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Thread: western PWS camping options

  1. #1
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Default western PWS camping options

    I have this cross-posted in the kayak forum, but I know there are a lot of folks that frequent the western part of PWS in here, too...

    My son's boy scout trip is looking to do a kayak trip into PWS this summer (mid-July, most likely) and I'm looking for suggestions of good camping locations for a larger group. Surprise Cove is definitely of the list of options, but it can get crowded in there, and I think there's really only the one north beach suitable for a larger group (I'm estimating 15-20 scouts & adults).

    I've spent a lot of time boating in the Sound but most of my extended trips have either been spent on-board or in a FS cabin (on the rare occasion you can get 'em). I"ve never really looked around for onshore camping spots.

    We'll be using a water taxi to get us to & from wherever we decide to set up camp...and the next few days will just be day-paddles from that base. One of the main factors I'm trying to keep in mind is finding somewhere the boys can still paddle around in relatively sheltered waters if the weather comes up (I'm reluctant about the Squirrel Cove/Decision sites because of this). We're looking to keep costs down, so long taxi distances are not an option.

    I'd like to consider other options in Culross Pass (nice and sheltered) or South Esther (Quillian Bay, maybe, and the hatchery is right next door for a possible tour), but I'm not sure about decent camping locations for a bigger group.

    Locations with fishing and/or hiking options would be a plus...but paddling and camping is the main plan.

    Suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Art Nelson.

  2. #2

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    Ideal Spot!!! About halfway back in Cochrane Bay, on the east shore, you will see a smaller bay. Way more room there than you need and sheltered. The creek coming in the small bay comes from Shrode Lake, full of Cut-Throat Trout (creek and lake both have Cutts) I have heard the neighboring lake is even better, but I have not fished it, not many know that. Good hiking up the creek to the lake. It offers all you ask and more Good luck with the adventure.
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  3. #3

    Default Derickson Bay

    there is a well known large spot there,

    also contact Outward Bound, they camp large kayak groups and should know all the big spots............

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Ideal Spot!!! About halfway back in Cochrane Bay, on the east shore, you will see a smaller bay. Way more room there than you need and sheltered. The creek coming in the small bay comes from Shrode Lake, full of Cut-Throat Trout (creek and lake both have Cutts) I have heard the neighboring lake is even better, but I have not fished it, not many know that. Good hiking up the creek to the lake. It offers all you ask and more Good luck with the adventure.
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  5. #5

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    Small cove at south end of Culross behind Applegate Island is pretty sweet and would offer protection for safe kayaking with a scout troop. Plenty of flat gravel ground for pitching tents too.

  6. #6
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far (and keep them coming). Some of these places sound really nice. I'll scout these on one of my spring boat trips.

  7. #7
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    How about Culross Bay, pretty shallow all the way in the back, large beach for camping and a old gold mine nearby for the boys to check out. Maybe a bunch of guys on the forum would volunteer to run you guys out there.

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  8. #8

    Default Long Bay

    Culross Passage to Long Bay. You go to the end of Long Bay, depending on the tide, you can paddle into the lagoon. (Virtually hidden from view until you are actually at the end of Long Bay and heading into the narrow lagoon entrance.)
    Go to the end of the Lagoon, again totally hidden until you are there, and you find the creek that flows from Schrode lake. You can hike all the way to the lake and on past the lake to Three Fingers Cove. Check it out on a map, the lagoon at low tide can get so shallow you end up dragging kayaks across the gravel, but at high tide you better be in a boat! Harbor seals are in the lagoon and a run of reds that spawn in Schrode Lake. Schrode Lake has a cabin on it, you'll probably see a float plane flying in the area.

  9. #9
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    Pakenham reef is is a dandy if you ask me. You can keep an eye on your shrimp pots from your tent, metal detect the reef at low tide and maybe find a nugget from an ice burg that got hung up and melted. Fishing ops abound, on one side you can cast your bait out and catch halibut cause its over a 100 feet deep only about 30 feet out on the other side you can catch a plethora of reef fish including hordes of salmon and dollies, I've seen schools of sharks cruising the reef too. There also happens to be plenty of firewood seeings how theres a whole dead forest of trees on the reef that were killed during the quake. Wait, theres more! The bugs are usually non-existent especially if its sunny cause theres a nice breeze. The nice thing is no matter what the weather there is always a leeward side to anchor the boat, also if you're a history buff theres about 6 major mines w/ a 5 mile boat ride.
    I know, I know! Way too much information so I'm expecting you'll use it wisely and be nice to other people and leave the place the looking the same way God did.
    Last edited by fullbush; 01-25-2011 at 10:02. Reason: did I mention clothing is optional?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Pakenham reef is is a dandy if you ask me. You can keep an eye on your shrimp pots from your tent, metal detect the reef at low tide and maybe find a nugget from an ice burg that got hung up and melted. Fishing ops abound, on one side you can cast your bait out and catch halibut cause its over a 100 feet deep only about 30 feet out on the other side you can catch a plethora of reef fish including hordes of salmon and dollies, I've seen schools of sharks cruising the reef too. There also happens to be plenty of firewood seeings how theres a whole dead forest of trees on the reef that were killed during the quake. Wait, theres more! The bugs are usually non-existent especially if its sunny cause theres a nice breeze. The nice thing is no matter what the weather there is always a leeward side to anchor the boat, also if you're a history buff theres about 6 major mines w/ a 5 mile boat ride.
    I know, I know! Way too much information so I'm expecting you'll use it wisely and be nice to other people and leave the place the looking the same way God did.
    And I thought this was an OASIS

  11. #11
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    What bay is pakenham in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    What bay is pakenham in?
    Its straight across Port Wells from Golden. At the north entrance to Barry Arm. Turn left at pigot point and head north following the west side, or if you fly you can be there in 30 minutes from the Palmer airport flying over knik glacier

    I'm not even gonna mention the location of the steamer and cockle beds where you can fill a bucket w/in a 6 foot area

  13. #13
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Hidden Bay on Culross Island might be a good one, though I don't know if there is a good camping spot relatively close to shore for such a large group. The bay is large enough to be fun to paddle in, some neat waterfalls, great hiking, and you can catch some fish in there. The downside is it can get buggy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Hidden Bay on Culross Island might be a good one, though I don't know if there is a good camping spot relatively close to shore for such a large group. The bay is large enough to be fun to paddle in, some neat waterfalls, great hiking, and you can catch some fish in there. The downside is it can get buggy.
    I've never been in there. Is there any beach to actually camp on?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    I've never been in there. Is there any beach to actually camp on?
    Not much unless you hike up to a flat spot on the hillside. Nothing around the shoreline in hidden bay is very forgiving. It is beatiful though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    The downside is it can get buggy.
    Thats an understatement

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
    Not much unless you hike up to a flat spot on the hillside. Nothing around the shoreline in hidden bay is very forgiving. It is beatiful though.
    I didn't think so by the Satelite photos and maps. Thanks Doug! Still plan to check it out some day.

  18. #18
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It looked like on the N side of the bay there was a nice flat area, but you would have to hike to get to it.

    We've only spent a 1/2 day in Hidden bay, and Hiked to a Ridge from the head of the bay. We need need to get back there again, my wife isn't keen on long boat rides, so it is a nice spot you can get to in an hour from port.

  19. #19
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    I'm sure that Ryan at www.paddlersrealm.com can give you some good ideas and options. He knows everything on the subject and will be happy to help.

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