Kake is a beachfront village with a fishing, logging and subsistence-based lifestyle that sits at the edge of the Tebenkof Bay Wilderness and features the world’s largest totem pole.
Located 38 miles northwest of Petersburg in the Inside Passage region, the community of around 500 residents is the historical home for the Kake tribe of Tlingits who controlled the trade routes around Kuiu and Kupreonof islands.
The Kake tribe was known for defending its territory against other tribal groups. Early explorers and traders also had occasional skirmishes with the tribe and in 1869, an act of retribution for killing a Kake tribal member prompted the U.S. Navy to invade the area. The Kakes had little choice at that point but to disperse among other tribes on Kuiu Island.
Things to do
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.
Kake also serves as the departure point for ocean kayak trips into Tebenkof Bay Wilderness, 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.