Exploring Betton Island

Do you know what a Seahawk looks like? Is it a bird? Is it a team? No. It is a bright yellow, rigid hull, inflatable boat, otherwise known as a banana boat. (Use either link below to see a photo or video.) The banana boats run out of Knudson Cove Marina buzzing people around Clover Pass to Betton Island and back. The boats were specifically designed for Alaska Travel Adventure (ATA) use. There are 3 known in existence all belonging to ATA. They carry up to 24 people, a deckhand, and captain. Passengers ride in the open hull, rain or shine, to reach their Rainforest Island Adventure. The Seahawks make several beach landings on Betton daily. The hulls are sturdy, tough, and take a beating every summer. The boats are also fairly fast, and fun.

 Heading toward northwest of Betton Island on the Seahawk

Heading toward northwest of Betton Island on the Seahawk

The beach that Alaska Travel Adventures uses for it's excursions is on the northwest corner of Betton Island across from Tatoosh Island. It is a great spot for beach combing at low tide, going for a casual hike, or camping. There is a boardwalk that winds it's way through the forest, up a few hundred feet, and almost back to where it starts. There is a fire pit in a flat, open area near the beach. I would not suggest camping at this beach in the summer. You may be woken by tour guides telling you that boatloads of people are about to descend upon your serene spot!

 Starfish party!

Starfish party!

The best time to be at any of the beaches in the area is at one of the negative tides. If you can be there at the lowest tides your chance of seeing creatures, you wouldn't otherwise, greatly increases. Red urchins, blood stars, and even octopus can make an appearance. Sometimes lifting up rocks will reveal hundreds of tiny, baby stars from the size of a pin head up. One side of this particular beach has a starfish party during low tide. Purple to orange common stars cling to rocks waiting for the water to return.

Betton Island is great place to visit that's remote feeling but a short boat ride from the marina. There are multiple camp spots around the edges that get used frequently. Be sure to watch out for treacherous rocks, be prepared, and go explore!