Exploring Kuiu Island


Packrafting and hiking in southeast Alaska is a wet affair. Here, Ben Crozier dries gear on Kuiu Island. Photo by Bjorn Dihle.

My friend Ben and I stood at the harbor in Kake, a Tlingit village in southeast Alaska, trying unsuccessfully to bribe someone into giving us a nine-mile skiff ride across the ocean to Kuiu Island. One man looked at us and squinted in amusement. “But there’s only bears and wolves over there,” he said.

Bears, wolves, and the fact the island has roughly 640 essentially uninhabited square miles were precisely the reasons I wanted to go to Kuiu. Some people take antidepressants, or mood stabilizers, or go

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