Alaska's Inside Passage: What Makes it a Premier Vacation Destination

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Alaska is the largest state in the U.S., covering more than 663,300 square miles. It’s big enough that 19 states could actually fit inside, including some of the largest states in the country like Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida. It is also about the same size as all of Western Europe.

The southern end of the state is just north of Washington, and the northern tip is one of the farthest north points on the entire continent (not including Greenland and the islands north of Canada). On the western side Alaska is close enough to see parts of Russia across a narrow strip of the Bering Sea—a fact made famous during the 2008 political campaign season.

So when someone talks about visiting Alaska, there are actually a lot of different parts of this massive state where they could go. Many of those areas are still extremely remote, and the total population of the state is just under 725,000. That’s a population density of only 1.2 people per square mile. For comparison purposes, California has 254 people per square mile and Florida has 397 residents in the same size area.

Finding the right place to vacation is a balance of discovering areas that are still remote enough to enjoy the pristine beauty of Alaska, while maintaining some of the comforts you expect on vacation. A location where you can explore both the majestic ocean and take part in all the activities you expect there, like fishing and whale watching, without missing the opportunity to see some of the incredible natural beauty on land as well. That’s part of what makes Alaska’s Inside Passage such a perfect destination.

About Alaska’s Inside Passage

The “Inside Passage” of Alaska is actually a narrow network of waterways and islands in the far southeast corner of the state. It borders Canada on the eastern side and the Pacific Ocean to the west. This part of the state is home to the second most populated city, Juneau, as well as other famous destinations like Skagway and Sitka. The area is famous for several different things, and has no shortage of activities to take part in when you visit.

Charming towns

Most people that come to Alaska’s Inside Passage come via the state capital, Juneau. It’s a city with a population of just over 31,000, surrounded by massive mountain peaks on one side and ocean on the other. It’s also a launching point for the intercoastal waterways, a system of ferries and floatplanes that take people throughout the area, since most of the Inside Passage consists of islands that are not accessible by roadways.

The charming little town of Juneau remains small, but scenic. You are within driving distance of hiking trails and places to catch a glimpse of wildlife. You can also see glaciers within just a few minutes’ drive. It’s also a great place to wander around on the tree-lined streets to see some of the local shops, restaurants, and galleries, which makes it the perfect launch pad for your Inside Passage visit.

Incredible wildlife

All of Alaska is known for its wildlife, and the Inside Passage is no different. In fact, the wildlife that many people have never seen before is so plentiful that residents of the Inside Passage sometimes forget just how majestic it is. It’s definitely not out of the ordinary to spot a bald eagle soaring overhead or perched in a nearby tree, whether you are in the middle of the state capital or you are out on a remote island. But bald eagles aren’t the only thing you can see here.

The Tongass National Forest has the densest population of bears anywhere in the world, including both grizzly bears and black bears. Admiralty Island (where Pybus Point Lodge is located) is actually known as Kootznoowoo, which loosely translates to “fortress of the bears” in the language of the native Tlingit people. Brown and black bear occupy this territory where millions of salmon come every year to spawn, and you can even find places to go see the bears in a more controlled environment and capture a photo or two—much safer than encountering one out in the wild.

Other wildlife commonly spotted around the Inside Passage include:

  • Harbor seals
  • Porpoises
  • Sea lions
  • Humpback whales
  • Killer whales
  • Deer
  • Mountain goats
  • Wolves

Endless fishing

If fishing is one of the things on your Alaska bucket list, the Inside Passage is the perfect place to do it. The cold waters off the coast of southeast Alaska are one of the best places to find a variety of fish, including:

  • Multiple species of salmon
  • Halibut
  • Pacific cod
  • Lingcod
  • Rockfish

Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) has specific rules on how much you can fish, what species you can catch, and what you can take home with you. Make sure you know the rules or you book your trip with a place like Pybus Point Lodge to avoid breaking the rules inadvertently and getting in trouble with the authorities.

Majestic glaciers

The Inside Passage was forged by some of the world’s most incredible glaciers, including the Tracy fjord with the Sawyer Glacier. On the north side of the Inside Passage is Glacier Bay, and on the south end you can see the Misty Fjords. There is certainly no shortage of glaciers to see when you visit this area, but it is important to go with an experienced guide who can help you safely view glaciers from the water and provide the best chance at capturing some great photos and memories.

Other adventures

Beyond fishing and wildlife spotting, Alaska is a place where you can do almost anything outdoors that you can imagine. Hike to some of the most incredible waterfalls, head out and take some nature or wildlife photography, or hop in a kayak and check out the amazing sunrise and sunset each day from the waters of the Inside Passage. This area is far enough south that you won’t get full daylight for 24 hours in the middle of summer, but you do get almost 21 hours of daylight or “civil twilight” where there is still enough light to be outside. On the longest day of the year (June 20) you’ll have light from about 2:30 am to 11:30 pm.

The Best Way to Visit the Inside Passage

If you’re thinking about a trip to the Inside Passage, start by booking at Pybus Point Lodge. Our all-inclusive resort is in the heart of this incredible destination. We offer all the amenities you need to make the most of your trip, and it’s all included in your booking. Learn more and reserve your spot today.

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REVIEWS

65% OF OUR GUESTS ARE RETURN CUSTOMERS

Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, Pybus Point Lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable all-inclusive fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery.    I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.

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