Icy Strait © 2010Kaylyn Messer

Day Trips

 © 2010 Stephen Van Derhoff
Exploring in the Forest

Spirit Walker Expeditions operates guided sea kayaking day trips from Gustavus. We run these trips on a regular basis throughout the summer. Our day trips are fully outfitted and guided trips and suited for the novice or advanced paddler. They offer excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, tide pool exploration, rainforest hikes, and of course outstanding sea kayaking.

We offer two excellent trips to choose from. Our very popular Whales! Day Trip gives you the chance to watch the graceful movements of the humpback whale from the seat of a kayak! Our Wilderness Isles Day Trip includes kayaking to nearby Pleasant Island for a hike through the island’s 10,000 year old, old-growth rainforest.  

See below for details on both of our day trips, or call 800-KAYAKER for more information.

Whales! Day Trip

Humpback Whale © 2010
Humpback Whale

Location: Icy Strait, Point Adolphus

Duration: We typically depart the Gustavus Dock at 9am, returning to the dock between 3:15 – 4:00pm

Paddle Distance: 4-8 miles

Activities: Paddling, photography, whale watching, lunch

Highlights: Watching, photographing, and listening to humpback whales, from our kayaks and from shore. We'll also see other marine wildlife, such as stellar sea lions, porpoises and orcas (killer whales)

Price: 2-3 guests:$439/person. 4+ guest: $379/person.

Call 800-KAYAKER for pricing information.

Trip Details: We start our trip in the morning with a short boat ride across Icy Strait to Point Adolphus. The ocean around Point Adolphus is a meeting place of currents flowing around Chichagof Island into the Inside Passage. This nutrient rich confluence feeds an abundance of marine life from tiny barnacles to giant whales. Otters, seals, porpoise, sea lions and whales swim along the point in noisy groups. Summer is the time for them to stock up on the nutrients that will carry them through the long winter. We respect them and do not crowd them; our greatest pleasure is to share these creatures’ space without disrupting their lives.

Our Whales! day trip includes a kayaking orientation on the beach at Point Adolphus in the morning by one of our highly trained guides. We provide snacks throughout the day and a full lunch including smoked salmon or halibut, fresh fruits and vegetables, plus homemade desserts. Included in the trip price is the round-trip charter boat transportation between Gustavus and Point Adolphus, all kayaking and safety equipment, raingear, rubber boots, dry bags, lunch and ground transportation in Gustavus.

Wilderness Isles Day Trip

Kayak Day Trip © 2010
Wilderness Isles Hike

Location: Pleasant Island Wilderness Area, Icy Passage

Duration: Trip begins at 9am at the Gustavus Beach, returns to the beach between 3:00 – 3:30pm

Paddle Distance: 3-10 miles

Activities: Paddling, photography, rain forest hikes, tide pool exploration, wildlife watching

Highlights: Paddling sea kayaks, exploring wilderness islands, marine wildlife, old growth rain forest

Price: $150/person (scheduled price). Call 800-KAYAKER for custom pricing information.

Trip Details: Thousands of years before Glacier Bay was formed, nearby Pleasant Island was a lush oasis of temperate rainforest and muskeg. Only a short paddle from the Gustavus beach, Pleasant Island is suitable for sea kayaking novices and families. The old-growth forests of this special wilderness area stand in striking contrast to the young groves of Gustavus and Bartlett Cove. Easy access and ample opportunity for rainforest exploring make this a great day trip.

We start this trip at the Gustavus beach, where we put on our raingear and boots. While on the beach, your guide will provide an orientation to the kayaks and paddling technique. Crossing Icy Passage, we keep an eye out for sea otters, porpoise, sea lions, minke whales, orcas (killer whales), and seals.  Upon reaching the island we are usually greeted by bald eagles. We explore the shallows for a multitude of intertidal creatures as we drift along in our kayaks.

Rounding the western point of the island we see a string of lovely sandy beaches.  This is where we land our kayaks to enjoy a lunch of locally smoked salmon, fresh veggies, fruit and our home baked desserts.  On clear days we dine with a fantastic view of the Fairweather Mountains, and any day is a great day to explore the beach.

While on land, we'll explore the moist interior of the forest, home to myriad species of ferns, mushrooms and wildflowers. Moss carpets the forest floor and drapes the branches. Coming to open areas of bog muskeg we soak up the ambience of this beautifully unique place. There are not many places where one can go through so many interrelated yet distinct eco-systems in such a short distance.

Included in the trip price is all kayaking and safety equipment, raingear, rubber boots, dry bags, ground transportation in Gustavus, snacks and a full lunch.

From Our Clients...

“The location and the number of whales made this trip memorable. We have enjoyed kayaking elsewhere in Alaska, in Canada and in the UK but this beats the rest!" - Paul H. - Whales! Day Trip

The Alaskan coastal brown bear is the same as a grizzly bear. Coastal brown bears are larger than grizzlies due to the addition of salmon in their diet.

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