Why This Trip?
It’s easy to get to Hoonah: It’s just a 20-minute flight from Juneau (for roughly $100 each way), and there are direct flights to Juneau from Anchorage and the Pacific Northwest. Of course, in Alaska, 20 minutes by air can really get you off the beaten path, and you’ll definitely feel that sense of remoteness in this small community, where it’s easy to fall into the local pace and enjoy some peace and quiet.
You can also get to Hoonah from Juneau using the Alaska Marine Highway ferry service—or fly one way and take the ferry back. The incredibly scenic trip takes between 3.5 and 7 hours depending on the route. The fare for a foot passenger (no vehicle) is around $60 each way. The ferry doesn’t run every day, so do some research in advance and plan accordingly.
Once you arrive in Hoonah, try to stay 3–4 days. Fish, go whale watching, rent a car to drive old logging roads. And you could easily spend more time, while enjoying multiple days on the water.
Here are some suggestions.
Arrive in Hoonah by Ferry or Plane
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Fly or ferry into Hoonah. Your whale-watching guide will pick you up and whisk you off to an afternoon on the water. The waters here aren’t as crowded as some of the larger towns in Southeast, and you' ll often have the whales to yourself. It’s common to see humpbacks, sea lions, seals, and shorebirds. Plus, the waters here are protected and often quite calm. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations—there are a few eateries in Hoonah—then spend the night in a B&B or vacation rental.
Day & Overnight in Hoonah
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If you fancy another day on the water, go fishing for salmon or halibut. It doesn’t take long to reach the fishing grounds, where you can drop your line and reel in your catch. When you return to town, see Tlingit carvers creating carve totem poles and learn the purpose of these gorgeous works of art. While you’re downtown, stop for some fresh crab at a local restaurant, or try a delicious salmon taco!
Day & Overnight in Hoonah
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Hoonah lies amid the gorgeous Tongass National Forest, which features more than 150 miles of old logging roads to explore. Rent a car and “drive out the road,” as the locals say, to enjoy all sorts of activities like picnics, berry-picking, and hunting (in season). Popular spots are Kennel Creek, Bear Paw Lake, and False Bay (home to a gorgeous beach that’s the perfect spot for a bonfire). Also keep your eyes open for brown bears munching on plants or wading into creeks looking for salmon.
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Fly or ferry back to Juneau and head home.