Wildlife Viewing-
Bears may be seen almost anywhere in the Yakutat area. Most commonly, bears will be near their source of food such as near rivers, along the shorelines, and keep your eyes open as you drive around. Always remember that they are wild animals and keep your distance, especially around females with cubs. Moose also frequent the Yakutat area. They tend to like the meadows and boggy areas. Cow moose with calves can be even more aggressive than bears so never get too close. Use a telephoto to obtain your memorable photo.

Wildlife viewing is accessible by hiking, vehicle, boat, or airplane. See vehicle & boat rentals or air charters under Transportation. For chartered boat wildlife viewing, find guides under Fishing.

Bird watching-
Each spring and fall outstanding photographic opportunities are offered by huge migrations of shorebirds, raptors, and waterfowl that pass along the coast near Yakutat. Consider participating in the Yakutat Tern Festival, held the first weekend of June. More information on the festival can be found on the Events calendar on this website or the Tern Festival site at

Use binoculars or spotting scopes to avoid disturbing the birds. All summer bald eagles are prevalent along the salt water shores and the rivers. Keep your eyes open to see the giant nests made by the nesting pairs that are used year after year.


Cannon Beach is an expansive ocean beach along Yakutat Bay. After storms, it is sometimes possible to find Japanese glass fishing floats. Or try Ocean Cape at low tide for the best tide pools anywhere! For the more serious beachcomber, a short flight from Yakutat to the Southeast will drop you in to remote ocean beaches where you are likely to find all sorts of treasure.

Cannon Beach is named for the World War II cannons that were installed to protect the area and are still in place.

Bike Riding-

Rent a “fat tire” bike and travel the back roads looking for wildlife, see the sights around town.

Or, even explore Cannon Beach on the comfortable saddle seat of a bike from Ross Outdoor Adventure.

Go to the Services page for additional information on how to rent a bike.

Glacier Viewing-
Book a charter boat to take you to the face of Hubbard Glacier and enjoy great scenery along the route-the water in front of the glacier is “electric” with the crackling of the ice. Bears are often seen along the shores or on high mountain meadows. You may see ice calve from the glacier. The knowledgeable charter captains will fill you in with stories and history of the area. See charters that can transport you to the Hubbard on the Fishing Guides page.

View all the glaciers of the area on flight seeing excursion or drive the road to the Dangerous River and hike the short distance to Harlequin Lake. The lake is fed by Yakutat Glacier and usually sports many beautiful blue icebergs. Check out the Air Travel page for air carriers.

The following trails are ready for hikers in Yakutat. Mountain Lake Trail, Harlequin Lake Trail, Russell Fiord Trail, Situk Lake Trail, Situk River Trail, Maggie John (Lower Situk) Trail, Fish Train Trail, and Totem Trail (see detailed information at Yakutat is also the jumping off point for accessing the UNESCO Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek World Heritage Site which surrounds Yakutat, the Tongass National Forest (largest National Forest), Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve (largest National Park and home to Mount St. Elias-the second highest peak in the United States), and a portion of Glacier Bay National Park.

Check out the SeaTrails website, it lists trails accessible by the Alaska Ferry System,, the Yakutat Ranger Station, or the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park-Yakutat headquarters, for more area information.

ATV Touring-

Enjoy a 3-hour scenic tour with Ross Outdoor Adventures-view wilderness and learn about the history and lifestyle of Yakutat and its people on the 28-mile route known locally as the “loop”. The route will take you on trails that were once roads left behind from WWII, abandoned logging truck routes, and the Historic Fish Train Trail. You are likely to see wildlife as well, bears, eagles, moose, and so much more. Go to the Services page for additional information on how to book a tour.  

Yakutat has become known for extreme surfing in both winter and summer. Surfing gear is available for rent from the local surf shop, Icy Waves. The surf shop has a website where tee shirts and more imprinted with “The Far North Shore” may be purchased.

The shop proprietors are also an excellent source of more details about Yakutat surfing opportunities. See Icy Waves under Shopping & Services.

Take a day to explore the natural beauty of the bays back of Yakutat Bay. Enjoy the view of the towering mountains, watch for wildlife along the shores and in the bay.

Take your lunch along and eat it on a deserted beach. Dig for some clams or do a little fishing. Find kayak rentals under Transportation.

Photo opportunities-
With spectacular beauty in every direction, be sure your camera has enough space for all the photographs you will want to take. You may rent or charter a boat to take you into the bay, rent a vehicle to reach the places accessible by road, and follow the hiking trails to find the rest.

See vehicle & boat rentals or air charters under Transportation. For chartered boat wildlife viewing, find guides under Fishing.

Flight seeing-
Flight seeing is available by custom charters that can include a ride northeast up Yakutat Bay with a return down across Russell Fjord, along the mountains to the southeast, or anywhere you would like to go.

It is an excellent way to utilize a partial day in Yakutat. See provider information on the Air Travel page.

Yakutat historical sightseeing-
See cannons that protected the area during WWII, an old military tank, WWII era hangar (home of a future WWII aviation museum), the fish train, and more as you tour Yakutat.

Cultural Experiences-
Life in Yakutat is rich with the culture of the Native people of the area. Here the elders share their knowledge and wisdom through storytelling in the local community gathering place. Hear their story and see the traditional dress regalia of the Tlingit people. Ask about opportunities to hear elders storytellers or see the local Tlingit dance group perform when you make your reservations.

Yakutat Chamber Of Commerce
PO Box 510
Yakutat, AK 99689



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