Among the most striking landscapes in all of Southeast Alaska is Thomas Bay. Spend two days here filled with extensive Alaska backcountry exploration, hiking on foot and paddling by kayak. Options include the steep and rugged Cascade Creek Trail (waterproof hiking boots and gaiters are a must), which terminates at Swan Lake, an alpine lake formed by glaciers over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. This established trail with difficult stretches marked by tree roots, large rocks and possible fallen trees gains 1,200 feet in 5 miles, and requires 6-7 hours round trip.
Another option is the 5-mile (one-way) low elevation hike to the glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake. Hike in with your companions, and then launch a kayak into Patterson River for spectacular kayaking to the face of remote Patterson Glacier before hiking back to the trailhead. Elevation gain on this trail is less than 750 feet. Group sizes on each option are limited to ten guests; activities are weather dependant.