Sea Lion Cove Trail

USE : Hike
DESCRIPTION : Remote trail on northern Kruzof Island through old-growth forest and muskeg to a 2-mile long sandy beach on the open ocean. Trailhead in Kalinin Bay accessible by boat or float plane. Rough steps climb up and down hill between Kalinin Bay and Sea Lion Cove.
DISTANCE : 2.5 Miles (one way)
TIME : 1.0 – 2.0 Hours (one way)
TRAILHEAD : Begins in Kalinin Bay on the North side of Kruzof Island and ends at Sea Lion Cove on the outer coast.
RECOMMENDED SEASON : Spring and summer – beware autumn storms
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY : Moderate. Slippery boardwalk and roots along most of the route.
TRAIL MANAGEMENT AGENCY: Alaska State Parks ceased maintenance of the trail when Ranger position defunded due to budget cuts in 2015.


Remotely located, approximately 1.5 hours by boat, north of Sitka on Kruzof Island. The trail begins on the side end of Kalinin Bay. Look for a trailhead sign on the west shore at the head of the estuary.


The beach in Sea Lion Cove is known locally as a good backpacking and surfing destination.


The trail begins with a walk south up the estuary before starting a climb in the forest. After a brisk climb, the route flattens into muskeg and reaches a shallow lake. The trail skirts the north side of the lake and descends in forest on the far side before opening into muskeg again. Boardwalk passes a large muskeg pond then enters the beach fringe old-growth forest. The trail then emerges onto a two-mile long sand beach in Sea Lion Cove, at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.


High tides greater than 9 feet will cover the trail in the estuary. Bring waterproof boots and be prepared for mud at any tide.

The boardwalk and roots along the trail are slippery when wet – hiking poles are suggested. This is a remote trail with no cell phone coverage. Bring the ten essentials to be prepared for any backcountry accidents. Pack out whatever you pack in, plus some beach trash if you can.

Kalinin Bay is protected, but shallow, so be sure to anchor far enough from shore and be aware that low tides make it difficult for boats to reach the beach to pick up passengers.

Bears are common in the estuary in Kalinin Bay and have been known to bite inflatable rafts. Don’t leave food or smelly items in your raft and be bear aware while walking the estuary.

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