Alaska Vacation Outdoor Activities
Situated in a protected cove, Orca Island Cabins guests can enjoy Alaska whale watching, fishing, kayaking, birdwatching, tidepooling, exploring by paddle or foot, or just relaxing as Alaska wildlife surrounds you both by land and sea. Watch mountain goats grazing on the mountainside, bald eagles overhead and Orcas (killer whales), humpback whales, Dall's porpoise, Harbor porpoise, Steller sea lions and sea otters as they feed and play in Humpy Cove and Resurrection Bay.
Humpy Cove is an ideal location for sea kayaking - a protected and scenic cove; rugged coastline; snow-capped mountains; frequent sightings of harbor porpoise, sea otters, river otters, harbor seals, Steller sea lions and the occasional Orca (killer) whale and Humpback whale. A popular destination for many of our guests is a salmon stream within Humpy Cove (30 minute paddle) where thousands of pink salmon spawn each July/August and where many bald eagles congregate to feed. Contending with the bald eagle at the dinner table are the black bears who are adding pounds as they approach their hibernating period. A short hike to the head of the stream reveals a majestic waterfall which cascades into an elevated pond. More challenging paddles outside Humpy Cove include Sandspit Point on Fox Island to the south and Thumb Cove to the north. In addition to the marine life regularly observed in Humpy Cove, a variety of bird life is likewise on display throughout the summer months as thousands of seabirds nest and feed in nearby waters. Marbled murrelets, black-legged kittiwakes, bald eagles and cormorants are regularly seen within the cove; and other seabirds, including common murres, horned and tufted puffins, are seen just outside Humpy Cove. Whatever your interest, photo opportunities abound in Humpy Cove and its nearby waters for both the novice and experienced kayaker.
The calm waters within Humpy Cove offer our guests the unique opportunity to enjoy paddleboarding in a majestic, coastal setting. Explore the intricate coastline and rock formations near Orca Island, explore the island’s inter-tidal zone, observe a variety of marine life – harbor seals, harbor porpoise, river and sea otters – who often visit you while underway, or just lie back and relax on your paddleboard and experience island time while adrift. Whether by kayak or paddleboard, many paddle under our footbridge – a popular photo op. Wet suits are available for our guests to use for paddleboarding or for just taking a dip in our “cool” ocean waters.
In addition to beaches and expanses of shoreline to explore in Humpy Cove, there are 2 hiking trails in the cove for those who want the challenge of ascending to greater heights.
Jeep Trail: Hike the historic World War II jeep trail that begins in the NE corner of Humpy Cove (5 minutes from the island by kayak or row boat) and terminates at the mountain top at the northern point of the cove. This trail was established by the military to access a base station/overlook at the summit. Wonderful views of Humpy Cove and Resurrection Bay can be seen along the ascent.
Waterfall Trail: For those who kayak to the salmon stream and waterfall in the southern end of Humpy Cove, the opportunity to hike around and above the waterfall awaits you. The trail begins at the right side of the waterfall and continues along a rather steep and rocky pathway. This is a demanding hike and requires much caution, especially under inclement/rainy conditions. But scenic vistas, small waterfalls and a variety of fauna await you.
Enjoy casual fishing from Orca Island itself, from its dock or from our rowing skiffs. Complimentary fishing gear is available to our guests for their use and enjoyment. A variety of bottom fish, including rockfish, flounder and sea bass are in our Alaskan waters all summer. During July and August, look for schools of pink (Humpy) and silver (Coho) salmon as they swim by the island in pursuit of salmon spawning streams of their origin. For the serious fisherman, half-day and full-day fishing charters can be arranged with fishing charter operators in Seward who will pick up and drop off our guests at Orca Island.
RESURRECTION BAY CRUISE (2 hours)
Join us on a cruise of Resurrection Bay and see some of the most breathtaking coastal seascapes and landscapes in southcentral Alaska. This is an area where snow-capped mountains meet the ocean and provide nesting grounds for cliff-dwelling seabirds, haul-out areas for the Steller lea lion, and feeding grounds for Orca and Humpback whales. As we cruise by the bird rookeries at Cape Resurrection and Barwell Island, we’ll observe tufted and horned puffins, cormorants, black-legged kittiwakes, common murres, pigeon guillimots, black oystercatchers, bald eagles and other seabirds. And along the cliffs we often spot the sure-footed mountain goat who seeks the cliffside for protection from its predators. Our cruises are scheduled at times convenient for our guests. Cost: $75 per person (3 guest minimum).
Many of our guests enjoy the opportunity to browse among the art works in the island's art gallery. On display in the gallery are original oil paintings of Susan, many of which are painted in the "plein air" tradition, and select pieces of jewelry and other locally crafted items. The gallery is open at all times for our guests to visit. A cozy fireplace in the gallery and its spacious deck make this a comfortable venue for our guests to enjoy at any time.