Explore one of Alaska's Great Wilderness Areas
Sea Kayaking or Visiting Misty Fjords
Misty Fjords is one of the best places to sea kayak in Alaska. The main Fjords are protected by steep cliffs making and unlike Glacier Bay, no large cruise ships visit Misty Fjords. The main Fjords of the Misty Fjords National Monument are 50 miles by sea from Ketchikan. There are no roads to or in the Misty Fjords wilderness, so visitors must take a boat, floatplane or kayak from Ketchikan to get there. Southeast Sea Kayaks has Misty Fjord trip options to suit different time frames, skill levels and budgets:
- Orcas Cove/Misty Flightseeing Combination -5 Hours
For cruise ship passengers or short time frames
- Misty Fjords Day Trip - 10 - 11 hours
For overnight visitors with a day to spend
- Misty Fjords 2 Day Trips - 2 Days/1 Night
Wilderness experience with only 1 night camping
- Misty Fjords 5 Day/4 Night Trip
For adventurous spirits seeking time in the wilderness
- Misty Fjords Family Trips - 3 Days/2 Nights
Camping trips espescially for families
- Self Guided Trips with Kayak Rentals and Water Taxi Service
For experienced kayakers who want to plan their own trip
About Misty Fjords National Monument
Remote and wild, the Misty Fjords National Monument is one of Alaska’s best kept secrets. Covering 2.3 million acres of road less wilderness the Monument supports many nearly untouched coastal ecosystems. Ten thousand years ago the land was locked beneath 5000 feet of ice. Slowly the glaciers retreated and revealed the beauty we are able to see today.
Narrow fjords, just a quarter mile wide, stretch inland following the ever retreating glaciers into Canada. Sheer sided walls plunge 3500 feet from their snow clad tops to salt water and bear the grooves from the rocks and ice that formed them. Trees cling in a crazed fashion growing in any crack that will support their roots. Pristine alpine lakes fill bowl shaped valleys and send waterfalls cascading down the rock walls. Eagles soar the ridge tops. Mountain goats spring along tiny rock ledges. Whales, porpoise, seals and sea lion ply the inlets. Black and brown bear feed along the salmon streams and wolves and deer forage along the beaches. Beaver ponds abound.
Misty Fjords is known for the number and size of fish found in its lakes and streams. It provides habitat for all five northeastern Pacific species of salmon as well as grayling, Dolly Varden char, and brook, rainbow, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. Nearly half of all king salmon spawning and rearing streams in southeast Alaska are located within Misty Fjords.
Misty Fjords Wildlife
Most wildlife common to southeast Alaska may be found in the Misty Fjords. Bald eagles nest in large trees near rivers and shorelines, where pairs share the raising of young during summer. Alaska’s famous brown bears, black bears, Sitka black-tailed deer, wolves, and mountain goats are the common large mammals in Misty Fjords. Beaver, mink, marten, wolverine, and river otter are common small animals. In Behm Canal and nearby ocean waters, porpoises, whales, sea lions, and seals are often sighted.
Misty Fjords' Rainforest Ecology
The forest of Misty Fjords is primarily western hemlock and Sitka spruce, with scattered red cedar and Alaska cedar. Between forest stands are openings called muskegs, bog plant communities growing on deep peat and dominated by sphagnum mosses, water-loving plants such as sedges and rushes, and shrubs which adapt to acid soils. Above timberline, about 2,500 feet, the alpine zone is dominated by heaths, grasses, and other low plants. Occasional trees occur, often with stunted or shrub like form due to adverse growing conditions in this zone.
Few marks of human activity are apparent to the visitor in Misty Fjords. The first human inhabitants may have settled in the area as early as 10,000 years ago. Evidence of Tlingit and Haida Indian societies and of early American occupation may be found in a few places. Visitors will enjoy the trails and cabins built in the 1930s by the Civillian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
The majestic landscape at Misty Fjords was created by thousands of years of glaciation and other earth processes. The unique Fjords were created by volcanoes, moving snow and ice, and wave action. Mineral springs and volcanic lava flows add to the unique geological features. Misty Fjords, often called one of America’s natural “Crown Jewels,” is truly an outstanding scenic wonder.