Who We Are

Sharing Local Knowledge & Untamed Adventures

Our History

Sitka Wild Coast Kayaks has its origin in the late 1990’s as Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures. Alison and John Dunlap took it over in 2009 and added into the day trip offerings an expedition outfitting and guide service. Michael started working for the company in 2018 and took over the expedition outfitting in 2021.

Our goal is to provide all the gear and local knowledge adventurous kayakers need to be able to arrive in Sitka and outfit themselves for a day or overnight paddle, a week out in the islands, or a month-long expedition.

Contact us today to schedule your adventure and learning journey to…

Meet Michael

Michael has been involved in paddle sports all his life. He grew up paddling on the Atlantic where he spent summers paddling and sailing open boats on the ocean and bays and winters in canoes on rivers. In the mid-80’s, he moved west and became a certified class 5 and open water instructor.

A move to the Puget Sound region in 1999 brought him back to the ocean full-time. Since then he has paddled and guided in Chile, Central America, Canada and New Zealand where he earned the NZ Level 5 Guide Certification. In 2018, after 10 years living, teaching and guiding in New Zealand he embarked on a 6-month kayak journey with one other person that took him all over SE Alaska. Sitka became a beacon for his paddling designs and he relocated to SE Alaska in 2020.

In Feb of 2022 he took over the expedition outfitting portion of Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures where he had been employed previously as their expedition guide. He has rebranded it as Sitka WIld Coast Kayaks and still works closely with SSOA.

Michael has decades of experience presenting information to all levels of people in numerous disciplines. In addition to his experience as a kayak instructor he has been a certified mountain guide/instructor, a whitewater raft guide/instructor, and is a currently certified yoga and tai chi instructor. His diverse background in these disciplines allows him to adapt his teaching and guiding style to suit any situation with ease and efficiency.

Are you coming to Alaska, or even just dreaming about it? Join us on an...

Our Ethos

Sitka Wild Coast Kayaks advocates and provides a responsible exploration of this rare and wild environment as a way to increase appreciation for and preservation of all its varied species.

We approach this ever-more fragile wilderness environment with an attitude of adventurous curiosity and appreciation guided by a heartfelt sense of awe and respect. Our trips emphasize deep immersion, zero impact, and full LNT (leave no trace) ethics while exploring the vast canopy of life that is Southeast Alaska.

At Sitka Wild Coast Kayaks, we offer a range of activities designed to enhance your experience and deepen your connection with the environment. These include:

  • Leave No Trace practices
  • Foraging and harvesting
  • Identifying tracks and spoor
  • Providing natural and cultural histories
  • Intertidal identification and exploration
  • Relaxation and reflection
  • Tai chi/ qi gong for those who are interested

Preservation Needs Experience

Sitka Wild Coast Kayaks is committed to cultivating an experience in this unique environment that includes its historic-cultural importance to the inhabitants of the region and to “all of our relations” in the global community. We enjoy nature’s prolific variation and strive to maintain the region’s integrity through active participation in community and regional preservation and enhancement projects while providing education on the region’s importance to global health.

What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.