Exploring Alaska's Kenai Fjords by David Miller

Aialik Bay

Map of upper Aialik Bay Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska

Kayaking Aialik Bay (upper Aialik Bay)

"excerpts from Exploring Alaska's Kenai Fjords: Chapter 11 Aialik Bay"

Kenai Fjords National Park (did you know?)

The Kenai Fjords National Park is not the only major land owner in the Kenai Fjords. The Port Graham Native Corporation (PGC) owns a substantial portion of land inside and outside the Kenai Fjords National Park boundary. The PGC restricts trespassing on their lands by anyone other than PGC shareholders. Visitors can apply for a PGC land use permit by contacting their The Port Graham Office. However there are exceptions such as: the KFNP leases some camp site easements, for public use, from the Port Graham Native Corporation. One camp site easement is located in Pedersen Lagoon. Other public camp site and trail easements are located in Nuka Bay and upper Aialik Bay.

Upper Aialik Bay

Upper Aialik Bay is 40 nautical miles by boat from Seward. A portion of the trip navigates through open ocean with very few reliable haulout beaches for kayaks. Most kayakers reach Aialik Bay by water taxi or charter boat. It is a 2-4 hour boat ride from Seward to Upper Aialik Bay. Aialik Bay is the Kenai Fjords National Park's number one kayaking and tour vessel destination. Park rangers maintain a Public Use Cabin in Holgate Arm, and in Upper Aialik Bay, as well as a ranger station, one-half mile south of Coleman Bay. Park rangers can be contacted on VHF #16. Metal bear proof food containers are placed at some of the more popular camping sites in Aialik Bay.

Aialik Glacial Basin

"Aialik Glacial Basin provides ideal kayaking among thundering tidewater glaciers, turquoise icebergs, and hundreds of harbor seals that ride atop icebergs in the glacial waters. Within the Aialik Glacier Basin are Pedersen Lagoon and Pedersen Glacier. This is a wild and secluded area that offers a glimpse of many species of waterfowl and shorebirds. Harbor seals colonize the icebergs floating in the glacier lake at the base of Pedersen Glacier. Kayakers typically reach Pedersen Lake by paddling up the glacial stream or hiking over the glacial till."

Pedersen Lagoon

"At high tide during calm sea conditions, a kayaker can paddle up the lagoon channel or haul out on Pedersen Spit, north of the lagoon entrance. The spit is a handy portage to the lagoon if the entrance is not navigable. From the lagoon, a kayaker can paddle to the glacial lake at the base of Pedersen Glacier via the glacial stream located on the west shore of the lagoon. Consult your tide table because the tide has a strong influence on the lagoon and glacial lake. In addition, the shallow glacier stream to the lake goes dry during low water. A kayaker starting in the lagoon will need the upper end of high tide and possibly a short portage or two across a sandbar to reach the glacial lake 0.75 miles away. Expect to see brash ice and bergy bits grounded high and dry along the silty gray shoreline of the glacier stream."

Wilderness Images Publishing - Day Harbor - P.O. Box 2507 - Seward, Alaska - 99664