Hiking

Glacier Bay National park: Chimney Rock Islands

All it takes to visit Chimney Rock is….a lot of time, a boat ride there, and a skiff to land with. And a minus 4 foot tide. And not dawdling before the tide comes back in. Pretty simple? Maybe. Probably not. But I got to be lazy and get schlepped out there….

The tiny islands are a set of 3, that become connected at the lowest tides. They are near Hoonah, Alaska, via Port Frederick, far back in the arms of water. Sitting just off of Chicagof Island.

I woke up to serene and clearing skies with glass water. There was a brown bear on the shore across the water doing its thing.

We puttered along and set anchor at an area for the day’s adventures in the morning.

The Wilderness Explorer, anchored across the water.

We took a skiff over, and landed at the edge, jumped out and well…it was deeper than all the other landings, but my boots worked just fine, covered with rain pants. It was misty weather, and windy…but not actually cold.

Most of the group was puttering, looking at the tidal pools. But I was intrigued.

We had been dropped off at the first section, so there was a lot to see.

Sea Stars getting funky….

On the middle island, at high tide, it is a grassy knoll.

We hiked up and crossed it, covered with Cow Parsnip and Columbine flowers.

On the other side a wide area of rocks, gravel and mussels waited to be crossed.

We clipped along, enjoying the views.

This end of Chimney Rock has a lush tiny forest with life all over. There was a Bald Eagle trying to bother a nest of Ravens, who were not happy.

Sea plant growing….this was the only plant I was not able to identify this trip.

Tiny crab.

Lush crop of Thimbleberries.

Beach Peas.

Stripped bone. It had a tiny mussel living in it, along with some odd worm things.

And tiny critters on the other end.

Sea Urchin.

Soft downy feathers.

Walking around the end island to see Chimney Rock.

Looking back.

I was waiting for the pickup and watched the tide come in. Quickly the pathway disapeared.

And in another 10 minutes was gone.

In my element.

The skiff picked us up and back to the boat. By the time I checked in, put away my pfd, and changed out of my gear….I walked out to take a look and the islands were fully separated once again.

As we set sail that night we watched sleeping Humpback Whales toodling along. It was 11 pm and still daylight, I stood outside a long time just watching them.

And life was pretty mellow watching them.

~Sarah

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