Added by Eve Bee

A half-day paddle from Ketchikan, Alaska takes you through incredible scenery to the beautiful and remote Blank Islands to camp for the night. Along the journey, you'll spot bald eagles, deer, seals and if you're lucky -- some humpbacks or an Orca whale!

You'll start your journey from the docks of Ketchikan, Alaska, where there are plenty of outfitters willing to rent boats to experienced paddlers looking to make the 14-mile out and back trip.

Starting from the docks of Ketchikan, paddle across the Tongass Narrows towards Pennock Island. Watch out for boats large and small -- this will be the only busy crossing of the trip. Once you cross the Narrows, you can choose whether to continue to paddle along the near or far side of Pennock. We recommend paddling around the north tip of the island and past Snow Cove to the far side of the island for a more scenic journey. As you paddle alongside Pennock, keep an eye out for bald eagles, seals and otters that frequent the area.

When you reach the southern tip of Pennock, continue across the southern channel of the Tongass to Gravina Island. As you paddle alongside the coast of Gravina, the Blank Islands will appear to the southwest. These two small islands at the mouth of the Blank Inlet make a great place to set up camp for the night -- just make sure you set up your tent above the high tide line. Although rare, bears have been known to swim, so secure your food in a bear canister or tree. Set up your tent, cook some dinner and enjoy the incredible sunset from the beach. Keep your ears open and you may be alerted to a Humpback or pod of Orcas swimming by. You'll fall asleep to the sound of gentle waves lapping the shore.

There is no limit to the paddling you can do with the Blank Islands as your base camp. If you want to keep the trip short, consider a morning trip into the Blank Inlet before paddling back to Ketchikan in the afternoon. The Inlet is teeming with marine life including whales, seals, and otters. Those cute little birds you see are Marbled Murrelets, an endangered bird that nests in the old growth forest along the coast.

You won't want to go home and you don't have to! There is plenty to explore by boat from the Blanks. Consider adding a few days to your trip and paddling along the coast of Gravina -- you're bound to see some incredible scenery and there won't be another human for miles.

Just a few notes: Don't count on finding dry wood for a fire. It rains so often in Ketchikan, it's unlikely to find anything that will burn easily so bring a camp stove. Likewise for water -- it's all salty! Bring plenty of drinking water on your journey.

Read More

Tags

Camping
Kayaking
Beach
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Ketchikan, Alaska

Signal Creek Campground

Overview Signal Creek Campground is a year-round facility located in the Ward Lake Recreation Area, 7 miles north of downtown Ketchikan and about 4 miles north of the State ferry terminal. The camp...

Ketchikan, Alaska

Last Chance Campground

Overview Last Chance Campground is located in the Ward Lake Recreation Area, 9 miles north of downtown Ketchikan and about 4 miles north of the State ferry terminal. This campground straddles Last ...

Ketchikan Gateway, Alaska

Patching Lake Cabin

Overview Patching Lake Cabin sits on the north end of Patching Lake near the inlet of the Naha River 20 miles from Ketchikan, Alaska. The cabin is open year-round and makes an excellent base for e...

Ketchikan Gateway, Alaska

Phocena Bay Cabin

Overview Phocena Bay Cabin sits on the south shore of Phocena Bay on the west side of Gravina Island approximately 15 miles from Ketchikan. The cabin was constructed in 1973 and moved to its curre...

Nearby Adventures

  • Snorkle Ketchikan's Tongass Narrows

    If you find yourself in the quaint town of Ketchikan, Alaska you HAVE to check out this awesome outdoor adventure. Alaska is known for it's breathtaking scenery and wildlife, but what many people don't see is what lies beneath it's beautiful bodi...

  • Explore Historic Creek Street

    Creek Street is a historic boardwalk that is on the bank of Ketchikan Creek.  You can take a stroll along the boardwalk and venture over to the Salmon Ladder Vista, to see loads of salmon working hard to go upstream.  If you are luck, you might be...

  • Stroll through City Park

    Ketchikan Creek runs right through city park! You can explore the creek, and even see fish swim by. The Totem Heritage Center is also located in the park, and offers both indoor and outdoor totem poles to marvel at.  You can see how tall you are i...

  • Photograph Salmon Glacier

    The Salmon Glacier, which is the fifth largest glacier in Canada, is a reminder of the great age of glaciers. It is a spectacular sight in almost any weather conditions, as long as the clouds aren't low in the valley blocking the view of the glaci...