Fox Island & the Fox Island Spit

Fox Island is a premier kayaking destination within Resurrection Bay. Not only is the island full of geological and literary history, it is also within short reach of additional kayaking destinations including Humpy Cove and El Dorado Narrows. Our yurts at Shearwater Cove are only a short paddle from all three of these destinations.

 Fox Island and the Fox Island Spit (left) and Hat Island (right) as seen from the bluff above the yurts at Shearwater Cove.

Fox Island and the Fox Island Spit (left) and Hat Island (right) as seen from the bluff above the yurts at Shearwater Cove.

Sandspit Point State Marine Park

Fox Island is home to Sandspit Point State Marine Park, locally known as the Fox Island Spit. Sandspit Point SMP is included in the Resurrection Bay Marine Trail which connects points of interest from Resurrection Bay to Day Harbor from “a kayaker’s perspective”. Shearwater Cove is located right in the path of this marine trail as it passes Humpy Cove, Hat Island, and the Fox Island Spit.

 Shearwater Cove's exclusive water taxi, Steller Jay, approaching the Fox Island Spit beach. Hat Island is in the background to the left, and Shearwater Cove is directly inshore from Hat Island.

Shearwater Cove's exclusive water taxi, Steller Jay, approaching the Fox Island Spit beach. Hat Island is in the background to the left, and Shearwater Cove is directly inshore from Hat Island.

Glacial Moraine

The Fox Island Spit is a geological feature known as a moraine. A moraine is an accumulation of loose debris by a glacier, which in this case means a beautifully low-angled beach of rounded stones wonderfully accessible by kayak! Due to the nature of glacially carved fjords, much of the Kenai Fjords are characterized by sheer cliffs and giant boulders descending straight into the ocean. Less common are gradual beaches like that of the Fox Island Spit which makes for a perfect place to pull up your kayak and enjoy a picnic. The Fox Island Spit is less than an hour’s paddle from the dock of Shearwater Cove and is one of our top recommended places to explore!

 A tidal lagoon sits in between the north and south beaches of the Fox Island Spit. The Spit is an accumulation of loose debris created by the advance and withdraw of glaciers, a geological feature called a moraine.

A tidal lagoon sits in between the north and south beaches of the Fox Island Spit. The Spit is an accumulation of loose debris created by the advance and withdraw of glaciers, a geological feature called a moraine.

Fox Farming and Rockwell Kent

In the 1880s fox farming emerged in Alaska as a way to guarantee pelt numbers and quality for fur sellers. In 1913 fox fur prices began to rise as did demand in the United States and Europe. Within a few years fox farms dotted many of the islands of Southeast and Southcentral Alaska, and Resurrection Bay was no exception. Renard (Fox) Island hosted its first fox farm in 1901, established by Alfred and Billy Lowell. Until 1965 the island was used intermittently for fox farming, primarily blue foxes.


In 1918 Rockwell Kent arrived in Seward, Alaska searching for island solitude. For the next seven months through Alaska’s fall and winter, he and his son lived in a shed on Fox Island originally built to house Lars Olson’s goats. Lars was the island’s fox/goat farmer at the time. Upon Rockwell’s return home to the east coast, he wrote and illustrated Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska which revived his artistic career and brought publicity to Resurrection Bay and Seward. The following “Chart of the entrance to Resurrection Bay, Alaska, Kenai Peninsula” done by Rockwell can be found in gift shops in Seward.

 Rockwell Kent's chart depicting the entrance to Resurrection Bay. Fox Island is the largest Island in the left foreground. The Spit extends off the North East side of the island.

Rockwell Kent's chart depicting the entrance to Resurrection Bay. Fox Island is the largest Island in the left foreground. The Spit extends off the North East side of the island.

All of these these incredible things are located right in Shearwater Cove’s backyard, waiting for you to come and explore! Check out our yurts and learn more about kayaking opportunities near Shearwater Cove.