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With a population of just 800, Yakutat is the smallest town in the world with year-round jet service: Alaska Airlines stops here on daily flights between Anchorage and Juneau. It is equidistant between the two cities, facing the often-rough waters of the Gulf of Alaska. Yakutat Bay extends north to Hubbard Glacier, largest tidewater glacier in North America. Located within Russell Fiord Wilderness, the glacier is one of the only advancing glaciers in Alaska, and it's 400-foot face provides a dramatic sight for visiting cruise ships (though they don't stop in Yakutat). The town contains a mix of Native Eyak and non-Native people. Several ...

With a population of just 800, Yakutat is the smallest town in the world with year-round jet service: Alaska Airlines stops here on daily flights between Anchorage and Juneau. It is equidistant between the two cities, facing the often-rough waters of the Gulf of Alaska. Yakutat Bay extends north to Hubbard Glacier, largest tidewater glacier in North America. Located within Russell Fiord Wilderness, the glacier is one of the only advancing glaciers in Alaska, and it's 400-foot face provides a dramatic sight for visiting cruise ships (though they don't stop in Yakutat). The town contains a mix of Native Eyak and non-Native people. Several lodges attract anglers in search of steelhead, salmon, and halibut, but the town has also received notoriety as a surfing destination for those ready for cold-water wave action. Cannon Beach is right out front of Yakutat, with sand extending 70 miles east from there. There's even a small surf shop in town. Yakutat's weather is notoriously wet (130 inches annually), but on the rare clear days visitors get a spectacular view of Mt. St. Elias, second-highest in the United States at 18,008 feet.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer for fishing, but winter storms bring the waves that attract surfers.