Yakutat is located on a glacial moraine, surrounded by the highest coastal mountains on earth, and has been inhabited for hundreds of years by the Tlingit people, now known as the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe The name is from the Tlingit language, Yaakwdáat ("the place where canoes rest”). Yakutat is a small, resilient fishing village,that is also the Borough seat. The City and Borough of Yakutat was incorporated on September 22, 1992. Yakutat includes the only community in the central northern coast of the Gulf of Alaska. The Yakutat Borough encompasses about 9,460 square miles, with the single year-round community of Yakutat. Its boundaries are the Canadian border to the north, Cape Suckling to the west, and a line just north of Cape Fairweather to the east. The Yakutat Borough is within and surrounded by the Tongass National Forest, Wrangell St-Elias and Glacier Bay National Parks and Preserves, and bounded by the Gulf of Alaska. There are seasonal settlements in remote locations at Tsiu, Icy Bay, Cape Yakataga, Akwe-Italio, and Dry Bay which exist primarily in support of sport and commercial fishing, mining, logging, recreation, and government operations.
Like most of Southeast Alaska, but even more so, Yakutat is geographically isolated with no road or rail access. There's an excellent
The Alaska Marine Highway ferry Kennicott lands every week on a north/south alternate route from April through November. The ferry transports passengers and vehicles, materials, supplies, and food. Alaska Marine Lines barges arrive monthly, year round. Private and commercial vessels transiting the Gulf of Alaska arrive year round as well, often taking shelter from storms. Yakutat Bay is the only deep water and ice free port in the Gulf of Alaska between the inside passage of SE Alaska, and Prince William Sound, which offers shelter from storms in the gulf, and support for vessels in need of repair, supplies, and fuel.