Red Bluff Trip Report

This past week Adam, Jesse, and I ventured south of Sitka to the South Baranof Wilderness.  Your destination “Red Bluff Bay” is known for its “red bluffs…obvi” but it is also an amazing place to see wildlife, huge fjords, and countless waterfalls.  We headed out from Sitka early and ventured on a boat around the island.  The sunrise silhouetted the mountains nicely to the east and I was able to grab this shot.

On our way to Red Bluff we stopped in the town of Baranof Warmsprings! After snacking on the wild berries near the docks we soaked in the warmsprings for a couple hours which are amazing! Soon after we were met by Ken Merrill and his dog Baranof (our previous captain on the West Chichagof Expedition).

The seas were smooth as we traveled south and we ran into a couple whales!

Two hours later we arrived in Red Bluff Bay where we were greeted by an enormous waterfall. Later Adam and I paddled up to the falls to experience its power in full force (aka we got soaked!).

Each day Ken spent time fishing and we threw out some shrimp pots which was a first time experience for me!

During the day I spent time paddling around the bay photographing wildlife and the amazing wilderness. The salmon were about to spawn and I spent a number of hours trying to get a photograph of them jumping (unsuccessfully…). They fill almost every freshwater stream you run into so it was pretty frustrating that I could not get a single sharp telephoto capture of a jump. This is the best I got!

My previous post expressed my amazement about the number of bears here and this trip only added to that! Here are some of my best captures of bears this past week.

On the third day of our trip we headed up the Red Bluffs to get a view of the bay and mountains but unfortunately we were thwarted once again by clouds and fog in the alpine!!!

Overall it was an amazing trip and even though the last two days were pretty filled with rain (and a canceled flight due to weather) it is hard to beat a week in the wild!

(Jesse Chilling 1970s style)