What to Expect
Arriving, Your Visit, and Departing
While you can expect to be greeted by our lighthouse keepers or other volunteers, getting onto the island itself can be tough. There is a helipad or a rocky and rugged shoreline. Weather and tides play an important role in getting on/off the island! You are responsible for knowing your skill and comfort levels with waves and slippery, rocky shores. At this time there is no safe low tide access to the island.
While you are visiting our lighthouse the keepers are happy to give a historical tour of the light and island. Please only tour inside the lighthouse with a volunteer/keeper. You are welcome to walk the island and visit as long as you like, there are many wonderful interpretive signs and scenic vistas. However, the ecosystem is delicate and everyone must be considerate to preserve the island's biodiversity. Stay on trail, no animals may be brought ashore, and follow the rules of 'Leave No Trace' making sure to leave with nothing behind. This includes food packaging. apple cores, and etc. There is no garbage collection at the island. There are dedicated bathroom facilities for island visitors in the lighthouse.
Spring on the Five Finger Islands is short lived, winter going almost straight into summer! Our keepers usually arrive in April, with the lighthouse receiving visitors as early as May. There is much to do to reopen the lighthouse for visitors and guests, and repairs from any winter damage to be done. The seabirds are still nesting on the cliffs of the island, and the eagles have chicks just starting to poke their heads out of the nest. We don't yet see many humpback whales, but the sea lions start to congregate near by.
Summer is the busy season out at the lighthouse! From June-August we see our most visitors, and get the most work on repairs and maintenance done. The lighthouse keepers vegetable garden is in full production, and the orchids, fireweed, chocolate lily, and other amazing wildflowers are in bloom. Humpback whales can be seen congregating all around the island, some with calves, some feeding, and some just resting. This is also the time of year we see the most killer whale/orca pods swim by, and the seas tend to be the calmest for visitors to make it out. With the long daylight hours, there is always something going on at the light!
Earlier September if often a beautiful and tranquil time, with many animals passing by on their migrations south, visitors less frequent, and shorter days allowing for northern lights viewing on clear evenings. Late Fall can be a wild time out at the lighthouse however, so we shut our doors to visitors in late September, and close up the buildings before the first fall/winter storms hit.
on Five Finger Island at the confluence of Stephen's Passage and Frederick Sound in Southeast Alaska
8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Standing by during business hours on channels 13/16
Cupola and lighthouse tour:
$20/pp, free for members
$100/pp/pn, must be a member
See our Get Involved->Membership page for business/vessel memberships