West Xunaa Province: Capital-W Wilderness

Except for a few mining outposts, West Xunaa’s only permanent settlement is tiny X’óot’k’, little rapids (Elfin Cove), pictured in thumbnail on right. Designated Wilderness thanks to efforts of the founders of Sitka Conservation Society in the 1970s, outer Chichagof Island (no TN?) has mostly evaded the ravages of timber-mining, serving today as storm-harbor for the fishing fleet, and playground for Alaska’s more adventurous sea-kayakers.

Northernmost outpost of this ocean-blasted province is Dakáa Xoo, among the sleeping man (Inian Islands). In 2016, with a Discovery Southeast teachers expedition, I finally got a chance to visit the famous Hobbit Hole, including this climb to island-summit on a rare blue-sky day.

Steve Merli and Pam Garcia on the summit of Dakáa Xoo look northward to Glacier Bay Biogeographic Province T’ix’aa, ice point (Taylor Bay, left distance) and Lanastáak, nose ring (Dundas Bay, right distance).

In this section

2008 flight over Sitka use area

In September, 2008, I ferried to Sitka to help Sitka Conservation Society host funders and biologists. In a Beaver, we…

2008 | Richard Carstensen | 29 pages

Teachers at Dakáa Xoo (Inian Islands).

Dakáa Xoo, among the sleeping man, references a hero story important to the Xunaa Tlingít. The Inians guard the bottleneck…

2016 | Richard Carstensen | 56 pages