Paddling Southeast Alaska

Misty Fjords, Alaska (Photograph by Robin Hood)    

Not because of the grizzlies. Or the humpbacks. Or the bald eagles. Or the otters (though they really are very chatty and fun). But because it's quite likely you'll see all of the above within the span of an hour. Whiplash could be one of your biggest dangers in Alaska's panhandle. That and pruney hands, especially in the southeastern region, which receives about four times the annual rainfall of Seattle. But that's why you're snugged into a kayak. Fly into Ketchikan and get boats and a water shuttle into Misty Fjords National Monument from Southeast Sea Kayaks. You'll be protected from open-ocean swells while paddling along 3,000-foot granite cliffs, then sleeping in Forest Service cabins. Rentals from $45 per day; kayakketchikan.com

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