Revised 11/21/13

Kenai Fjords National Park Trip

Description

Alaska KayakingKenai Fiords Deluxe Expedition
Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced, BCU 3-4 star
$2595/person from Anchorage, AK

The outer coast of the Kenai Peninsula has a unique assemblage of natural environments: tidewater glaciers, large populations of marine mammals, coastal mountains rising to 5,000’ and deeply carved glacial fiords teeming with birds and a plethora of other marine life. Once you discover this place, you can’t get it out of your system. There is little that compares to camping within ear-shot of thundering glaciers and icefalls. The rugged terrain is humbling, inviting and in some ways cold, unforgiving. Excellent gear and good planning is always the elegant path to prevention. We are once again proud to work with Tom Pogson's Alaska Kayak School to bring his 5 star skills as a sea leader and wildlife biologist into play. Here is just a short list of wildlife we may see: Orca, Humpbacked, and Minke Whales, Dall Porpoises, Black-tailed Deer, Black Bear, Mountain Goats, Wolverine, Harbor Seals, Sea and River otters, Bald Eagle, Marbled and Kitzlitz’s murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Harlequin Duck, Hermit Thrush, Glaucous-winged and Herring gulls have all been seen on previous trips in this area.

Weather to expect: Its can vary from a baking mid-70s and sunny to a cool mid-40’s with strong wind and cold rain. Generally, days in the 50’s and 60’s, nights in the 40’s and 50’s. Rain is expected and camping and paddling in the rain can be part of the fun if you are well prepared. Good rain gear is important, because if it decides to cut loose, it can really come down. Bugs are a factor after early June, but never intolerable (we provide bug jackets for your use and comfort).

Skills Needed: Potentially paddling in wind up to 15 knots with 3'-6' seas. You can also expect to need to maneuver your kayak in close proximity to rocks or floating ice in small-moderate swell. There will be calm water paddling, but when crossing large fiords or following their shorelines on the outer coast, we’re often paddling in wind and swell. Most paddling days involve 10-19 miles of travel, but remember we have all day, and we have 18.5 daylight hours on July 4! We’ve led many different kinds of paddlers on this journey, and we often plan to use tide and wind to keep the grunt factor low. Our tradition is to allow for appropriate coaching of your skills to increase your efficiency and make paddling in conditions easier and more fun. We also offer a variety of early season workshops at our Great Lakes base to help tune your skills for this trip or can recommend a qualified coach in your area.

Guides: Tom Pogson, a retired wildlife biologist, and a level 4 BCU sea kayak coach and ACA Coastal Kayak instructor trainer trainee, has spent 26 field seasons in Alaska, been teaching paddling since 1995 and leading sea kayak trips in Alaska since 1999. Michael Gray, owner of Uncommon Adventures, has been guiding for 24 years, is an ACA Instructor trainer trainee, and a consummate back-country chef. Michael and Tom have been teaming up for a couple of years now, and all the trips have been great fun: Kenai Fiords (June 2005), Shuyak Island circumnavigation (June 2006), and Prince William Sound (July 2006). References available upon request.

What’s included: Transportation to and from Anchorage from Seward, overnight lodging, water taxi trip into Kenai Fiords, all meals in Seward, fine backcountry meals during the trip, guides and instruction, premium expedition equipped kayaks and kayaking gear. Drysuits are available for rent ($150/trip for breathable suits in great condition-see Alaska Equipment List.

Equipment: Most of the Kayak School’s fleet is Nigel Dennis Explorers, but we have a small assortment of Valley, Kajaksport, Necky, Nimbus and Wilderness Systems kayaks. Yes, we have a few LV Explorers for smaller paddlers and even HV Explorers for the larger paddlers. We also provide dry bags and Mountain Hardware tents, but personal tents that are 4 season and in good condition are welcome.

Food: Our company's reputation for back-country food is widely known and we strive to provide the best each region has to offer and can easily accommodate special diets.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 (June 14) - Arrive in Anchorage by 4 pm, van to Seward, dinner enroute. Overnight at Saltwater Lodge.
  • Day 2 - Early morning departure on water taxi to NW Lagoon, 45 miles, or alternative site in Aialik Bay. Load kayaks and gear on water taxi in Seward Harbor at 8 AM and depart for drop off in Kenai Fiords National Park. Fabulous wildlife and scenic tour of sea bird rocks, cliffs and open water on the way: sea birds, marine mammals such as Dall porpoise, Orca and Humpbacked Whales, and Steller Sea Lions. Arrive NW Lagoon, camp orientation, play tarp, tents. Go for short evening paddle? Camp.
  • Day 3 – Explore NW Fiord/adjacent Harris bay or paddle over from Aialik Bay @ Aligo Point, 19 miles.
  • Day 4 to Day 7 – Explore NW Lagoon and adjacent Harris Bay, hone group paddling, open water and moving water skills--play in tidal currents. Daily features: glacier and wildlife watching, photography and light hiking will allow you to marvel at the recession of the ice of the glaciers that once filled in NW Lagoon; 10 miles since 1949. We'll move camp 2-4 times over the week as the weather and conditions dictate.
  • Day 8: - We'll be waiting at the NW Lagoon drop-off/pickup beach around noon, packed and ready to board the water taxi for the ride back to overnight in Seward, hot showers and a fine dinner out.
  • Day 9 - Early am departure for Anchorage and trip extensions or flights home.
  • Dates & Costs

    • By arrangement
    • $2595/person from Anchorage
      Price includes naturalist guides, permits, boat shuttles, lodging-dbl**- prior and after backcountry trip (on schedule), all meals during itinerary, local land transport, high quality kayaks, professional instruction, group gear (tents, kitchen gear, safety equipment) and the best backcountry food in the land. We intend to make this one of the finest kayak tours ever put together!

    Other Money Matters

    **For those wishing for a single room prior and after the trip, there is a $175 up charge, otherwise we'll simply find you an appropriate roommate for rooms with two beds.

    Dry suit Rental: Gore-Tex dry suits are available to rent for the week for $150….recommended and a great deal on a $1000 suit!

    *Reservations are held with a deposit of $500 and a completed registration form available below; 50% of the balance of your total trip fee is due 60 days before departure. The final 50% is due 45 days prior to departure. Deposit fully refundable up to 60 days before departure.

    Uncommon Adventures,
    PO Box 254, Beulah, MI 49617.

    Phone us toll-free 1-866-882-5525 for Credit Card payments. You will receive trip equipment list and client survey form upon registration.