Taku Harbor

I have lost count of how many times we have used Taku Harbor. The harbor features a number of good memories… Exploring the old cannery ruins, watching fish spawning in the creek, or a full limit of halibut laid out along the float including a 134lb beast caught by my wife. When leaving Juneau or headed back in, Taku Harbor is a convenient moorage just a few hours travel from the Gastineau Channel.

Taku Harbor

Taku Harbor seen from the air while on approach to Juneau

With two state floats there is quite a bit of room available. No room at the floats? The harbor can be quite popular with Juneau residents out for a weekend. Simply anchor out with plenty of available space. The larger float on the eastern side is more popular as it features a connection with shore. While the southern float is more sheltered from weather in Stephens Passage. Going ashore from the float allows access to trails that lead to the cannery ruins and several cabins.

Taku Cannery

The Taku Cannery and Cold Storage, from the Alaska State Library, Historical Collections

A cannery and cold storage facility operated in Taku harbor during the early decades of the 20th century. All that is left is ruins now, and extensive set of pilings easily accessible along the southern shore. Exploration of the area will reveal innumerable metal fragments on the shore. Large stacks of rusting sheet metal are what remains of the supplies that will never be processed into tin cans for salmon. A generator sits atop a concrete pier with steam pipes and furnace bricks scattered about, a boiler lies further up the shore. A few buildings that are probably associated with the cannery remain in varying states of decay. The cannery was destroyed by fire in 1932.

Entry from Stephens Passage is easy through the wide entrance, there are no particular navigational hazards to avoid. Two floats offer plenty of room for visiting boats. Else you can anchor anywhere along the southern shore. With a west wind there can be some swell entering the Harbor from Stephens Passage. In this case the shelter behind the southern point becomes quite desirable. No surprise that this is where the second float is located.

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About Andrew Cooper

An electrical engineer living and working on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i. Webmaster for the NordicQuest.com website. Sometimes the first mate/deckhand/launch driver/anchor detail/cook/dishwasher and mechanic aboard the Nordic Quest.
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