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Adventure Highlight: Sarkar River, Lake and Canoe Route

Abby Twyman
October, 2019
Today is: May 20th, 2024

One of the most popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts on Prince of Wales Island is Sarkar Lake. This recreation area has many features which make it a perfect spot for those looking for anything from a quick day trip to an extended overnight camping and paddling adventure in the wilderness. Located approximately 1 hour from Klawock following a fully paved route, visitors will begin their adventure at the Sarkar Lake picnic area and access point.

Sarkar Lake Day Use Area

Stop at the Sarkar Lake Day Use Area and have lunch around the fire.

Sarkar Lake Day Use Area

At the day-use area, visitors will find ample parking, a covered picnic area, a fire pit, and a vaulted toilet. This is a great place to quick-stop for lunch and a bathroom break for those travelers heading further North, and also serves as the entry point to exploring Sarkar Lake and the Canoe Route.

Sarkar Lake and Cabin

For visitors with their own non-motorized boats, this is the spot to launch. If you're lucky enough to get a reservation for the cabin, the Forest Service also provides a small row boat with which the Lake can be explored and the cabin accessed. Even if the cabin is reserved, adventurous campers are sure to find a spot on the shore to set up an overnight camp before exploring the other nearby lakes via the Canoe Route.

Sarkar Lake Canoe Route

Get your paddles wet exploring the 15-mile canoe route through 5 lakes.

Sarkar Lake Canoe Route

The 15-mile long canoe route accessible via Sarkar Lake takes paddlers through 4 additional lakes: Upper Sarkar, Finger, Raven and Long Lakes. There are three boardwalk portages ranging in length from 2/10 to 1/2 mile and take travelers through the muskeg and forests between the lakes. The total time estimated to complete the trail is 2-days (8-14 hours) and it is classified as difficult. Travelers coming to the island with a vehicle will bring most of the gear they need to make this trip, and for all others there are local outfitters available to set you up with all the gear.

Sarkar River Sockeye Fishing

Sockeye Salmon, also called Red Salmon, run in the Sarkar River in mid-July and are a prized catch. Anglers from around the world travel to Prince of Wales Island for the amazing fishing in the ocean, lakes and rivers. If you are here in July, bring your fly pole and get your fish-on at Sarkar River. The access point for the river is a few-minutes drive past the Day Use Area.

Prince of Wales (POW) Island in beautiful Southeast Alaska is a great destination for the adventurous traveler looking to explore the best Alaska has to offer. Start planning your trip today by exploring the Visitor website for the island managed by the POW Chamber of Commerce.




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