Hike Herring Cove Trail to Beaver Lake

Rate this Adventure Alaska Herring Cove

Added by Michael Gabbert

Located 6 miles southeast of Sitka, the Herring Cove Trailhead is a popular hike due to its lower elevation change and diverse landscape (not to mention the great grayling fishing opportunities at Beaver Lake).

From the trailhead, you’ll travel along a cascading creek ascending through gravel, rocks steps and a couple boardwalks within a dense hemlock, spruce and yellow cedar forest. The first part of the trail is by far the most difficult, with a couple steep areas and tight rock passageways. In total, the Herring Cove section is 1.6 miles long. The highlight of this trail consists of a view of a magnificent waterfall about ¾ of the way down the trail.

Upon completion of the Herring Cove Trail you’ll encounter Beaver Lake. Go ahead and take the trail as it curves to the left. On the south side of the lake, the trail will take you directly along the water’s edge. There are a few clearings alongside the lake where you can rest and view the lake and mountain vistas if desired.

As you begin to follow the trail north and find yourself on the west side of the lake, you start to come out of the dense forest and onto an open area of stunted tree growth. The landscape feels as though its out of this world, giving way to clear views of the layers upon layers of mountains in the distance (note: this was by far my favorite part of the hike).

As you continue, the northern part of the trail will bring you back to the lake shore and you’ll encounter some impressive lake stepping stones, eventually putting you onto the beaver dam bridge. You’ll continue hiking down the east side of the lake, which will eventually meet back up with the Herring Cover Trail. The total distance around the lake is 2.8 miles with minimal elevation change.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Fishing pole (if you want to fish in Beaver Lake)
  • Camera
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Fishing, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

250 Feet



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Added by Michael Gabbert

Minnesotan living in Seattle. Email: mjgabbert@gmail.com

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