What are the most exciting things to do in Icy Strait Point? If you plan to join the next Alaska trip, here is what you should know about Icy Strait Point and its attractions.
Most people seek to enjoy Alaska’s beauty travel on an Alaska Cruise. Icy Straight Point is one of the Alaskan cruise ports that is more than often included on these Alaska Cruise itineraries.
Located on the Chichagof Island near Hoonah, Alaska, Icy Straight Point is a privately owned cruise port where most excursions to Glacier Bay and other beautiful sites begin.
While visiting this incredible tourist destination, you can experience everything you’ve ever imagined about Alaska. Whether it’s wildlife, history, adventure, charming native cultures, etc., Icy Strait Point has it all.
Take in the beautiful Alaskan wilderness on this whale-watching cruise in Hoonah. Take in untouched natural beauty of Glacier Bay and Icy Strait, where humpback whales arrive each year to feed before heading south for the winter. The boat tours depart several times throughout most days, allowing you to choose which time works best or simply see them all!
Explore Hoonah from a different perspective—the water. Join your guide and small group for a paddle past an old logging camp and towering mountains. Then, move on to a rural area the locals call Long Island for a chance to spot wildlife. Experience the rugged beauty of Alaska as you journey along its coastline on this guided kayak tour. Celebrate your adventure with fresh Alaskan seafood at local restaurants after your trip ends.
Spend three hours exploring the scenic and remote Chichagod Island on this small group tour that showcases life on the tiny island. Learn from your local guide about the Alaskan wilderness and wildlife while you explore this island that's home to the largest concentration of bears on earth. With just 750 residents, you'll feel far off the beaten path on this tour that's perfect for nature lovers.
This charming little town offers plenty to see and do, including whale watching, fishing, hiking, and shopping. But to make the search even easier, we have prepared this list, including some of the best things to do in Icy Strait Point.
If you plan a trip to Alaska, here are some incredible things you can try in Icy Strait Point.
Best Things to Do in Icy Strait Point, Alaska
1. Glacier Bay Flightseeing
Waterways are the most common option for most Alaska tourists to explore Glacier Bay, National Park. And while it’s an excellent way to see all Glacier Bay’s beauty offers, it is not the only way.
Flightseeing is my favorite option. It gives you a more comprehensive view of the entire landscape, allowing you to enjoy some mind-blowing views, impossible with waterway excursions.
The Glacier Bay National Park flight excursion takes you from Hoonah, Alaska, flying you across Point Adolphus, Glacier Bay, and Brady Glacier.
I can assure you that the sight from up there is quite breathtaking. The beautiful views of massive ice caps, whales swimming across the waterways, and learning how Glacier Bay was formed, make the entire flight worth every second. This flightseeing is one of the best ways to enjoy Alaska’s beauty.
2. Humpback Whale Watching
Humpback whales are among the top tourist attractions in Icy Strait Point, Alaska. For this reason, most cruise ship companies will include whale watching in their Hoonah cruising itinerary. Generally, Icy Strait Point summer starts in May. During this period, Humpback whales flock to these nutrient-rich waters to feed. The beautiful animals will be roaming these waters until September before migrating south.
A whale-watching tour in Icy Strait Point takes you on a charter boat, allowing you to see the spectacular animals as they swim across the clear sea. And that’s not all. Whale seeing is guaranteed (you’ll get a refund if you don’t spot a whale during the excursion).
During your tour, you might encounter other local wildlife, including Alaskan brown bears, blue herons, eagles, blacktail dear, etc. Whale watching from a cruise ship is one of the best things to do in Icy Point Strait, Alaska. Check out this top-rated humpback whale-watching tour to make the most of your experience.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Anchorage
3. Fishing Tours
For fishing enthusiasts, Icy Strait Point offers excellent fishing sites and tours. Many cruise tours to Alaska will have fishing as part of their itinerary. This means that you will have your day in the waters doing what you love.
Chichagof Island is known to be an excellent fishing ground for salmon and trout fish. And, to have the best fishing experience, you can join famous fishing charters such as the Icy Strait Point Stream Fishing Tours.
