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Caines Head State Recreational Park Alaska

Submitted By: FridaySez on 13 Jan 2011

GPS Coordinates

Latitude: 60.124444
Longitude: -149.433333

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Caines Head SRA is accessible from Seward by foot, via the Coastal Trail, or by boat.

From Anchorage, take the Seward Highway south until Seward. There is a parking area at Lowell Point, south of Seward, but vehicles may have to be left in Seward when road conditions are poor. It is important to time your trip around the tides or become stranded.

Camping - (0)

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The 4.5 mile coastal trail leads from Lowell Point to the recreation area, ending at North Beach.

!!!A portion of this trail can be hiked only at low tide. !!!

Drinking water is scarce at times; there are few year-round sources. All water must be boiled at least five minutes to avoid ingesting parasites common to Alaskan surface waters.

Bears and other wildlife can be dangerous. Keep a clean camp and wash food odors from your hands and clothing. Never cook or take food into your tent and store food away from camp, suspended high in a tree. Do not camp on game trails.

Historic trails following old army roads take hikers to Fort McGilvray and on to South Beach.

North Beach is marked by the remains of an Army dock built in 1941. The pier survived the 1964 Good Friday earthquake and tsunami, but dropped five feet.

This beach is the main landing and anchorage in the recreation area but the old pier is no longer safe.

!!!Stay clear of the pier and do not attempt to tie up to its pilings.!!!

There are picnic shelters, campsites and latrines near the main trail at North Beach. A ranger station, staffed seasonally, is located near the north end of the beach. The Derby Cove Public Use Cabin is near the beach at Derby Cove, the next beach north of the ranger station and campsites. No mooring buoy is provided at the cabin.

From North Beach, historic roadbeds lead to Fort McGilvray and South Beach. To reach the fort and sweeping vistas of the bay, take the left fork, one mile south of the North Beach Trailhead. Along the way, explore the remains of the old ammunition magazines and the bog meadows with their unique forms of plant life.

The right fork leads 1.5 miles to South Beach; a garrison ghost town with remains of the utility buildings and barracks that were home for the 500 soldiers stationed here from July 1941 to May 1943. NOT SAFE. Do not walk on or disturb them.

Canoeing - (0)

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Weather is the key to planning a trip to Caines Head, as Resurrection Bay is subject to severe and unpredictable weather. On clear summer days, calm seas usually prevail until mid-morning when the day breezes begin, commonly from the south at 15 to 20 knots with seas of three to six feet. The annual rainfall in Seward is more than 60 inches, so prepare for wet, cool weather. Bring warm clothing, rain gear and enough food for an unexpected overnight stay due to bad weather.

Tides are generally mild at Caines Head, with an average high of 8.3 feet to a seasonal extreme high of 16 feet.

Seward small boat harbor to North Beach - 7
North Beach to South Beach - 4

Hiking & Backpacking - (0)

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Lowell Point to North Beach - 4.5
Tonsina Point to North Beach - 3
North Beach to Fort McGilvray - 2
North Beach to South Beach - 2.5
Fort McGilvray to South Beach - 2.5

Drinking water is scarce at times; there are few year-round sources. Bears and other wildlife can be dangerous. From the Trailhead parking area one must leave at least two hours before the Low Tide. The 4.5 mile trip takes the average hiker two to three hours. Most hikers to North Beach stay overnight. Plan to stay at least until the next low tide. From North Beach, one must leave 1 ½ hours before the Low Tide.

There are no points within 15 miles of this point.

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