Sitka to Hoonah is my favorite Southeast Alaska kayaking adventure. Although the whole trip is definitely designed for an experienced paddler, parts of it are in protected waters. Thus by utilizing a kayak delivery service from Sitka, Pelican, or Gustavus, several parts of this trip are within the abilities of nearly anyone. This route takes you through a tremendous variety of coastal settings. You’ll see every sort of marine and terrestrial mammal and a tremendous variety of waterfowl. The trip covers nearly 220 miles, including all sidetrip options. Sound like a lot of miles? It really isn’t if you have and take the time to enjoy it. M
ore aggressive paddlers who bypass the sidetrips are looking at a distance of only about 130 miles. This trip can be run in either direction, starting in Hoonah or Sitka, or a part of it can be run, starting or ending in Pelican. The choices of Hoonah, Sitka, and Pelican reflect the fact that each town is on the AMHS ferry route. (Note that the ferry only visits Pelican twice a month.) Although this route does include some open ocean paddling, it does not include crossing any major sounds except Salisbury Sound, which can be easily skirted.
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