Route Notes:

  • Minimum altitude: no minimum ... suggested 1200 feet.
  • Direct Routing: If the weather is favorable, you may fly a heading from Mountain Point of 049 for 29 miles.
  • Landing zone:hard runway, water nearby, freezes in winter
  • Fuel: Fuel is available, turn off engine beside drums.
  • Scenery: Punchbowl Lake Cabins from Misty Moorings
  • Click [here] for printer-friendly TripTic

Punchbowl Lake Cabins

Punchbowl Lake actually looks like a punchbowl, a pretty lake ringed by mountains. In the center of the lake is a little island, and it is upon this tiny island you will find the Punchbowl Lake Cabins complex. There are several cabins, a hard runway, a parking area and fuel is available.

TreeTop VFR Plan

From: Ketchikan International
To: Punchbowl Lake Cabins

1. After leaving PAKT or 5KE, position over Pennock Island in the Tongass Narrows at a heading of 110
... As you approach Pennock Island, look to port to see the town of Ketchikan, busy in the summertime with all the tourists, almost abandoned in the wintertime.
... A little further down the coast on the port side you will see the US Coast Guard Station with a NOAA ship tied up there.

2. At the south end of Pennock Island, head toward Bold Island, Set your heading at 094. Bold Island is 9 miles ahead. [5.4 minutes]
... As you make your turn toward Bold Island, you see you will be crossing the final point of land to port representing the end of the Tongass Narrows and the beginning of the Revillagigado Channel ahead.
... the point of land to the right is the southeastern most point of Gravina Island (the island where PAKT is located). This is called Gravina Point.
... The inlet to port that comes up is the Carol Inlet, a beautiful 20 mile long inlet that curves up behind Ketchikan.
... The peninsula jutting toward us from at 1 o'clock is Race Point, a peninsula of land coming from Annette Island, the very large island at 2 o'clock to starboard. The little bay formed by the peninsula and the island is Annette Bay.

3. At the south end of Bold Island, set a heading for 088 for Alava Point, the point of land 8.3 miles ahead. [5 minutes]
... As you cross Bold Island, look to the left to see Coho Cove and look even closer and you may see the Antelope Trail Ranch complete with runway and hangers for both land-based and floatplanes.
... The large island about 4 miles away at 2 o'clock is Ham Island, look closely at it and you will see it gets its name from its shape. The little island off its coast toward you is Walker Island.

4. At Alava Point set your heading at 019 for Smeaton Island, 9.6 miles ahead. You will fly over Rudyerd Island on this leg. [5.7 minutes]
... At this point, you are turning into the Behm Canal, a body of water that circles the Ketchikan Area. Following this for about 120 miles will bring you right back to Ketchikan as it is a giant circle.
... As we make the turn, we are first going to cross Alava Bay. Look closely at the little islands and you may see a US Forestry Service Cabin that is located on one of them.
... Next you will fly over Fox Point, a point of land coming from the port shore of the Behm Canal.
... After Fox Point, look ahead to see Rudyerd Island that you will cross on the way to Smeaton Island, the larger island beyond (and your VFR waypoint).

NOTE: As you come to Smeaton Island, be sure you are flying an altitude of at least 1200 feet.

5. At Smeaton Island, set your heading at 345 for Winstanley Island, a large island on the starboard side of the Behm Canal about 5 miles ahead.
... Watch for tiny Candle Island that is just of the southern shore of Winstanley Island.
...there is another US Forestry Service cabin that can be found on the final cove on the starboard side of Winstanley Island.

6. Over Winstanley Island, set a course of 343 for Louise Point, six miles ahead on the starboard shore. Louise Point is at the entrance of Rudyerd Bay, a large inlet to starboard.
... Looking to starboard, you will see a waterfall coming from Lower Checats Lake. If you look beyond this little lake you will see the much larger Upper Checats Lake. There is a US Forestry Cabin there also.
... the small islands we are crossing over are the New Eddystone Islands and if you look to port out in the center of the Behm, you will see the New Eddystone Rock.
... we will turn to starboard when we reach Louise Point into Rudyerd Bay.

7. At Louise Point, turn into Rudyerd Bay coming to a heading of about 059 degrees being ready to make a hard turn to starboard into Punchbowl cove about a mile ahead.
... About one mile into Rudyerd Bay, you will come to an intersection, Rudyerd Bay goes off to port, and Punchbowl cove to starboard.

8. Turn to starboard into Punchbowl cove coming to a heading of about 118. Make sure your altitude is a minimum of 1200 feet. Aim to fly over the ridge at the end of the cove at about 11 o'clock.
... Punchbowl Lake will come into view as you pass the last ridge to port. It will be on a heading of about 090, turn toward it.
... drop altitude down toward the lake.
... there is a ridge coming out into the lake from starboard, fly around that ridge and you will be lined up on the Punchbowl Lake Cabins complex.

Note: Fuel is available at the complex. Pull up beside the fuel barrels and turn off your engine, your tanks will be filled automatically.


To return to Ketchikan, reverse the route. If the weather is permitting, the direct heading to Mountain Point is 219 for 29 miles.

Doug Linn
Charter Manager
Misty Moorings, Inc.

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me at