, The Home of the Severn Bore Riders

Skip To Sub Menu

The Turnagain Arm Tidal Bore Pages.

The Turnagain Arm is a late Holocene fjord infilled with intertidal sediment.

Located in the lower arm of the Cook Inlet, running east from Anchorage, the Arm has a majestic backdrop with the glaciated peaks of the Chugach Range close to its shores.

At its mouth the Arm is around 10 miles wide and narrows to almost nothing over its 40 mile course. The tidal bore enters the narrowing Arm as a small wall of white water far out in the channels below Beluga Point. Much of its passage continues as white water over the shallow multiple channels.

Beyond Bird Point, the bore runs into deeper water and takes on dynamic form with a spilling head wave and trailing undular swells.

Located at latitude 61 degrees north, the climate is cold, and ice sheets cover the Arm through winter.

In summer, the silty, glacier fed, salt water only reaches a maximum of 7.5°C! The Arm is also home to a large array of wildlife and marine life.

The changing seasons see the ebb and flow of Red Salmon, Hooligan and Beluga Whales as well as the mighty tidal bore.

Lone surfer, Dreds, at First Parking Lot, Girdwood, Courtesy David Merrigan

'Turnagain Arm is truly a scenic wonder. It's a very dynamic place that is constantly changing. When you surf the wave in the spring time the grounded ice bergs create a white water slalom course, and occasionally there is an orca that comes to eat the beluga and salmon.' Local Girdwood Surfer, John Markel