Juneau to Haines Alaska 2008

Lynn Canal
Lynn Canal is a fjord running into the mainland of southeast Alaska that runs about 90 miles (140 km) from Haines Alaska and the inlets of the Chilkat River south to Stephens Passage and the town of Juneau Alaska. And at over 2,000 feet (610 m) in depth, Lynn Canal is the deepest fjord in North America. Click to view photos full size

My partner Brenda was nursing a bum knee from a skiing accident last winter so I was on my own, but she was kind enough to drop me off at Amalga Harbor just a few miles north of Juneau Alaska. The seas over to Lynn Sisters were lightly choppy in the early morning hours, a blessing as strong winds from the surrounding mountains and glaciers can produce waves of six feet in under an hour. I camped next to this beach my first night, the next morning all this camping gear and food had to somehow fit back inside the kayak.

Lynn Canal was explored by George Vancouver in 1794; I deeply hope people will be able to come and “explore” this amazing area for years to come.

This tidy little cabin in Saint James Bay is rented out by Alaska State Parks and is a great base camp to explore Saint James Bay and the surrounding area.

I spent a day exploring Saint James Bay and the upper river drainages here is the view from the top of the bay. The tide changes in Lynn Canal run 17 feet on average, important to know when choosing a camp site.

Climbing in the Chilkat Range? You betcha! Lynn Canal is lined with fantastic mountains accessible from a sea side base camp. Two local favorites just outside Juneau Alaska are:
Mt Golub, Elevation: 3,730 feet (1136.90 m),

Mt Nun 4,329 feet (1319.479 m)

At the Endicott River Wilderness there was a wonderful campsite between the Endicott River on the left and lengthy beaches of western Lynn Canal on the right. This river estuary in the early summer has a stunning array of wildflowers and is well worth exploring upland on foot, also the fishing from there is outstanding.

At Sullivan Island I was greeted by this huge male sea lion, the “Bull of the Beach” was reluctant to give up his favorite spot so I made camp a little farther down.

Caught a glimpse of the Davidson Glacier located at the mouth of the Chilkat River as it plunges towards the sea.

Camping on Shikosi Island and exploring the Chilkat Islands was limited by how much fresh water my kayak could carry (4 Days) as there was no water source on the tiny islands. Crossing from the end of Sullivan Island in the late evening I arrived in the dark on Shikosi Island, found a good beach and had the small wilderness island all to myself.

The following days were spent exploring the Chilkat Islands before moving on to nearby Chilkat Peninsula. There is a nice trail along the western side of the peninsula to Seduction Point.

Crossing over to the Chilkat Peninsula the seas began to increase so that by afternoon I was getting bounced around pretty good. Upper Lynn Canal has a reputation for violent weather and has claimed even large vessels. If you plan a trip here be ready to stay ashore till the storms and winds pass and check weather info before making any long crossings. By day’s end I had found shelter in a bay just outside of town with a pleasant view of Haines and Mount Ripinsky.

I would like to thank the two folks from Haines Alaska that helped me with my Kayak and gear at the ferry dock, you were most kind to a fellow traveler and your help was much appreciated.