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Wilderness Isles Day Trip

Location: Pleasant Island Wilderness Area
Duration: Trip begins at 9:00 am at Gustavus Beach, returns to the beach between 3:00-3:30 pm.
Paddle Distance: 1.5-5 miles
Highlights: Paddling sea kayaks, exploring wilderness islands, marine wildlife, old growth rain forest.


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The Glacier Bay Country Inn provides you with excellent accommodations, services, outstanding food and continues to be the #1 Rated Lodge & Restaurant in the area.

We start this trip at the Gustavus beach, where we put on our rain gear 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. In the shallows along the shore, we can see 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. Unlike the young groves of Gustavus and BartlettCove, this forest is truly old growth. Coming to open areas of bog muskeg we soak up the ambiance 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.

Returning to the beach and a snack, we paddle back to Gustavus to complete our day.

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