You’ll start off your Alaska kayaking adventure in the historic old Motherlode Powerhouse in McCarthy. There, your guide will get you geared up for the day with a neoprene top, PFD (personal flotation device), rubber boots, splash gear, and a dry bag to store your camera and extra layers. Before heading out to the lake, they’ll make sure you have all essential items for your adventure – please reference our Equipment List for more specifics.
From the Powerhouse, you’ll load into a 15-passenger van for a quick 5-10 minute drive. Your guide will lead you down a short trail (~¼ mile) to the edge of the Kennicott Lake, where the inflatable kayaks will be ready and waiting for you! Before loading into the kayak, your guide will give you a brief but informative safety talk.
Once on the lake, it’s time for your first lesson of the day – Paddling 101! You’ll cover the proper paddle grip and tips for steering so that you can maneuver your kayak effortlessly through the lake. As you begin your journey, you’ll have a lot of time to take in the impressive sights around you. Your guide is extremely knowledgeable in the local flora, fauna, geology, and glaciology, so now is a great time to ask them questions. Take a break from paddling to listen to the sounds around you. You’ll notice the subtle sounds of the popping, creaking, and hissing of the glacier – and the not so subtle sounds of big splashes as the rocks on the glacial moraine fall into the water.
While you paddle, your guide will be on the lookout for opportunities to pull the kayaks onshore to take a walk around the moraine that covers the Kennicott Glacier. Now is a great time to rock hunt – rockhounds beware: you may never want to leave! As the day nears an end, your guide will navigate the group back towards the put in. From there, it’s a short hike back to the van and a quick ride back to the Powerhouse before you trade in your gear and return to your lodging.
Ready to book this excursion? Go to our Kennicott Glacial Lake Paddle trip page!