Destinations »

Yakutat

Yakutat
Photo courtesy of Mike Denega

While in Yakutat experience Mountain Lake Trail, Harlequin Lake Trail, Russell Fiord Trail, Situk Lake Trail, Situk River Trail, Maggie John (Lower Situk) Trail, Fish Train Trail, and Totem Trail. Yakutat is also the jumping off point for accessing the UNESCO Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek World Heritage Site which surrounds Yakutat, the Tongass National Forest (largest National Forest), Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve (largest National Park and home to Mount St. Elias-the second highest peak in the United States), and a portion of Glacier Bay National Park.

Overview

Yakutat is located on the Gulf of Alaska on the scenic Yakutat Forelands at the mouth of Yakutat Bay, surrounded by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Located 225 miles northwest of Juneau, Yakutat has a diverse cultural history. Originally settled by Native Alaskans, Yakutat means "the place where the canoes rest." In 1805 the Russian-American Company opened a fur trading fort. Later the community experienced a small gold rush and then developed operations for lumber and a fish cannery. The community played a defensive role in WWII. Today Yakutat is a fishing community with recreation based tourism also playing a role.

Yakutat
Interactive Map - Click to Enter

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a remote, yet easily accessible, southeast coastal Alaska community by visiting Yakutat. While in Yakutat, hike many luxuriant trails, canoe/kayak seemingly endless waterways - rivers, estuaries, bays, and fjords – visit glaciers, go birding, enjoy world-class fresh water and salt water sport fishing and wildlife viewing; and surf the remote breaks that have given Yakutat recognition as a world-class surfing destination.

Yakutat is home to:

  • The world’s largest non-polar ice fields- the Malaspina Glacier and the Hubbard Glacier.
  • North America’s greatest collection of mountain peaks above 16,000 feet, including Mt. Saint Elias – at 18,000 feet, the second highest in North America. All are visible from Yakutat.
  • Numerous rivers and streams, freshwater lakes and ponds and saltwater lagoons that provide world class fishing opportunities.
  • Over 200 species of birds, with over 100 species breeding in the area. The sheer numbers of birds during migrations are extraordinary with over 300,000 shorebirds per year.

Transportation

Alaska's Marine Highway System offers bi-monthly trips from June through September on the M/V Kennicott from Prince Rupert, Ketchikan and Juneau in southeast Alaska to Prince William Sound communities in southwest Alaska, with stops in Yakutat. AMHS offers an affordable alternate to air travel for passengers who are traveling on foot and want to enjoy and explore Yakutat.

Yakutat is accessible daily year round by air from Anchorage or Juneau with service provided by Alaska Airlines. The airport is located 5 miles from downtown and the ferry terminal is located in the heart of the community.

Once in Yakutat, rental cars are available at the airport and charter air services provide access to remote areas surrounding the community.

Services

Yakutat has basic services for accommodations, food, amenities, and outdoor equipment rentals including skiffs and kayaks. Other services include a fly fishing shop, surf shop, charter fishing adventures, and charter air service. The community also has a small medical clinic.

Weather

Mild, intermittent rainy days, typical of a maritime climate, are to be expected in Yakutat. Yakutat receives some of the highest precipitation in Alaska with an average annual rainfall of 132 inches and 219 inches of snow. Summer temperatures range between 42 and 60 degrees F with winter temperatures between 17 and 39 degrees F. High quality outdoor gear is recommended for visitors.

Local Contacts

For more information on the community contact the Yakutat Chamber of Commerce. Information can also be obtained from the National Park Service at PO Box 137, Yakutat, AK 99689 (907) 784-3295, or the Forest Service’s Yakutat Ranger District at 712 Ocean Cape Road (PO Box 327) Yakutat, AK 99689 (907) 784-3359.