Packrafting the Kodiak Archipelago

Philip.AK

Paddler
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
159
Location
Kodiak, Alaska
It's been a while since I have posted a trip report here. I have done a number of packrafting trips that you guys might find entertaining, though be forewarned that they often include a fair bit of hiking.

For this first one, I took the mail plane to Port William on the south side of Shuyak Island and then hiked and packrafted back to my home in Kodiak. Port William is one of my favorite starting points because you can go in literally any direction from there. It is the perfect jumping off point to explore Shuyak Island, or you can head east or west to access the north coast of Afognak Island, or you can do what I did on this trip and use the bays and lakes of Afognak to travel south. This was my first visit to the NW corner of Afognak Island and I feared lots of blowdowns in the forest and a sea of devil's club. Instead I found inviting, mature old growth Sitka spruce, blueberry bushes, and some wide elk trails. It was surprisingly pleasant traveling.

Here is a map of my route:


Enjoy:
 

Philip.AK

Paddler
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
159
Location
Kodiak, Alaska
I enjoyed the NW corner of Afognak so much that I went back and just concentrated on getting to know that area better. I did a counter-clockwise loop by leaving Port William to the west and paddled down into Devil Bay and Devils Inlet, a large tidal lagoon. From there I linked some alpine lakes together to explore the mountains of NW Afognak before dropping back down to tidewater and making my way back to Port William.

A map of my route:


The video:
 

Philip.AK

Paddler
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
159
Location
Kodiak, Alaska
The next summer I decided to do the Port William back to Kodiak trip again, but this time spend more time in the mountains, and also paddle all the way to the town of Kodiak. This route is an instant classic and I can definitely see doing it again.

The map:


The video:
 

Philip.AK

Paddler
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
159
Location
Kodiak, Alaska
This next trip is a bit thin on paddling, but I consider boats to be a tool to get a job done (even when that job is recreation, haha) so I use them where appropriate. I flew to the village of Port Lions on the mail plane and then paddled to the head of Kizhuyak Bay, hiked up the Terror Lake hydroelectric plant haul road, and then hiked back to Kodiak.

The trip map:


The video:
 

Philip.AK

Paddler
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
159
Location
Kodiak, Alaska
Last summer I went back to one of my favorite places to paddle in all the Kodiak archipelago; Shuyak Island. Shuyak has an incredibly convoluted coastline with a myriad of bays, inlets, sloughs, and short portages that get you from one inlet system to a totally different one. Such a cool place to explore by water and land. I did a counter clockwise lap of the island, mostly concentrating on the outer coast.

The map:


The video:
 

Philip.AK

Paddler
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
159
Location
Kodiak, Alaska
In late summer I did an overnight packrafting and hiking trip to an island north of Kodiak called Spruce Island to visit a site of religious significance to the Russian Orthodox faithful, called Monk’s Lagoon. This video took me longer to edit than most despite it being short. I just had a hard time working on it because the purpose of the trip was to mourn the loss of a friend who passed away this September.

I’m not religious, or really even spiritual. But I’ve been to Monk’s Lagoon before when I was sad, and it is one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited. The history of the place is fascinating if you are curious about the St Herman iconography.

No map, just the video (again, my apologies for this being thin on paddling):
 

Philip.AK

Paddler
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
159
Location
Kodiak, Alaska
Yay, a video with more paddling, lol!

Each spring I help a friend with his field archaeology. This video depicts an 8-day site survey, identifying prehistoric Native Alaskan settlements and site usage in Zachar Bay and Spiridon Bay on the west side of Kodiak Island, Alaska. The survey is conducted in the spring before grass and vegetation obscure subtle topographical features indicating barabaras (semi-subterranian house pits) and midden (waste) deposits. We paddled along the coastline and visited all beaches and probable settlement locations looking for house pits; evidence of fish, mollusc, and marine mammal bones; and probing the soil for charcoal and fire-modified rock.

Enjoy:
 

CPS

Paddler
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
84
Location
BC
These look like some great adventures. I'll be back to watch the videos when I have a bit more time on my hands. Looks like something I want to be able to devote some attention to.
 

AM

Paddler
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
897
Location
Vancouver
Wow! Thank you so much, Philip! A new area for me to dream about...

Cheers,
Andrew
 
Top