Rising out of the bays and straits of Southeast Alaska are innumerable streams. Most of these streams are sourced by last year’s winter snows, flowing and meandering out of the mountains and toward the sea. Cold and clear, with a path to the marine ecosystems and the Pacific Ocean, these sources of water create the ideal habitats for salmon to hatch, depart, return, spawn, and die.

May is far too early in the season to see spawning salmon, but our first land excursion took us to such a salmon stream around Lake Eva. A maintained trail for hiking and protected waters for kayaking drew us in from Sitka. Over the course of the afternoon, guests became acquainted with the trees, mosses, plants, birds, and fungi that rely on the dutiful returns of salmon and the temperate conditions of North America’s rainforest.

Before arriving at Lake Eva, we came from Sitka by way of narrow passages that traipse islands and the patchwork of landmasses that make up Southeast Alaska. Along the way, we were fortunate to encounter humpback whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters, murrelets, and a single brown bear.