Kake Alaska Whale Breach
Photo Credit: ATIA, Mark Kelley



Kake is a beachfront village with a fishing, logging, and subsistence-based lifestyle that sits at the edge of the Tebenkof Bay Wilderness.


Located 38 miles northwest of Petersburg in the Inside Passage region, the community of around 570 residents is the historical home for the Kake tribe of Tlingits who controlled the trade routes around Kuiu and Kupreonof islands. Kake is home to a 132-foot-tall totem pole, the third tallest totem pole in the world.


The waters surrounding Kake are rich with halibut and salmon, making it a world-class destination for anglers as well as a prime spot for whale watching. More than 120 miles of logging road head inland from the village and can be explored by mountain bike or on foot to access more of Kupreonof Island. Trail access from the roadway includes Big John Bay Trail, Goose Lake Trail, and Cathedral Falls Trail. Bear viewing is possible along Silver Spike Road Bridge and at Gunnuck Creek Hatchery, where a large number of chum salmon return every summer.

Charter boat captains based in Kake offer a variety of fishing adventures targeting king salmon from May through June, silver salmon July through September, and halibut practically year-round. The village of Kake comes alive in late July when residents stage their annual Dog Salmon Festival, celebrating all things salmon, with games and contests, food, and local Tlingit music and dancing.

Kake also serves as the departure point for ocean kayak trips into Tebenkof Bay Wilderness Area, a remote bay system composed of hundreds of islands, small inner bays, and coves. The return paddle is a scenic 10-day adventure that can lead to sightings of bald eagles, black bears, and a variety of marine mammals. Paddlers should have experience in ocean touring and be prepared to handle a number of portages. Kayaks can be rented in either Juneau or Petersburg and carried onboard an Alaska Marine Highway ferry to Kake.

Located where Frederick Sound meets Stephens Passage and Chatham Strait, Kake is home to the largest congregation of humpback whales in Alaska. Throughout the summer whales migrate through and feed in this area with the peak feeding period in July and August. Charter boat operators based in Kake can arrange a variety of wildlife viewing adventures that include whale watching.

Explore more communities in the Inside Passage.


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