Photo Credit: Cynthia Meyer

The Best Wildlife Viewing Spots in Kake

In Kake, you can see eagles, black bear and whales, all within a single walk along the beach. They are attracted by the same tasty snack: fish. Bear and eagles can be found wherever the salmon are heading upstream. Whales feed off-shore, on krill and herring. Seeing them in their natural habitats is amazingly unforgettable.

If you arrive by boat, watch for otters floating on their backs in the water as you come into Kake. Sitka black-tailed deer, Alexander Archipelago wolves, beaver, porcupine, red squirrel, marten, moose and around 300 species of birds also populate Kupreanof Island. Of these, you are most likely to see birds, as the others (especially deer and wolves) like to stay hidden.

If you are going to see signs of wolf, it would be toward Hamilton Creek or Big John Bay.

Best Places To See Bear And Eagles

You will see eagles frequently during your visit to Kake, and you many even see black bear just ambling down the street. However, if you want to see them fishing, head to Gunnuk Creek and watch from Silver Spike Bridge or the bear viewing platform at the old Gunnuk Creek Fish Hatchery.

Best Places To See Whales

Tip: Bring your long lens, settle in for a while to watch, and resist approaching wildlife. Know bear safety guidelines, especially if you are hiking out on the trails.

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Best Wildlife Viewing Spots in Kake

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.  ...more

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.

Dri­ve out north of Kake a few miles to find a local hot spot for pic­nick­ing and watch­ing for hump­backs in Keku Strait. This is the best place near Kake to view whales. You can see their spouts in the waters pret­ty close to the Point.

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.

The wide beach flats in front of Kake where Gun­nuk Creek and Lit­tle Gun­nuk Creek emp­ty out offer a wide expanse to explore, espe­cial­ly for kids. Watch for eagles, take in the view of Kuiu Island across Keku Strait, or learn how to dig for clams.

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.  ...more