The coastal town of Sitka is home to an abundance of Alaskan wildlife and breathtaking views. In fact, our gorgeous landscapes are some of the most sought-after sites in North America. Immerse yourself in the nature of Baranof Island by hiking up sloping mountains or explore the west shores of our Pacific beaches.
Our island community takes pride in the preservation of our many forests, rivers, lakes, and mountains. It’s no secret that Sitka is the perfect place for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike to find adventure amid the flora and fauna.
Take a kayak tour with the Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures team, a great outdoor guided activity in the harbor. Discover sea lions, otters, puffins, and more as you paddle a comfortable distance around the small islands around the Sitka area. At the end of your journey, you and your group can sit back and relax on the boat ride back to shore.
There are tons of other ocean tours you can take pleasure in as well, including the Esther G Sea Taxi and Gallant Adventures to name a few. There are plenty of opportunities to get up close to a pod of delightful dolphins ready to play alongside your boat, or graceful whales emerging from the water to get a breath of air.
Have you heard of the Fortress of the Bear? Great for kids and adults alike, this organization specializes in rescuing injured or orphaned bears while educating the public about their species. Learn about the black and brown bears as you watch them thrive in a natural habitat best suited to their unique needs. You can also spy plenty of eagles on the property, as it doubles as a bald eagle sanctuary as well.
The Arched Bridge is another place to see some of Sitka’s exceptional wildlife. The Indian River hosts a variety of native fish, including salmon, char, trout, and more. These can be best seen on the arched bridge overlooking the river during July through September, the perfect time for the fish spawn.
The National Historical Park in Sitka is best known for its many totem poles, created as a lasting memorial to the cultural heritage. Experience the wonders of Alaskan history by learning the meaning of the native customs, religions, craft, and construction of the totem poles in the central museum inside the park. A woodland trail follows alongside the collection of preserved, painted, and re-carved totem poles for visitors to walk with.
If you’re interested in camping, be sure to check out the Starrigavan Recreation Area. The estuary, where the mouth of the Starrigavan river meets the tides of the open sea, is paired with a beautiful trail system easy to travel during rain or shine. You can also find resting areas and wildlife among the boardwalk and camping grounds. Set up a tent, hike to Mosquito Cove, ride your bikes along the coast, or relax with a bit of birdwatching— no matter what you decide to do, you’re bound to be in for an unforgettable trip.