The Community Hall/Gymnasium, located in downtown Kake, is the most used facility in town. Here's where you could find a community gathering complete with Tlingit dancing. Or you may get a chance to watch residents in a spirited game of basketball, the city’s favorite sport. (Kake has a few state championships in its history!).
Long Beach is a stretch of beach along Keku Strait a few miles north of Kake. This is a good spot for spotting whale activity offshore, as there are a few rocks out in the water that the whale like to rub against. Generally you would see humpback in this area, but once in awhile you might see a pod of orca.
Coming to Kake in the summer? Time your visit to late July/early August so you can participate in the Dog Salmon Festival, a community celebration with great food, crazy games, music, and dancing. It’s the biggest event of the year, and a time when the entire community comes together to celebrate the bounty of the land and sea.
Kake’s residents were the first Alaska Natives to become U.S. citizens, when the community incorporated under Federal law in 1912. Celebrating Independence Day is a big deal in Kake, with plenty of fireworks, kids dressed in red, white and blue, a parade, games and races.
The first few weeks of each year are a time of renewal. In Kake each January 8, residents and guests gather at the Community Hall to commemorate the anniversary of the city's 1912 incorporation (it was the first Native village to do so). Kake Day celebrates the city’s self-governance, as well as its Tlingit roots.
The trail along Hamilton Creek is busiest around 5 in the morning, as savvy anglers know that’s when the fish are biting! The trail is about 2 miles round-trip, but you can follow the creek for miles, fishing and picnicking along the way. You will be sharing the experience with bears, so secure your snacks, and any fish you catch.
Big John Bay trail is the furthest hike out from Kake, in a remote area right on tidal and saltwater flats. After a drive of 16 miles and a hike of about 2.1 miles, you’ll come to Big John Bay cabin, which can be reserved for the night through the U.S. Forest Service. Getting there requires strict attention to tide tables, as the 15-foot variation in tide restricts trail and cabin access.
The trail down to Cathedral Falls isn’t very long, but involves a steep 100-foot descent (and ascent when it’s time to go back!). Down at the creek, you can explore behind the falls, fish for trout and salmon, or watch black bear, which are likely to be fishing as well.