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.
The Alaska Marine Highway terminal is only a quarter mile south of Kake so even if you’re not departing the ferry you can step ashore for a quick view of the Tlingit village.
Charter boat captains based in Kake offer a variety of fishing adventures including targeting king salmon from May through June, silver salmon July through September and halibut practically year round.
Dog Salmon Festival
The village of Kake comes alive in late July when residents stage their annual Dog Salmon Festival.
Tebenkof Bay Wilderness
Kake is the departure point for sea kayakers headed into Tebenkof Bay Wilderness
, a remote bay system composed of hundreds of islands, small inner bays and coves. The paddle is a scenic, 10-day adventure that can offer sightings of bald eagles, black bears and various marine mammals. Paddlers should have ocean-touring experience and be prepared to handle a number of portages. Kayaks can be rented in Juneau, Sitka or Petersburg and then carried on the 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.
Bear viewing is also possible when chum salmon returns in the summer at the Gunnuck Creek Hatchery and at the Kake Historic Cannery as well as Silver Spike Road Bridge.