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13 Best Things to do in Icy Strait Point, Alaska

What are the most exciting things to do in Icy Strait Point? If you are planning to join the next Alaska trip, here is what you should know about Icy Strait Point and its attractions.  

Most people who seek to enjoy Alaska’s beauty make trips 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, from where most excursions to Glacier Bay and other beautiful sites begin.  

While visiting this incredible tourist destination, you have a chance to experience everything you’ve ever imagined about Alaska. Whether it’s wildlife, history, adventure, charming native cultures, etc., Icy Strait Point has it all.

hoonah whale watching
1. Hoonah Whale-Watching Cruise Top Recommendation

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!

hoonah kayak tours
2. Kayak Tours in Hoonah

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.

chichagof island bear tour
3. Chichagof Island Tour: Brown Bear Search

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 for you.

If you are planning a trip to Alaska, here are some incredible things to do in Icy Strait Point that you can try out.

Best Things to do in Icy Strait Point, Alaska

1. Glacier Bay Flightseeing

Glacier Bay Flightseeing Tour

For most Alaska tourists, waterways are the most common option to explore Glacier Bay, National Park. And, while it’s an excellent way to see all the beauty that Glacier Bay has to offer, 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 sights 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 all the beauty that Alaska offers.

2. Humpback Whale Watching

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 up until September before migrating back 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).

You might also come across other local wildlife during your tour, including Alaskan brown bears, blue herons, eagles, blacktail dear, etc. Whale watching is one of the best things to do in Icy Point Strait, Alaska, from a cruise ship.

Check out this top-rated best humpback whale watching tour to make the most of your experience..

See Related: Best Day Trips from Anchorage

3. Fishing Tours

Fisherman in Alaska

For fishing enthusiasts, Icy Strait Point offers incredible 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 any of the famous fishing charters such as the Icy Strait Point Stream Fishing Tours.

During a fishing tour, you are provided with fishing equipment, gear, and assistance if needed. This helps to ensure that you’ve had the best experience out in the waters.

Depending on the time of the year you visit, you have a chance to catch Pink Salmon, Cutthroat trout, Chum Salmon, Dolly Varden trout, or Steelhead. Also, you might spot other wildlife such as beavers, brown bears, mink, otter, and marten during the fishing expedition.

Just a few hours of fishing on the Icy Strait Point streams will undoubtedly 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

4. Hiking


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

See the Legendary Alaskan Bears

If you’ve not come across these beautiful animals, Chichagof Island offers you an incredible chance to. The Island is even known as the “Bear Island,” as named by National Geographic. Here, there are 1-2 bears for every square mile, making it the most bear-concentrated area in the world.

This means that it’s quite 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 you can join is 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.

So, 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

Enjoy a Delicious Meal at the Port

Besides the tours and sightseeing, you can also have a taste of Alaska by enjoying a delicious meal in one of Icy Strait Point’s restaurants. There are several beautiful restaurants here, where you can enjoy fresh fried fish, crab legs, and several other kinds of local seafood.

Having a meal in Icy Strait Point is an excellent way to learn some of Alaska’s native cultures and understand what makes the area so unique.

If you’ve been yearning to try out some local cuisines in Alaska, this is an excellent place to do so. A hot fresh meal in the cold Alaska weather is among the best things to do in Icy Strait Point, Alaska, at the port.

If you want more restaurants and coffee shops, there are more of them in Hoonah city. Most of these eateries offer incredibly delicious meals at relatively low prices.

See related: Alaska Railroad Review: GoldStar or Adventure Class?

7. Go Kayaking in the Bay

Woman Kayaking on a Summer Day

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 given 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 have a chance to 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 have a clue about what to do in Icy Strait Point, kayaking is one of those exciting activities you can pick.

8. Tour the Hoonah City

Touring Hoonah city 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 city is a largely Tlingit city found on the Chichagof Island. If you want a first-class city in Chichagof Island, Hoonah is the only one. This means that besides culture and history, there are numerous other incredible things the city can offer.

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.

From enjoying the sweet local cuisines and relating with the warm and welcoming locals, the place is a nice place to visit.

Even better, from Hoonah, you have the best opportunity to learn more about their culture as you tour the Yaakw Kihidi Cultural Center.

9. Go Shopping

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 items here will ensure that you never forget the good experiences you had in Icy Strait Point.

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10. Paddle a Tlingit Canoe

Paddle a Tlingit Canoe

The first settlers in this area built long canoes from tree logs known as Tlingit Canoes. The canoes are around 40-foot 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 on the use of these traditional canoes. Also, during this guided tour the crew makes sure that you are wearing a life vest before the ride starts.

The whole trip is quite 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 and more.

11. Visit the Carving Hut

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 famous?

Well, 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 their 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 are mostly used to convey a message or tell a story. They are carved for various events in the Tlingit people’s lives, including birth, war, death, or any other important event.

The carved totem poles can bear images of various animals, including eagles, killer whales, bears, etc. All these describe a certain story in the history of the Tlingit people.

At the carving hut, located 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

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 that consists of six zip lines. Each of these zip lines is around 5,330 feet long and 1,330 feet high.

These heights give you an incredibly extensive 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 the 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, that’s when 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

Bird Watching in Hoonah

For bird lovers, the numerous Hoonah bird species 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 also includes any other gear you might need to make your bird watching blissful.

You can be sure to see flocks of perching birds, bald eagles, ducks, seabirds, gulls, etc.

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