When we first started talking about driving up to Alaska before we headed down south, the one place Sam said he wanted to visit was Sitka. When I asked him why, he said he was not sure, just that he had read some articles on it and it looked amazing. It was a place that just stuck with him.
One of the things I love about this trip is having the time to go to actually explore the destinations we have dreamed about visiting, and see if they actually live up to the hype we created in our head as we have been planning this trip. So even though it was not an easy place to get to and an expensive ferry ride, we decided we had to go to Sitka. You can’t be this close to a “I have always wanted to go to…..” and not visit it.
To get to Sitka from Juneau the ferry had to wind through hundreds of small inlets, fjords and small islands, it was a stunning ferry ride, even in the rain.
We arrived in Sitka in the cold, pouring rain (it is a rain forest…) So we did what we always do in Alaska, find a good campground to wait the rain out and then put on our “foul weather gear” and start exploring.
The next day we woke up to SUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Starrigavan campground had some beautiful trails in it and we decided to do the Mosquito Cove trail in the AM. The trail hugs the coast line as you meander through rain forest. It was a beautiful, easy hike.
After our morning hike we drove across Sitka to the Totem trail. One thing we have learned in Alaska, if it is sunny, see everything you can, because the next day you may have rain again.
One of the things I will remember about many of our coastal hikes in Alaska is the smell of rotting Salmon along all the streams. We were visiting during the peak of spawning season and there were dead “spawned out” salmon all over the place. It smelled pretty terrible.
If you go to the Totem Trail in Sitka don’t miss the parks visitor center, it had a great history of the native Alaskans. Both of these trails were easy and could be done with kids. Both I highly recommend, just make sure to bring bear spray on the Mosquito Cove trail, a woman was recently bitten on the bum by a bear on it (she must not have read the brochures that tell you not to turn and run!)