It is mid-morning on Chilkoot Lake; a mirror perfect image of the water’s surface reflects the 4,000-foot mountains and gray sky looming overhead. Soft ripples and large splashes spread across the stillness as a few of the 100,000 Sockeye Salmon break the surface; relentlessly searching for their place of birth to spawn and continue the cycle of life.
The lake lies in the heart of a temperate rain-forest in Southeast Alaska and the Alaska State Park recreation site and campground. Other big attractions for the park are camping, fishing and bear viewing, but “a thought for you to ponder,” where you fish, coastal brown bears fish!
The kayak trip takes you into a large spawning ground where there is fish so thick underneath you; it will leave you in awe. Eagles’ sitting in trees and on the edges of the lake squawking and fighting with one another trying to win over fish that another has pulled from the water. Bear trails, tracks and scat litter the edges of the lake, leaving your mind to think of what it must be like to be there at night and watch the feeding of the bears. Although some bears fish during the day, they are more active at night.
The skies are cloudy, a given here in the Southeast Panhandle, one could not ask for a more perfect day to float across such a beautiful body of water. It is a bit scary climbing into the kayak for the first time, but the guide did a great job explaining the mechanics, which in turn helped me to feel more confident.
I sat in the front of the tandem kayak, while a good friend of mine that had been in a kayak one other time, sat behind me. Although we are new to the kayak scene, we grew up in canoes and on the water, so before long we were easily maneuvering across the surface of the lake. Great day!
Rainbow Glacier Adventures in Haines, Alaska offers guided kayak tours on beautiful Chilkoot Lake with tandem sea kayaks and experienced guides that will prepare you for an outstanding trip.