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Kayaking Tours in Anchorage, Alaska
Bordered on one side by the Chugach Mountains and on the other by the waters of Cook Inlet, Anchorage is the perfect place to launch your kayaking adventure. This city is a haven for those who crave a bustling cosmopolitan and cultural scene, but want easy access to the great outdoors. Visitors who are interested in including kayaking in Anchorage, Alaska part of their vacation experience can either rent a kayak for a solo adventure or join one of the many kayaking tours in Anchorage, Alaska that explore the tranquil beauty of the region’s many waterways.
When To Kayak In Alaska
The peak of summer’s tourist season – high season in Alaska – may be the best time to head to the state’s rivers and lakes for a kayaking adventure, but it also coincides with the biggest influx of crowds. This means campsites are often booked out and it is more difficult to experience true wilderness on the busy waterways. If you want to avoid the crowds, consider planning your kayaking trip anywhere from mid-May until mid-June, or from Late August into September. Both of these times fall during Alaska’s shoulder season, meaning you will be able to experience Alaska’s incredible wilderness in peace.
What To Wear Kayaking In Alaska
Even during the summer months, Alaska’s temperatures can range from an average low of 37 degrees to an average high of 71 degrees. If you want to go kayaking in Anchorage, Alaska, you will have to plan ahead for this extreme range of temperatures! Layers are key for this type of outdoor sport, as well as fabrics with natural water-repelling qualities such as wool. Seasoned kayakers will tell you to dress for the temperature of the water, not the air. And don’t be fooled by cooler temperatures – even in northern latitudes, sun protection is a must!
Here are a few items to consider having on hand if you are taking a kayaking tour in Anchorage, Alaska:
- Wetsuit – a wetsuit is highly recommended because water temperatures in Alaska are cold even during the summer months! But don’t worry, you can rent one at a local outfitter – you don’t have to stuff it in your carry-on bag!
- Drysuit – for kayaking during the late summer or fall months, a drysuit is recommended. Again, you can rent this, along with a kayak, at a local outfitter.
- Synthetic layers – synthetic layers are the key to staying warm and comfortable while kayaking in Anchorage, Alaska. Skip the cotton in favor of gear made out of fleece and wool, since they provide warmth even if they get wet.
- Waterproof jacket and pants – protect yourself from Alaska’s wind and rain with this gear. Just look for breathable materials to prevent sweating.
- Water shoes – a dedicated pair of water shoes will protect your feet from rocks and other debris while keeping you comfortable in wet conditions.
- Sun protection – Alaska’s sun is strong, especially during the summer months when daylight hours are long. Don’t forget to wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- PFD – if you want to kayak in Alaska, you will need to wear a personal flotation device. These can be rented from an outfitter when you rent your kayak.
Can I Kayak In Alaska If I Am A Beginner?
Yes, you can! Anchorage is home to many easy kayaking trails. But don’t be fooled – even if the waterways are easy to paddle, they all provide breathtaking views and a truly unique way of exploring Alaska’s local wildlife.
- Campbell Creek – This winding creek starts in the Chugach Mountains and meanders through the city of Anchorage. A perfect route for beginners kayaking in Anchorage, Alaska, this creek offers several beach pullouts along the way for paddlers to enjoy a snack break.
- Eklutna Lake – residents and tourists alike flock to this scenic lake for all kinds of outdoor adventures! The lake is long and features more than 15 miles of shoreline to explore. If you don’t want to paddle along, guided trips are available from an on-site outfitter.
- Blackstone Bay – if you travel southeast from Anchorage to Whittier, you can paddle through this beautiful fjord at the mouth of Prince William Sound. Enjoy the sight of whales, seals, sea otters, and gulls as you travel through blue, icy water.
- Prince William Sound – this popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts is located four hours from Anchorage. Make a day of it, and book with an outfitter that specializes in sea kayaking. You will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Chugach Mountains in the background and massive glaciers right next to you.
Take Advantage Of Alaska’s National Parks For Kayaking
There are many national parks near Anchorage that offer paddlers stunning views of glaciers, mountains, and wildlife from the water. One of the most popular parks is Kenai Fjords National Park, which is located on the Kenai Peninsula. The park is roughly a three-hour drive from Anchorage and offers kayakers the opportunity to paddle around massive glaciers and icebergs for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In fact, Kenai Fjords National Park offers adventurers the best kayaking in the Kenai Peninsula!
A Bucket List Kayaking Experience
If you are interested in kayaking tours in Anchorage, Alaska, it’s easy to find something that suits your abilities! Local operators offer half-day, day, or even multi-day trips (with overnight camping) for everyone from beginning paddlers to seaworthy professionals. But for a truly unique experience that showcases the best kayaking in the Kenai Peninsula, consider a week-long expedition with a specialty outfitter. Paddle through the waterways of the Kenai Peninsula with the Kenai Mountains in the background. Along the way, you’ll see glaciers calving and bears feeding, and be able to share the waters with whales and orcas! For those seeking an adventure like no other, this is the expedition for you!
Alaska offers plenty of adventure for visitors both by land and by sea (or river, or stream). For a truly unique way to explore Alaska’s stunning coastline and abundant wildlife, consider a kayaking tour in or around Anchorage. You may get your feet wet, but this vacation will certainly be one for the memory books!