Sitka, Alaska, US
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 3 Hours
Meals not included
Walk through history and nature as you discover the heart and soul of Alaska's coastal communities in this 'rain forest city'. From soaring eagles to the tiniest vole, from the first peoples of Sitka to today's modern residents, from forest to shoreline, all elements combine here to form a unique frontier town. Discover how the first people thrived here, while successive waves of Russians and Americans were drawn to this rich confluence of land and sea to harvest its bounty and make their own mark. You can still see the spires of Russian Orthodoxy in the heart of small-town Sitka, while towering totems perch on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Beginning at the Alaska Raptor Center, learn how handlers nurse injured bald eagles back to health for release back into the wild. Enjoy up-close encounters with these majestic birds of prey.
A river runs through Sitka National Historical Park's lush rain forest, representing both the start and end of the life cycle of many species, including salmon. As you walk beneath giant spruce along totem-lined trails, learn how salmon are part of the food chain for both humans and animals, and even for the soil itself. Moving to the park's shoreline, search for wild bald eagles, ravens and other mammals. When the tide allows, explore a rich intertidal zone that abounds with life, while keeping a sharp eye out for interesting beach finds. Totems escort you to the park exit, and you'll learn how this place has been home to Tlingit, Russian and American peoples.
Pass the Sitka Sound Science Center -- a working hatchery where the salmon journey begins for millions of fry destined for the wild. In season, you'll see salmon spawning at the end of an incredible ocean journey to their birthplace upstream.
Finally, stroll past Crescent Harbor, filled with thousands of commercial, sport and subsistence vessels, earning the town its "Sitka by the Sea" moniker. See the Russian Bishop's House and St Michael's Orthodox Cathedral's spires rising above the heart of the city. St Michael's is open to guests, should you choose to explore further on your own.
The tour ends at the downtown central stoplight. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Walking is on established gravel pathways or pavement. Participants must be able to walk up to 1.4 miles and stand for up to two hours. Tour is not recommended for infants; however, if parents have a backpack carrier please see the on-board tour desk staff for permission. Minimum age is 5 years. Wear warm, layered clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Outer layer should be waterproof and windproof.