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Backpacking and Kayaking Juneau Alaska
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Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Backpacking and Kayaking Juneau Alaska on 10/16/2010 13:13:50 MDT Print View

Hey everyone
I posted a thread a few months ago about a trip to Juneau I am planning for this coming August. Since then I have gotten so more information and have a better idea of what I want to do. But I have never been to Alaska and am unsure of terrain and conditions. I was hoping there would be someone on the forum that is familiar with the area that I could run my ideas past and see what you think/ get some tips and ideas. chance is anyone on here from Juneau Alaska?

John Sixbey
(Wolfeye) - F
almost on 10/16/2010 17:18:21 MDT Print View

I'm not from Juneau, but I grew up a little south of that in Metlakatla. Be prepared for mosquitos; they are thick and persistent, so I always pack a headnet and wear it whenever I can. It can also rain any day of the year, and I've had August weather hit freezing in the mountains and 90 at sea level. Also be sure that your shelter can hold up in the wind... summer weather is usually pretty good, but you never know.

What else... bear spray is good, and I usually use a bear canister even when they're not legally required. Been meaning to try one of those kevlar bear bags instead, as canisters are big & heavy. I don't trust regular hanging bags because there's no place to hang them when you're above the treeline, and then the rodents will chew through and eat your crackers. Been there, done that. :D

Other preparations depend on how you get to where you're going. If you charter a boat or plane to get to & from your hike or to drop you off with your kayak, you'll want to stash at least a week's worth of supplies at your pickup point in case they're delayed by weather. For off-trail hikes, be really conservative about your mileage & pack extra food; the brush is really thick and is quite slow to swim through. Trail hikes are easy.

Oh yeah, the scenery and wildlife are awesome. Take a camera and have fun! I'd recommend seeing the Misty Fjords near Ketchikan, if you make it that far south.

Edited by Wolfeye on 10/16/2010 17:19:21 MDT.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Juneau on 10/16/2010 22:07:18 MDT Print View

So ive only got 9 days in Juneau. I plan on doing a 3-4 day backpacking trip up towards Windfall Lake and the Herbert River area. Then hike out...resupply with food and rent kayaks to go out Admiralty Island for 4-5 days. For the backpacking I have a few off trail routes I wana do....just not sure how doable they are. It looks very level on the map, but ive been told its very wet and dense...almost like hiking through mud....not sure if its doable or not. After we get off the trail backpacking we are gonna rent the kayaks and head out to the island. Not sure how to spend our days out there. Thinking of going to Admiralty Cove an to young lake for a day or so...but not sure where else on the island to go.

SO...just wana see what people think of those ideas and tips or ideas of where to go...

I wish I had more time to get out a little more and explore and experience Alaska...but I am limited by I wana make the best of what I have got. I think this current plan will give me a good experience and be able to see alot....what do ya think?

Josh Newkirk
(Newkirk) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Juneau on 10/19/2010 22:46:32 MDT Print View

I grew up in Juneau. I have done the trail hikes to both windfall and herbert glacier. Off trail could be really difficult because there is a lot of muskeg and chances are it will be raining. There is a pretty good trail that goes from montana creek rd to the windfall lake cabin, about 12miles, supposed to be one of the more rugged trails in Juneau. On your kayak you could paddle around the back of admiralty and go to like funter bay or something.

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Re: Juneau on 10/19/2010 23:42:52 MDT Print View

I think I was the person who convinced you that Juneau was hikable. August will not be too buggy, but bring a net just in case. People run the Montana Creek Trail to Windfall Lake and back most of the summer, so you wont have a problem with that. You might want to go the longer route and head up and over Spaulding Meadow and back down to the lake, then return along Montana Creek.

I do not recommend that you do a solo hike on Admiralty in August unless you are very comfortable with brown bears. You need to rethink that option. If you are able to rent a kayak, just head north out of Auke Bay -- where the kayaks are rented -- and follow the islands in Lynn Canal and Chilkat Coast.

A walk around Douglas Island in August is also doable. You could start downtown Douglas and walk the Treadwell Ditch trail to Eagle Crest, follow the road and Fish Creek trail to the coast and keep on going. We did most of that in February in 2 camps ( and we are old men). A sample of that trip is shown below. Click through the rest of the images to see where and what you want to do.


Email me if you do make it here and I can lend a hand if I'm in town.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
PM on 10/20/2010 22:47:06 MDT Print View

PM sent to both of ya

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Kayak Experience on 10/31/2010 06:55:36 MDT Print View

If you are not an experienced kayaker, I recommend that you take some form of kayak classes before you go.
The area waters are dangerously cold is, not the place learn the skills and how to do a recovery.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 10/31/2010 06:56:12 MDT.