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WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

Sturdy Hiking Shoes:  It is important to have shoes with good traction and support for all hikes. Mid-weight, high/low top, and preferably broken in. No flip-flops or shoes you would be worried about getting dirty. There will be slippery rocks, roots, and uneven surfaces as well as the hikes are several miles long, so good shoes and socks that will not cause blistering are important. Jacket and Breathable Clothes: Layers are always a good idea when hiking in the Tongass. The weather may range from cold and rainy to warm and sunny or anything in between, at any time. A t-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt over it and a light rain jacket, sweater, or sweatshirt is recommended, and a hat if you have one with you. Jeans and rain ponchos are discouraged. Small backpack: Something big enough to carry your extra layers, water, and belongings. Water and snacks: There will be no place to buy food or water once we start the tour. It is suggested to bring water, but we have sanitized reusable water bottles that you can borrow if you need one. We will provide light snacks on your trek, however, if you would like something more substantial or have food allergies feel free to bring your own food. This is a leave-no-trace tour, please keep in mind that everything you pack in you'll need to pack out.

WHERE DO WE MEET?

Transportation to and from the trailhead is included with all tours. You choose the meeting location (your ship's dock, accommodation, or another place of preference) at the time of booking a we take care of the rest. Your guide will be holding a white binder with the Tongass Treks logo on it. Please arrive 5 minutes before your scheduled start time.

HOW PHYSICALLY FIT DO I NEED TO BE FOR THE TREKS?

The tours are intended for those who exercise regularly or semi-regularly and require participants to be able to do physical outdoor recreation, in all kinds of weather, without any facilities. Trekkers should be able to handle slippery, uneven surfaces and at times somewhat steep terrain. Trekkers should not have debilitating medical conditions, injuries, or poor balance. Participants need to be able to sustain hiking 3–9 miles and be able to exercise for several hours. For those who do not walk or exercise regularly, these tours would be a struggle and not a good fit due to the risk of injury, safety, or schedule disruption. Unfortunately, the trails we use are not wheelchair accessible, nor is the transportation vehicle. It is the participant's responsibility to only sign up for tours that they and their group have sufficient skill and fitness level to participate in as well as having no medical, mental, or physical conditions which could interfere with their or the group's safety or ability to participate in these activities. Treks are designed to be able to be completed on schedule. Though there is time to comfortably hike, if for whatever reason a participant is struggling physically or has taken more time than usual, some activities may be cut short, adapted, or eliminated without a refund. If one is unable to complete the tour, there are no refunds.

WILL THE TOUR BE CANCELED DUE TO RAIN?

Nope! The Tongass National Forest is a temperate rainforest, and Sitka gets around 100 inches of rain a year. There is a fair chance that it might rain or sprinkle on your trek. As it is commonly said – “There's no bad weather, only bad clothing” and it’s important to dress appropriately. Unless there are unsafe conditions, the trek will go on.

WHAT ARE THE AGE REQUIREMENTS?

Depending on the level of difficulty each trek has a different age recommendation. Indian River: All ages Mosquito Cove: All ages Herring Cove to Beaver Lake: 7 years and older recommended Harbor Mt. to Alpine Hut: 7 years and older recommended Indian River To Falls: 7 years and older recommended Gavan Hill and Harbor Mt.: 10 years and older recommended For all hikes, children under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent, a legal guardian, or an adult family member. Tongass Treks cannot legally transport children under 65 pounds and less than 57 inches tall unless you provide a car seat or booster seat for your child. Sitka Baby Rentals (sitkababyrentals.com) offers baby equipment rentals if needed and we can help accommodate picking up and dropping off for the day of your hike. Though there is time to comfortably hike, age recomendations are designed to help keep treks on schedule. If for any resons a participant is taking more time than usual, some parts of the hike may be cut short, adapted, or eliminated without a refund.

CAN I BOOK A TOUR ON OTHER TRAILS IN SITKA?

Yes, we can personalize your trip! While not every trail is available, there are many other trail options and a range of difficulty levels not listed on the website. When you request to book, please put in the comments section some information on the type of trek you would be interested in.

WILL WE SEE BEARS?

Sitka is in bear country, and you may see a bear while hiking. Bears are curious, intelligent, and can be dangerous, but tend to avoid or ignore people and especially groups. It is important to be bear aware and know the risks and safety precautions to take while hiking in and around the Tongass National Forest. Your guide will carry bear spray and is knowledgeable about what to do if a bear is encountered. There will be a bear and safety briefing before the start of your tour.

WHAT ARE THE CANCELLATION POLICIES?

Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the booked tour will receive a full refund minus a $40 admin fee. Cancellations made within 15 to 29 days of the tours's start date will receive a 50% refund minus a $40 admin fee. Cancellations made within 14 days of the reservation or no-shows (more than 20 minutes late from the start time of the tour) will receive no refund unless due to a last-minute cruise ship cancellation to the port of Sitka. If you miss your hike due to cruise ship cancellation, you will receive a full refund minus a $40 processing and admin fee. Tongass Treks reserves the right to cancel outings due to unforeseen circumstances. If this is the case, a full refund of the amount paid will be given. Tongass Treks is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by preparing for the trip (for example non-refundable advance purchase air tickets, clothing, equipment, etc.). Outings are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to, weather conditions, wildlife, park or public land closures, and unsafe trail conditions. If the itinerary you booked cannot be accomodated, another option of similar difficulty and distance will be provided.

WILL WE NEED TO SIGN A WAIVER?

Tongass Treks requires each participant to sign Activity Waiver & Acknowledgement of Risks Agreement, which will need to be signed prior to starting the tour. Your guide will have a copy of the waivers on hand when they meet you on the date of your outing. If you have any questions, please get in touch prior to your tour.

CAN I ADD PEOPLE TO MY EXISTING RESERVATION?

In most instances, yes. If you add extra people to the reservation, the cost difference for additional people will be due. If you would like to add people to an existing booking please be in contact before your hike to confirm availability and price.

IS GRATUITY INCLUDED?

A gratuity is not included in the listed price of a hike. G­uests will have the opportunity to leave a tip at the end of the hike. Tips commonly range from 10% to 20% of the booking price.

WHAT IS A LEAVE-NO-TRACE EXCURSION?

Tongass Treks is a U.S. Forest Service permitted company of the Tongass National Forest. Our tours in Sitka are conducted in the Tongass National Forest, under permit by and in partnership with the Forest Service. We are dedicated to educating our clients and other visitors about the importance of preservation and the Leave No Trace principles. All hikes are a leave-no-trace excursion, including no littering or food left behind.

Have any questions? Please don't hesitate to get in touch!

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