Surrounded by towering mountains, waterfalls and salmon streams, Sawmill Bay is well protected from wind and sea and is the ideal spot for the novice kayaker's first day on the water. Kayaking, hiking, berry picking, salmon fishing and wildlife watching are just some of the activities possible in this uniquely beautiful bay. The next day paddle along the intricately convoluted shorelines of Valdez Narrows, passing countless waterfalls, eagles' nests and sea caves. Camp in view of spectacular Shoup Glacier. The following day explore Shoup Glacier than paddle back to Valdez with a stop at Gold Creek. 10-12 miles of paddling each day.
Valdez - Sawmill Bay
Individual Arrival in Valdez. Meet at the tour office for a pre-trip safety briefing and equipment fitting. Load boats on our specialized ‘water taxi’ and sit back and enjoy. The trip out to Sawmill Bay, the first of our state park stops, takes approximately 1 hour. After unloading and packing our boats, enjoy the first dips of your paddle in the pristine waters. (L) ( D)
Sawmill Bay - Shoup Glacier
After a hardy breakfast, we will pack the boats and begin our journey into the arm and around Potato Point. Along the way bask in the beauty of falling water as falls cascade from hundreds of feet up the cliff faces. This is a great time to watch for wildlife such as otters, seals, sea lions and occasionally whales. Stop for lunch and spend some time beach combing on the rugged coastline between Sawmill and Shoup Glacier, our intended destination for the evening. Once in Shoup Bay, the first views of Shoup Glacier will begin to unfold. The closer you get the bigger it is! After paddling into the inner tidal lagoon you will come in face to face contact with the splendor of a tidewater glacier. Experience the awesome beauty of the ‘blue’ ice and listen to the cracking and popping as ice prepares to ‘calve’ into the azure waters of the bay. After exploring and visiting the Black Legged Kittiwake rookery, now numbering more than 20,000 birds, we will make our way to a camping spot. After dinner relax, go for a small hike on the moraine, or simply relax and wait for the special opportunity to see the ‘Northern Lights’ spread out across the evening, star filled sky. (B) ( L) ( D)
Shoup Glacier - Valdez
After a breakfast and beverages, head out into the bay one more time for a morning tour. This is a great time to get those last photos by the glacier. We’ll than paddle back and breakdown camp. Now we begin our journey back to Valdez, paddling the beautiful coastline of Port Valdez. Along the way learn more about the mining and gold rush history of Prince William Sound as we paddle by the ‘cliff mine’. Watch for eagles as we pull into Gold Creek, a state marine park. Lunch time and a perfect pit stop in between Shoup and Valdez. After lunch take a short hike up to the steep, basalt gorge littered with waterfalls and big trees. This is the northern most example of the temperate rain forest which stretches from Coos Bay in Oregon to Prince William Sound and southern Alaska. The last three miles back to Valdez are good for seeing river otters, seals, sea lions and bird life. Pull back into the small boat harbor of Valdez mid to late afternoon. (B) ( L)
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