Hiking in Alaskan Wilderness
Baranof Island is a land of enchantment. Home of the Tlingit Native people, it is the smallest of the ABC Islands in Alaska, just over 1,600 square miles in size. According to locals, there is a grizzly bear on Baranof Island for every one of those square miles: this is truly "bear country." On a voyage with Alaskan Dream Cruises, we departed from Sitka, on Baranof Island, and sailed up through Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, to the glowing blue ice of Margerie Glacier. On our way back, we stopped on a side of the island that is completely uninhabited for a day hike. Our Dream Admiralty ship held about 40-45 passengers; with this kind of smaller ship cruising, you really have more options and flexibility to make these kinds of stops and get out in to nature. We took small motorized boats to the shore, and proceeded into a thick and lush forest. These southeastern parts of Alaska are temperate rain forests, and everything is green, covered in life and in rich emerald moss. We had a local and experienced guide and we stuck closely together, especially since we were there in May, when bears are out of hibernation, and hungry. I would definitely recommend taking a smaller ship cruise, to have these kinds of intimate guided experiences.
By Ashley Castle Pittman, AFAR Contributor
Baranof Island, Sitka, AK 99835, USA