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Alaska's Galloping Glacier: Kayaking in Wrangell - St. Elias to Hubbard Glacier

Alaska's Galloping Glacier: Kayaking in Wrangell - St. Elias to Hubbard Glacier

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 day(s)
Group Size: 3 - 8 people
Destination(s): Alaska  
Specialty Categories: Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting   Ecotourism  
Season: June - August
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2350 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2350 US Dollar (USD)

Flowing from the vast St. Elias Range, Hubbard Glacier pushes a seven-mile wide, 250-ft. high wall of blue ice into Disenchantment Bay and Russell Fiord. Ice calves almost continuously from the face of the glacier. In 1986, Hubbard made a sudden surge and closed off the fjord, creating the largest glacier-dammed lake in the world. Four months later the ice dam burst. Paddle to the largest, most active tidewater glacier in North America. (See Natl. Geographic January '87.)

During the summer of 2002, the fjord again closed off, as the glacier resolutely advanced. No one can predict what we will encounter by the time we set out on our kayaking expedition—an ocean ecosystem entrapped behind a wall of ice, or the awe-inspiring tidal exchange of house-sized icebergs, as the tide moves into and out of the 34-mile-long fjord. One thing is for sure. Mountains, deep blue ice, towering peaks, wildlife, and dramatic tidal currents combine in a setting of spectacular beauty.

Your Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive by Alaska Airlines jet in Yakutat. Check into accommodations by the airport. Explore Yakutat by van, visiting the ocean, the Situk River, and other places of interest. Yakutat is famous for its fishing on the Situk River, white sand beaches and excellent surfing on the Gulf of Alaska, spectacular scenery--a coastal village nestled amidst the forest, with the St. Elias and Fairweather Mountain ranges rising behind. (D)

Days 2-6: Fly into Russell Fiord by Floatplane, or drive by van or truck out a US Forest Service logging road outside of Yakutat, to the upper end of Russell Fiord. Unload our gear, assemble boats, and begin paddling up the fjord. We establish a few different camps on gravel beaches throughout our stay in the fjord, depending upon the group’s interest, and the weather. We draw ever closer to Hubbard Glacier’s face. One camp will be quite close to the glacier, and all night long we can listen to the sound of ice calving. (B) (L) (D)

Day 3: Paddle and Hike. (B) (L) (D)

Day 4: Paddle and hike. (B) (L) (D)

Day 5: Paddle and hike. (B) (L) (D)

Day 6: Watch house-sized icebergs floating by in the tides, or calving from the face of the glacier. Paddle, photograph and hike. (B) (L) (D)

Day 7: Paddle to pick-up beach (or camp there previous evening). Pick-up by plane and aerial flight over the fjord and Brabazon Range, and back to Yakutat. Fly back to Juneau. (B) (L)

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Lodging the night before the trip;
- Charter transportation to/from Yakutat to Russell Fjord;
- all meals in the field;
- group cooking,
- camping,
- safety equipment,
- kayaks,
- life jackets,
- paddles,
- 2 drybags per person,
- tents (based on 2-person occupancy)
- first aid kit;
- professional guide services.

Custom dates available. We cater to special diets.

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USA   Alaska   Outdoor: Water Drifter   Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting   Ecotourism