You are provided fishing equipment, gear, and assistance if needed during a fishing tour. This helps ensure you’ve had the best experience out in the waters.
Depending on the time of the year you visit, you can catch Pink Salmon, Cutthroat trout, Chum Salmon, Dolly Varden trout, or Steelhead. Also, you might spot other wildlife, such as beavers, brown bears, mink, otters, and marten, during the fishing expedition.
Just a few hours of fishing on the Icy Strait Point streams will make your Alaskan trip worth the hustle. One thing you should note, however, is that the tour is a catch-and-release one. You cannot take home your catch. Also, when your cruise ship hits Icy Strait Point dock, you have around 30 minutes before the fishing trip starts.
See Related: Things to do in Anchorage, Alaska
One thing about Alaska that remains unchallenged is that it has numerous epic hiking sites. For hike lovers, the Chichagof Island Wilderness hike is among the cheap things to do in Icy Strait Point that you should try out. And don’t mistake cheap for the lack of fun – the hike will give you some of the best experiences in the Alaska wilderness.
Usually, the trail for this excursion is around two miles. It includes the most stunning views of the Island and its extensive waterways. As you drive out of the town, leaving human settlements, and into the wilderness, the calmness and serenity of this place are always breathtaking.
Note: These hikes could sometimes be challenging. But for people who love the wilderness, the beauty that comes with it is more than worth a try.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Homer, Alaska
5. See the Legendary Alaskan Bears
If you’ve not encountered these beautiful animals, Chichagof Island offers you an incredible chance to. The Island is known as “Bear Island,” named by National Geographic. There are 1-2 bears for every square mile, making it the most bear-concentrated area in the world.
This means it’s pretty hard not to see a bear during your excursion to the Island. Most tour companies will offer bear-seeing as part of their package—one incredible bear-watching tour in the Icy Strait Wildlife and Bear Tour. The four-hour tour takes you through numerous possible bear sighting locations, giving you the best chance to see the animals.
If you were compiling your list of the best things to see in Icy Strait Point, you should undoubtedly include these beautiful creatures.
6. Enjoy a Delicious Meal at the Port
Besides the tours and sightseeing, you can also taste Alaska by enjoying a delicious meal in one of Icy Strait Point’s restaurants. There are several beautiful restaurants here to enjoy fresh fried fish, crab legs, and other local seafood.
A meal in Icy Strait Point is an excellent way to learn some of Alaska’s native cultures and understand what makes the area unique.
This is an excellent place if you’ve been yearning to try some local cuisines in Alaska. A hot fresh meal in the cold Alaska weather is among the best things to do at the port in Icy Strait Point, Alaska.
If you want more restaurants and coffee shops, there are more in Hoona. Most of these eateries offer incredibly delicious meals at relatively low prices.
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7. Go Kayaking in the Bay
There is never a shortage of things to do in Icy Strait Point. Icy Strait Point Kayaking in the region’s incredibly calm waters is enough proof.
One of the best places to start your kayaking adventure is right off the Icy Strait/Fredrick port. Before this tour, your guide comes to pick you up at the Fish House Excursion Lounge and takes you to the staging area. Here, you are given an orientation of the trip and the necessary safety instructions.
The kayaking tour is a two-person adventure (you and your certified guide). It involves paddling along the famous Hoonah waterfront as you venture into the quieter waters. Here, you can see some bald eagles, a sight that most people would love.
Humpback whales are also known to venture into these calm waters, and you might come across a few. Also, as you enjoy the calmness and beauty of this tour, you can learn a lot from your guide about the region’s wildlife, history, and even culture. Therefore, if you don’t know what to do in Icy Strait Point, kayaking is one of those exciting activities you can pick.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Wasilla, Alaska
8. Tour the Hoonah City
Touring Hoonah in between your excursions can also be quite exciting. This gives you a chance to understand more about the culture of the people who live here, their history, and their daily activities.
Hoonah is a largely Tlingit city found on Chichagof Island. This means that the city can offer numerous other incredible things besides culture and history.
