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Shuyak Island State Park - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: Kodiak, AK
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: Dave Kubiak

Description:

Shuyak Island offers sea kayaking for both the novice and the experienced kayaker. The inner bays (Neketa Bay, Big Bay, Western Inlet, Carry Inlet, and Shangin Bay) are well protected from weather and generally remain calm enough for novice kayakers. The outer coast is exposed, and large swells, rough seas, high winds, and heavy surf are common there. Alaska State parks is developing a small network of trails on the western side of Shuyak. The trails give visitors access to salmon fishing, to the open capes of the outer coast, public-use cabins, and to the Big Bay Ranger Station. Brown bears can be encountered on the trails or at any place during any season. In most cases the bears are not a threat, but they do command your respect.

Shuyak Island State Park comprises most of the island's 47,000 acres. The park encompasses part of a coastal forest system, unique to the Kodiak Archipelago, which contains only one tree species: Sitka spruce. Besides a virgin Sitka spruce forest, the park includes miles of rugged coastline, beaches, and protected waterways. The island is located 54 air miles north of Kodiak, Alaska. Shuyak island's compact dimensions measure 12 miles long by 11 miles wide but contain more sheltered interior waterways than anywhere in the Kodiak Archipelago. The land and water of the area host an almost infinite variety of seabirds. Otters share the sea with whales, harbor seals, sea lions, and Dall porpoises. Kodiak brown bear and Sitka black-tailed deer inhabit the island's forests. The Shuyak experience is one of the wilderness.

Those who plan their trip well have the greatest rewards.

Access to Shuyak Island is via water or air. Commercial air service is available from Anchorage to the city of Kodiak. Several air charters provide floatplane service to Shuyak Island from either Homer or Kodiak. Water taxi service is also available between Kodiak and Shuyak.

If you visit Shuyak, you may either camp or rent one of the four public use cabins. Cabin reservations must be made well in advance, as they tend to be very popular. A limited number of kayaks are available for rent in the park, reservations are necessary. Groceries and other supplies must be purchased before you arrive on Shuyak. A state park ranger or volunteer may contact you during your visit.

Fees:

Cabin rental fee of $65. Guides require permit, contact park office.

Directions:

To get there: Fly to Anchorage, fly to Kodiak, charter seaplane or water taxi to Shuyak.

Contact:

Complete information is available from Alaska State Parks, Kodiak District Office, 1400 Abercrombie Dr., Kodiak, AK, 99615. Contact via email: kodsp@ptialaska.net, the web at http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/jewels/kodiak.htm, or phone: 907-486-6339.

Resources:

Nautical charts or topogragic maps are helpful. Local tide books available from the air taxi. The Alaska State Park District Office supplies a very useful packet on Shuyak Island State Park.


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