Have you ever talked to someone who has just returned from an Alaskan cruise? Their eyes shine, and they practically break into song as they describe the sights experienced, the wildlife encountered, and, no doubt, the amount of fancy food consumed along the way. As they speak, you are making a mental note to check Google Flights for ticket prices as soon as you can untangle yourself from this off-Broadway production of “I Just Returned from Alaska.”
The feeling you are getting as you listen to descriptions of whales breaking the surface of the water, glaciers glistening in the distance, and miles and miles of pristine shoreline is not FOMO. That feeling is wanderlust. You need to make your plans to get to the Inside Passage ASAP.
The Inside Passage
The Inside Passage is over 1,000 miles of waterway from Seattle, Washington, to Skagway, Alaska. A heavily traveled coastal route for vessels, it is not uncommon to see tankers, towboats, cruise ships, fishing trawlers, and ferry boats all weaving their way through the network of passages and over 1,000 islands.
The Inside Passage is bordered by over 15,000 miles of shoreline, including all the islands that dot the waterways. Vessels often use this route to avoid bad weather in the open ocean. However, they must be mindful of its tides. The Inside Passage water level can vary as much as thirty feet between high tide and low tide.
The Best Time for an Alaskan Vacation
The best time to visit Alaska and experience the magnificence of the Inside Passage is in the summer. June, July, and August are popular months for travel because these months are when you can experience the best combination of weather and wildlife. However, with the beauty that abounds year-round, it is truthful to say that any month is the best month to visit Alaska.
Alaska Vacations Feature Exciting Wildlife
Any person who just returned from the aforementioned Alaskan cruise will most certainly spend a great deal of storytime focused on the wildlife encountered on their adventure. A journey along the Inside Passage offers unparalleled views of some of the area’s most captivating species. Scattered among the lush island scenery are habitats for a variety of Alaska’s best-known animals.
Best Known Animals of Alaska
- Bald eagles
- Sea lions
One well-known and beloved species, the moose, is often sought after but never seen along the Inside Passage. Alaskan moose spend their time in the inland mountain ranges, preferring bogs and wetlands to the coastal waters. Your Alaskan vacation can be complete with a trip inland; most moose in Alaska can be found in the state parks and make their appearances at dawn and twilight.
Fishing in Alaska
There are so many fish species and fishing locations available that the angler need only ask themselves, “Do I want freshwater or saltwater fish today?” Bays, inlets, lakes, and rivers offer waters teeming with fish and opportunities to experience the beauty of the land around you. The most common fish in Alaska is the salmon, in all its varietal glory.
Common Fish Found in Alaska
- salmon (Chinook, Coho, Pink)
- trout (Brook, Cutthroat, Dolly Varden)
Salmon is by far the most common species, and the varieties seem endless. There are community derbies sponsored throughout the year for the largest salmon caught. King salmon, or Chinook, is plentiful all year long, and the largest can be caught in May and June.
Alaskan Vacation Destinations
- Chicagof Island has a land area of just over 2,000 square miles, making it the fifth-largest island in the United States. Chicagof also has the largest bear population per square mile of anywhere in the world. This Island has the perfect combination of natural beauty and unique wildlife.
- Juneau is the capital of Alaska and the largest capital city in the United States. Juneau is inaccessible by road; all visitors and locals must travel to and from the city by plane or ferry. Standing on one of the largest wilderness areas in the United States, Juneau offers abundant opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.
- Mitkof Island has a land area of just over 200 square miles, making it the thirtieth largest island in the United States. The island is covered by low mountains and muskeg wetlands. Much of the relatively flat island is part of the Tongass National Forest, its highest point being Crystal Mountain at 3,317 feet.
- Prince of Wales Island is slightly larger than the state of Delaware at 2,577 square miles. Despite its size, this island has over 1,000 miles of shoreline. It has wildlife that can only be seen on this island, such as the Prince of Wales flying squirrel and deer, bears, and the gray wolf.
- Glacier Bay National Park is an area covering over three million acres. The bay is filled with calves or ice pieces that break from a larger glacier anywhere from seventy-five to two hundred years old.
There is much to see and do on an Alaskan vacation. In addition to sightseeing, encountering wildlife, and visiting the National Parks, fishing in Alaska is high on the list of must-dos! Your days spent experiencing the phenomenal beauty of each island and national park will stay on your mind long after you return home.
Points of Interest on a 3D Wood Map of the Inside Passage
The islets, coves, fjords, and islands of the Passage were carved out by glaciers during the last ice age. The Inside Passage is lined with coastal towns, islands, and glaciers, each with its own character and unique story.
Whether as a purchase before your Alaskan vacation or upon your return, a 3D wood map of Alaska’s Inside Passage will delight you for years to come. The wood chart will continue to fan the flame of desire to be in Alaska, whether for the first time or a return trip. In addition, the elegant, high-quality wood chart will provide a statement piece in your home.
Every time a friend or family member comes to your home, they will be enchanted by the classy wood chart, and you will be able to regale them with your own off-Broadway production featuring tales from your Alaskan vacation!