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.
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.
If you want to see salmon, eagles and black bear in their natural habitat, the view along Gunnuk Creek cannot be surpassed. Silver Spike Bridge over the creek is a good viewing point, or you can make your way to the nearby bear viewing platform at the old Gunnuk Creek Hatchery. Some call Gunnuk Creek “eagle highway” for the large number of eagles here when the fish are running.
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.