If you didn’t know, Chichagof Island holds the US 5th largest Island title and the world’s 109th largest. The Island had a population of 760 people, according to the 2010 census, with the number rising to around 1300 every summer because of tourism.
The place is nice to visit from enjoying the sweet local cuisines and relating with the warm and welcoming locals.
Even better, you can learn more about their culture from Hoonah by visiting the Yaakw Kihidi Cultural Center.
9. Go Shopping
Having some souvenirs to take back home sounds like an excellent idea. If you would love to, you could go shopping in any of the numerous Warehouse Retail Shops in the area.
These Warehouse Retail Shops are stocked with beautiful locally made arts, herbal remedies, antiques, jewelry, and numerous other tourist items. Buying some things here will ensure you never forget your good experiences in Icy Strait Point.
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10. Paddle a Tlingit Canoe
The first settlers in this area built long canoes from tree logs known as Tlingit Canoes. The canoes are 40 feet long and carved from a single tree log.
Paddling one of these canoes down the waterways is an excellent way to experience the centuries-long Tlingit culture and traditions. During the excursion, you will learn more about how the people here lived, their history, and even some Tlingit words and phrases. Most of this will be through songs from the crew.
Before you set out to the sea, you’ll be taught some basics about using these traditional canoes. Also, during this guided tour, the crew ensures you wear a life vest before the ride starts.
The trip is entertaining as you listen to melodious Tlingit songs and drumming. You’ll also have the best view of sea life, creating some unforgettable experiences.
This Tlingit Canoe Paddling and Culture Tour helps you experience all these.
11. Visit the Carving Hut
As you explore Hoonah city, there is one place you shouldn’t forget to visit – the famous Carving Hut. But why is the carving hut so renowned? One thing about Tlingit people is that they are talented weavers, carvers, and artists. Besides their subsistence busy life, the community sets out time for music, dance, and art. This is how the community expresses its feelings, communicates, and marks special events.
One of the most popular forms of carvings for the Tlingit people is the carved totem poles. The carved poles mainly convey a message or tell a story. They are cut for various events in the Tlingit people’s lives, including birth, war, death, or any other momentous occasion.
The carved totem poles can bear images of various animals, including eagles, killer whales, bears, etc. All these describe a particular story in the history of the Tlingit people.
At the carving hut in the city’s center, you will have firsthand experience with carvers doing what they do best. Even better, the carvers are not shy to explain what the carvings represent or why they are so important. Therefore, if you want to understand this part of the Tlingit culture, the carving hut is a great place to visit during your Icy Strait Point tour.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Fairbanks, Alaska
12. Adventure Park and ZipRider Tour
While zip-lining is quite common in many places across the globe, it’s still one of the best things to do in Icy Strait Point, Alaska. And, whether you have done a thousand zip-lining adventures or none, the experience is always unique.
The Icy Strait Point ZipRider is an incredible tourist attraction with six zip lines. Each zip line is around 5,330 feet long and 1,330 feet high.
These heights give you a pervasive view of the area, allowing you to enjoy more as you ride down the lines.
But before you reach the ZipRider, the 90-minute excursion takes you through an obstacle course known as Adventure Park. This consists of several obstacles you must clear along the way, such as climbing planks, a log bridge, fishermen’s nets, etc.
Once you conquer all the obstacles, you hook onto the 1,330 feet high zip line and descend back to the sea.
Due to the high heights, you can expect to hit top speeds of 60 mph during your descent. And you will be around 300 feet above sea level, ensuring incredible views, especially of the surrounding mountains.
If you are traveling as a family, these zip lines offer the best activities for bonding. The truth is, you might be talking about the experience for a while.
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13. Bird Watching in Hoonah
The numerous Hoonah bird species for bird lovers will make your trip even more exciting. A bird-watching excursion will be an excellent choice for top things to do in Icy Strait Point.
The tour includes an experienced local guide who knows all the best places to spot the region’s stunning bird species.
All you need are a pair of binoculars, which you’ll be provided with if you don’t have yours. The excursion package includes any other gear to make your bird-watching blissful. You can see flocks of perching birds, bald eagles, ducks, seabirds, gulls, etc.
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