Guidebook: Breaking the Ice in Alaska

Getting there: Connecting service (change of planes) from LAX to Yakutat is available on Alaska Airlines. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $563.20.

Where to stay/eat: Leonard's Landing Lodge, P.O. Box 282, Yakutat, AK 99689; (877) 925-3474, fax (907) 784-3591, This complex of cabins, smaller rooms and larger lodges can sleep from one to 100 people. Some accommodations share baths. There's an upscale restaurant that serves fresh seafood, good wines and exotic beers. Doubles: $200 a night during the peak season, which includes most of the summer; $180 the rest of the year.

Glacier Bear Lodge, P.O. Box 303, Yakutat, AK 99689; (866) 425-6343 or (907) 784-3202, fax (907) 784-3663, This newer motel, between the town and the airport, has private baths, restaurant and a sports bar. Doubles are $140 a night. Closed October-March.

Yakutat Lodge, P.O. 287, Yakutat, AK 99689; (907) 784-3232, This older log structure is geared mostly to anglers and hunters and has a bar and restaurant well known to the locals. It has 16 rooms with private baths and five cabins with separate bathhouses. Doubles are $105; it generally takes only package tours in August and September.

Blue Heron Inn, P.O. Box 254, Yakutat, AK 99689; (907) 784-3287, One of several B&Bs around town, this gem is right on Yakutat Bay. It has a clean, comfortable Cape Cod-style main building with a warm and homey dining room. John Latham, co-owner with his wife, Fran, is an experienced guide and outfitter. Doubles start at $140 August to mid-October, $125 mid-October to the end of March.

What to do: There are seven saltwater charter boat companies in town. I had a good experience with Yakutat Charter Boat Co., which charges $120 per person (plus 4% tax) for its Hubbard Glacier tour and also offers full- and half-day fishing jaunts (fish cleaning included) at $180 and $115, respectively; (888) 317-4987 or (907) 784-3433.

Air charter services take fly-fishing fans to remote locations and provide "flight seeing" of the glaciers. I took my glacier tour with genial pilot Les Hartley, owner of Alsek Air Service; (907) 784-3231, The charge for a 45-minute tour is $125 per person, minimum of two. Naturalist-guided hikes are available from Fireweed Eco Tours; (877) 925-3474,

For more information: Yakutat Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 510, Yakutat, AK 99689; (907) 784- 3933,

Alaska Travel Industry Assn., Visitor Information Center, 2600 Cordova St., Suite 201, Anchorage, AK 99503-2745; (907) 929-2200 or (800) 862-5275, fax (907) 561-5727,

Michael Parrish

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