Pack Creek Getting There
There is no road to Pack Creek. Access is by floatplane, motorboat, sailboat, kayak, or canoe ONLY. Most visitors arrive by floatplane from Juneau; the trip usually takes about 30 minutes each way. Follow the links below to learn more about the various transportation options.
Whichever method you choose, remember that the weather in Southeast Alaska is often poor and always unpredictable. Flights are sometimes cancelled due to high winds and poor visibility. Be prepared for this contingency by bringing extra clothing, snacks and any vital medications.
Air Charter vs. Guide
Air charter companies are like taxis -- they provide transportation only. They will not accompany you while you are at Pack Creek, and you must purchase your own permit from the U.S. Forest Service.
Guide companies will provide you with a Pack Creek permit, arrange for transportation, and accompany you at all times while you are at Pack Creek. Only the six commercial guiding companies listed here are authorized to visit Pack Creek. Note that Alaska Coastal Outfitters and Bluewater Adventures do not offer trips to Pack Creek during the peak season.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For the protection of Pack Creek's bears and the safety of all visitors, the Pack Creek mud flats are closed to boat traffic at all tides. These flats flood at approximately +12' tide. Please refer to this boater information map
Information for Boaters
Pack Creek (approx.):
- Upper Seymour Canal contains several uncharted rocks, reefs and shoals. Navigation north or east of Windfall Island is not recommended.
- The best route to Pack Creek is the channel between Staunch Point and Late Point (Windfall Island). Windfall Harbor offers the nearest sheltered anchorage.
- In the summer, orange buoys at Pack Creek indicate submerged outhaul lines. To avoid these lines, please stay outside the orange buoys. Rangers may contact you on VHF Ch. 16, and will help moor your boat or dinghy to the outhauls.
- If you observe a bear on the beach, please do not approach it.
Information for Pilots
- Please refer to FAA Advisory Circular AC 91-36D (pdf) for information regarding flights over national monuments and Wilderness areas. The FAA and the U.S. Forest Service request that pilots maintain a minimum altitude of 1,000 feet AGL within a two-mile radius of Pack Creek. Please consult this map of recommended flight paths before departing.
- The landing of helicopters in National Forest Wilderness is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.16(c).
- Your cooperation is appreciated. Adhering to these guidelines will help ensure the continued safety of Pack Creek's visitors and staff.
Information for Paddlers
- For those seeking an unrivaled opportunity for solitude, the best way to Pack Creek is by kayak or canoe. A rail-mounted pushcart at Oliver Inlet lets you move personal gear and small watercraft between Seymour Canal and Stephens Passage. This route is more than 80 miles shorter from Juneau than the water-only route around the southern tip of Admiralty Island's Glass Peninsula.
- Primitive camping is available near Pack Creek on Windfall Island and in Windfall Harbor. Keep in mind that fresh water is not available on Windfall Island.
- Allow at least six days for a roundtrip. Several companies in Juneau offer transportation to and from Oliver Inlet, further shortening the trip.
- Be sure to check the tide! Arriving at either end of the tram during low tide can mean a long walk across hundreds of acres of mud flats.
- The State of Alaska maintains a cabin at the southern terminus of the tram. Contact the Division of Parks at (907) 269-8400 for information on reserving this cabin (88 kb pdf).
- Kayaks are available for rent within the Pack Creek Zoological Area with advanced notice from Above & Beyond Alaska. Please call (907) 364-2333 or call (907) 364-2333 email firstname.lastname@example.org or Web: www.beyondak.com
- For more information on paddling to Pack Creek, contact Admiralty Island National Monument at (907) 586-8800.