THE PLACE WHERE CANOES REST
The name Yakutat comes from the Tlingit “Yaakwdáat,”, meaning “the place where canoes rest.” Visitors come here to fish, hunt, surf, kayak, and bird watch as well as explore the coast. Situated on the Gulf of Alaska, northwest of Glacier Bay National Park, Yakutat is just a short plane ride from Juneau International Airport. This town of 4,000 residents boasts a wealth of outfitters, inns, shops and an annual Fairweather Festival complete with smoked salmon contests and a fish head toss. Yakutat also hosts the annual Yakutat Tern Festival, which highlights the exceptional bird watching opportunities in the area during the spring migration. The Yakutat area is also home to some of the largest mountains and glaciers in the state of Alaska. The Hubbard Glacier is a short boat ride from town and is the largest tidewater glacier in the world. The face of the Hubbard Glacier is five miles wide and 300 feet above the water and actively calves apartment-size pillars of ice into the ocean. Mount Saint Elias can be seen in the distance. At over 18,000 feet, it is the largest coastal mountain in the world. Brown bears, moose and wolves are some of the large mammals to be seen on land, while whales, sea lions, seals and porpoise can be viewed just offshore. Both river and ocean fishing opportunities are plentiful in Yakutat, with all five species of Pacific salmon returning to nearby rivers and streams. The area also features the state’s largest steelhead run.