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Ketchikan--back country or misty fjord?

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Can't decide between the back country jeep and canoe safari or the misty fjord wilderness explorer.


Has anyone ever done these excursions? I would love to hear your reviews. Thank you so much.

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Go with the Misty Fjords trip. We just did the canoe/Jeep 4X4 on June 5th - what a disappointment!!! We were in the group that did the canoe part first - actually that was nice. We had a good group of people - 20 of us paddled a canoe across this beautiful, really deep lake to a gazebo out in the middle of nowhere. They had homemade hot chocolate, coffee, dip with crackers, smoked salmon, etc. Then we went for a very short hike through the rain forest. Canoed back to the dock, and got into our Jeeps that the other group had just disembarked from.


Our first clue that we weren't going to enjoy this part of the excursion was seeing the "butterfly" bandage on the guides forehead, and overhearing the passengers talking about 2 people that had been injured (hit their heads on the Jeep roof during the EXTREMELY bumpy ride!) and had to bow out of the canoe portion of the excursion. Uh-oh! But we went ahead, and boy, are we sorry we did! Drove a couple miles to some logging trails that went up the mountain - very steep, rutted, potholed logging trails.


Now, we are by NO means wussies - we own a 4-wheeler, and ride it often at our cabin, we've been off-roading in our truck many times, etc., but this ride was just brutal! Our guide - fresh from Las Vegas, mind you - was such a hot dog! He was driving up and down these mountain logging roads at 50 mph - and expected the rest of the 6 jeeps to keep up. Was very uncomfortable - nothing to hold on to or to brace yourself for this punishing ride. Scenery? Forgetaboutit!! You couldn't even keep your eyes open (unless you were driving) because you were anticipating the next gut wrenching slam of the vehicle! At one point, I was sure we'd lost our entire undercarriage! My poor sister-in-law was in the back the whole time, and she hurt her back.


Finally, after my husband and brother-in-law had taken turns driving at these brutal speeds, we made a decision to just plain slow down. We were the second to last Jeep and were hoping the group behind us didn't mind, but we just couldn't take it anymore. By the time we made it out to the main road, the Jeeps in front of us along with the guide had probably been waiting 5 or 10 minutes for us. Then as we finally think it might be over, the guide comes on the radio, says we're 15 minutes early, did we want to go up the mountain one more time. We all wanted to scream 'NO!!!!' but remained silent to see what others said. One Jeep was going to let out an older gentleman to wait for us on the side of the road, and the guide was perfectly fine with that! Couldn't believe it! Then, the Jeep behind us, God bless their souls, came on the radio, and said they were backing out as well and would just pull over to the side of the road to wait. Well, the guide had a fit - came back on the radio and said "No, I can't leave a Jeep behind. Unless all Jeeps go, we have to go back to the station." Couldn't believe they were willing to leave a passenger, but not their Jeep!! Talk about liability! We were in the middle of no where - anything could have happened to that man! Anyway, sigh of relief when we went back to the Jeep garage!


We talked to several people on that tour afterwards - particularly the folks in the Jeep behind us. They had been on the exact same excursion in 2006 - loved it so much they brought their parents ( the older gentleman who offered to wait while they did a second run) and their two children (maybe 10 and 11 yrs. old), so they were just devastated that this excursion had turned out as it did. Last ttime they did it, it was a nice leisurely pace driving up the mountain and actually FUN to hit the deep runs, etc., because you weren't traveling at the speed of light! They took many photos of the scenery on that first trip, but no way possible this time!


Sorry for the length of this review, but wanted to make you aware of our experience. Now maybe things are different - maybe others complained and it has been rectified. But from our experience, I would NOT recommend the Jeep/Canoe excursion. Such a shame because we had all so been looking forward to it!


Good luck with whatever you decide - in my opinion, you can't go wrong with any kind of wildlife excursion viewing. Even if the critters don't "cooperate" the scenery is magnificent! Have a great trip and let me know what you decide!

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Thank you for the information about the jeep ride. I think we are leaning toward the misty fjord--my husband really wants to concentrate on scenary and wildlife for pictures.


Has anyone done the misty fjords and wilderness explorer?

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My husband was also looking for scenery and wildlife, and he loved the Coastal Wildlife Cruise (through Princess). It is on a specially designed boat that is both fast and quiet, and he was thrilled without how much wildlife and beautiful scenery they saw. He has great photos of orcas, eagles, and bear, plus lovely scenics. He kept raving about how beautiful it was.

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