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Blackstone Bay - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: Whittier, AK
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: PatriotBliss View Profile

Description:

Blackstone Bay is a simply gorgeous fjord located south of Whittier, Alaska on the western edge of Prince William Sound. You can either paddle the approximately 20 miles from Whittier and make it a multi-day trip, or pay for a water taxi at the Whittier small boat harbor and come to the bay for a scenic tour of a day or two.

If you want to see and hear massive chunks of glacier ice crash into the water, this is the place. As you enter the bay you will note a total of seven glaciers clinging to the high cliffs on each side. Of these seven two still touch the water and drop massive quantities of glacial ice into the bay. Of these two, the huge Blackstone Glacier (for which, obviously, the bay is named) is the most impressive. At least two miles across and set in a very scenic position at the end of the bay a view of it alone is definitely worth the trip.

Most kayakers, myself included, enjoy staying out at a safe distance from the glacier and waiting for the rumble of a calving glacier followed by the huge splash and big wave to follow. The water here seems to be normally quite calm and though there are bergy bits and icebergs aplenty, it really isn't overly dangerous as there are lots of camping beaches on both the north and south shore. Several of these beaches have trails that lead up to the glaciers and let you get up close and personal with some deep blue ice.

As far as wildlife goes, I've seen seals, numerous seabirds, bald eagles, and sea lions in the bay. Whales are occasionally seen but for the most part don't venture into the bay due to a shallow moraine.

Overall this is one of the most (if not the most) scenic kayak routes in Alaska and certainly worth the trip for anyone wanting an exciting Alaska kayaking experience.

Accommodations:

Whittier has a small hotel and general store, and several small shops which should have most everything you would need for a kayaking venture. For more services you will have to go back through the Whittier Tunnel and up to Girdwood or Anchorage.

Fees:

$12.00 to go through the Whittier Tunnel
$10.00 for parking
$7.00 for kayak launch fee.

Directions:

From Anchorage proceed south on the Seward Highway about 44 miles until hitting the portage glacier road exit. Turn left here and proceed along portage glacier road until coming to the Whittier Tunnel. Pay the 12.00 fee and go through the very long tunnel and emerge into Whittier. The small boat harbor is on your left just after passing the cruise ships.

Contact:

I've used the Prince William Sound kayak center....which does rentals, tours, and guided multi day trips, they know everything you need to know for kayaking in the area.


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