June 14, 2024


Inspired By Travel

Juneau Kayaking Adventures for Experienced and Beginner Paddlers


The tour includes snacks and bottled water as well as all required permits and a professional guide. Just know that once you book your tour, it is nonrefundable and will proceed so long as conditions are safe. So even if it’s a bit rainy, your tour will not be canceled.

Paddle to a Prime Bear Watching Location

By far, this tour is the most expensive kayaking tour you’ll find. But it’s also very unique. The Exclusive Pack Creek Bear Viewing tour includes a floatplane ride where you’ll get to see Tongass National Forest. Then you’ll kayak through Windfall Harbor. 

Groups of no more than 10 will enjoy the Alaskan wilderness during this incredible 8-hour tour. You’ll have one guide per five people, which means a very personalized tour experience. During the tour, you’ll get to see bears in their natural habitat. Watch as they frolic through the meadows and catch salmon. 

Viewing bears from the Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area is exclusive to a select number of guests through tour operators who hold special permits for the area. This area of Admiralty Island is known as the “Fortress of the Bears.” 

Once you’ve kayaked to the area, you’ll have three hours to get out of your kayak and view the bears. Watch as the bears enjoy the streams where the salmon are plentiful. Then climb lookout towers for a great view of bears enjoying their home. 

The tour includes lunch as well as the necessary gear, including rain jackets and rain boots. Guests on this tour must be at least 12 years of age. 

Kayak Rental in Juneau

Not interested in the structure of an excursion or tour? You can rent kayaks in several locations throughout Juneau depending on what you’re hoping to see during your paddling. Some options include:

  • Ferry Terminal
  • Downtown
  • Shrine of Therese
  • North Douglas Boat Ramp

When you rent kayaks in Juneau, you should be experienced and know what you’re doing. This will help you avoid getting tired and unable to make it back to shore before dark or getting lost. Beginner kayakers should heavily consider engaging in a guided tour until they learn the area and get the necessary kayaking experience to venture out alone.

Where to Kayak in Juneau

You have many options for where to kayak during your stay in Juneau. Here are some of the prime locations.

juneau kayaking

Mendenhall Lake

Glaciers are rare sights in many areas of the country. But Alaska boasts an incredible experience. Mendenhall Glacier is surrounded by Mendenhall Lake. You can get up close and personal with this glacier at an affordable price.

While kayaking, look for mountain goats, beavers, bears and wolves at the edge of the water. You’ll also have a great opportunity for bird watching in the air and on sandbars. But as you kayak, stay safe distances from the towers of ice. These could come tumbling down at any time. 

Channel Islands State Marine Park

Just off the coast of Juneau are 14 islands. The state established the Channel Island State Marine Park in 2008 to allow tourists a chance to view a group of unspoiled islands. You’ll likely see humpback whales in the area as well as sea lions and other marine life. 

Fishing in the area is outstanding and you’ll take in the quiet and serene views of the mountains. The snow-capped peaks are beautiful. And if you want to take your time exploring the area, there are great camping opportunities, either in tents or cabins. 

To get to Channel Island State Marine Park, you’ll launch your kayak from Auke Bay Marina or Fritz Cove.

Auke Bay

Auke Bay is a great place to visit for a day. You can view tons of wildlife and sea life as well as waterfowl. Spend the day and kayak and hike in the same place. You might encounter jumping salmon and harbor seals. 

Watch for eagles and other birds overhead. One reason why this is a popular spot is because of the diversity of activities. Plus, many visitors like staying and having a picnic because Auke Bay is so great for it.

Where to Stay During Juneau Travels

Contemplating the best hotel for your Juneau kayaking trip? Juneau Hotel would enjoy the opportunity to serve you. Our suites feature full kitchens as well as a washer and dryer in every room. You’ll feel right at home in our clean, safe rooms. 

Book your stay now and start gearing up for your kayak trip.


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