-back paddling trip starts from the lower campground and follows the shoreline east to the upper campground. The trip could also be done as a one-way paddling by shuttling cars between the two campgrounds. Bad weather can create some rough conditions on the lake and the water temperature is cold so be cautious and stay close to shore if paddling in less than ideal conditions.


Alaska, Ketchikan Gateway County

09 :08 hrs
22.8 mi
20.054932 ft

Naha Bay is located on the northeast end of Clover Passage and offers a fun and scenic paddle just 15 miles out of Ketchikan. This paddling trip starts from the beach at Settlers Cove Campground and follows the shoreline north past multiple islands and around Moser Bay. The area offers protected waters, good birdwatching and wildlife viewing, and opportunity for camping and hiking. The water is fairly protected, even from the wind, and is a good choice for intermediate paddlers and beginner paddlers who are accompanied by more experienced paddlers.


Alaska, Hoonah

15 :29 hrs
19.4 mi
4.2293644 ft

This paddling trip is a must do for anyone who wants to do some whale watching while in southeast Alaska. Point Adolphus is the best spot in the passage for viewing humpback whales and lots of other marine life including sea lions, orcas, and sea otters. The trip starts from the Hoonah ferry terminal and crosses Port Frederick, and then follows the shoreline all the way up Point Adolphus. The water is easily paddled during good conditions but wind can result in rough waters. Staying close to shore will allow paddlers to pull off easily when the waters become unmanageable. There are some good camping spots on Point Adolphus.


Alaska, Ketchikan Gateway County

12 :35 hrs
31.5 mi
12.370131 ft

George Inlet is a protected bay located just a short distance southeast of Ketchikan and offers some very scenic wilderness paddling. The bay is a good option for novice paddlers as the channel is fairly protected with minimal boat traffic and mild tidal influence. There are some nice options for wilderness camping along the channel and great wildlife viewing opportunity. Using the tides to your advantage can result in easier paddling conditions but wind can result in some unfavorable paddling conditions so pay attention to the weather before setting out. This out-and-back trip up to the head of the inlet covers over 30 miles and is a good option for a 3-day trip.

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