This tiny fishing settlement (pop. 50 year-round, 200 in summer) tops the north end of Chichagof Island and is considered one of Alaska’s prettiest towns. The setting is hard to beat: right on the edge of the wild waters of Cross Sound, yet protected within a narrow harbor. Elfin Cove has two general stores, lodging facilities, plus showers and a sauna during the summer.
The waters of Cross Sound and Icy Strait separate Chichagof Island from Glacier Bay National Park. This is one of the best areas to see whales in Southeast Alaska, especially near Point Adolphus. Charter boats offer day trips from Glacier Bay to Elfin Cove during the summer months. Also nearby is the 23,000-acre Pleasant-Lemesurier-Inian Islands Wilderness.
It’s pretty easy to see what makes the village tick, with 10 fishing lodges in such a small place, including Tanaku Lodge (www.tanaku.com), Elfin Cove Lodge (www.elfincove.com), The Cove Lodge (www.covelodge.com), and Eagle Charters & Lodge (www.eaglecharters.com). The last of these operates the only gift shop in town.
There is no state ferry service, but small cruise ships visit Elfin Cove several times a week in the summer, and Alaska Seaplane Service (907/789-3331 or 800/478-3360, www.flyalaskaseaplanes.com) has scheduled flights from Juneau.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition