McCormick Charters Kayak Rentals

For those with some experience on Sea Kayaks you may consider paddling the Chilkoot Inlet on your own.  We rented a two person kayak from McCormick Charters, Inc.  The owner, Craig, would allow us only to go down the coast to Battery Point (about two miles).  The paddle is very easy and the views of the mountains spectacular from the water.  There is something to be said for sitting in a kayak and just enjoying the water.

McCormick Charters keeps its kayaks right along the water next to the Fast Ferry dock on Beach road.  From town, head toward the harbor on Haines Highway or Main Street.  Turn right on Front Street, which becomes Beach road where Front and Haines Highway intersect.  Continue around about a quarter mile or less and look for a rack with different colored sea kayaks and a sandwich board with McCormick Charters written across it.  We tried calling the number on the board from a pay phone at the Fast Ferry dock but could not get a hold of anybody.  So we walked back down to the Alaska Adventure Center on Second Avenue (right down the street from the Visitor’s Center) and asked Scott to arrange the rental.  It does not cost any extra for Scott’s help.  If you want to book yourself, you are welcome to contact McCormick Charters directly.

The two person kayaks have two waterproof compartments to bring extra clothing and a picnic.  Additional gear can be stowed on the webbing on top of the kayak.  McCormick Charters provided us with spray skirts and rubber boots.  McCormick Charters has some paddle floatation devices to help kayakers back on board should they fall out.  With these Craig McCormick felt that we would not need life jackets.  However, after we had begun paddling Claimjumper and I agreed that life jackets would be helpful to use with the other paddle device.  Should we rent from McCormick Charters again, we will request both floatation devices.  McCormick Charters charges $50 for six hours on a two person kayak.  McCormick requires signature on a liability release.

The waters are just wonderful in the inlet.  There was a bit of a chilly breeze, but the kayaks are incredibly stable so there was never any danger of overturning.  Kayaks are so agile that they make the perfect boat for exploring both deep and shallow waters.

Even though we had hiked the day before to the same spot, it was a different experience to arrive at Battery Point by kayak.  When we hiked, our legs did not feel like going on to explore and so we ended up just resting by (or in) the water.  When we got out of the boat our legs were eager to stretch.  We walked all over the point exploring the tide pools among the rocks.  The pools were filled with mussels, barnacles, minnows and seaweed.  Claimjumper even found a dried up six armed starfish. 

Above the rock outcroppings we revisited the fabulous picnic spots.  There are not just wildflowers up here.  There are “Buckwildflowers.”  Those we identified included fireweed, unalaska paintbrush, yellow snapdragons, bunchberry, lupine, yarrow and bluebells of Scotland.

Last Visited: July 2000

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