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Overview

Alaska's Inside Passage is a maze of waterways, channels and fjords through some of the most wild scenery on the planet. Islands abound and most are untouched by humans. Mile after mile of rocky, rugged coast lines the cold and clear waters, which team with sealife including whales, orcas, dolphins and more. Along the shore, don't be surprised to see bears, moose, deer and other large mammals foraging for food. Overhead, look for a myriad of birds, including bald eagles. The occasional float plane drives home this region's remoteness. Even the few towns feel like an afterthought, ready to be reclaimed by nature after only a storm or two. ...

Alaska's Inside Passage is a maze of waterways, channels and fjords through some of the most wild scenery on the planet. Islands abound and most are untouched by humans. Mile after mile of rocky, rugged coast lines the cold and clear waters, which team with sealife including whales, orcas, dolphins and more. Along the shore, don't be surprised to see bears, moose, deer and other large mammals foraging for food. Overhead, look for a myriad of birds, including bald eagles. The occasional float plane drives home this region's remoteness. Even the few towns feel like an afterthought, ready to be reclaimed by nature after only a storm or two. Ketchikan in the south clings precariously to hillsides, Juneau is reachable only by air or sea, and Sitka, near the open Pacific, feels like another planet. You can see much of the scenery — including glaciers — as well as tourist attractions from the dozens of cruise ships that ply the waters, but to really experience the region, take one of the year-round Alaska Marine Highway ferries that service even the smallest burgs. Better yet, combine the trip with a BC Ferries run along the stunning coast to the south.

Ryan Ver Berkmoes
About the Expert

Ryan Ver Berkmoes has written many books for Lonely Planet, including Bali & Lombok and the Southeastern Alaska and Western Canada sections for LP's Canada guide.

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Ryan Ver Berkmoes for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Alaska ferries run all year but the summer offers lots of daylight and most everything is open.