The Inside Passage is a beautiful stretch of coastal waters that ranges from Olympia,Washington – through stretches of British Columbia – and into the Southeastern part of Alaska's Panhandle and the Alaska Marine Highway. It is a favored route of cruise ships, merchant ships, tankers, barges, and ferries.
The Inside Passage is a sheltered region with calmer water, spectacular views, and exciting ports of call. Major cities include Vancouver & Victoria in British Columbia…and in Alaska – Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Skagway, Haines, and islands such as Prince of Wales Island, Baranof Island, and Admiralty Island. There are significant national attractions such as Glacier Bay National Park and a host of wildlife that make this area a fantastic destination.
While the Inside Passage is part of the Alaskan Marine Highway, getting here is not overly difficult. Many visitors arrive each summer via cruise ships, which port at many of the cities along the way. You can fly directly into some of the bigger cities, such as Juneau or you can take one a ferry and bring your car or RV. The remote towns and ports are accessible by floatplane or inter-island ferry.
Beyond the beauty, which is significant, is the rich layer of culture, natural vistas, and ports that make the Inside Passage an experience of a lifetime.
Why Visit the Inside Passage?
One reason the Inside Passage is so famous is that you get a big dose of Alaska, its wilderness, culture, and fantastic outdoor recreation without being directly tied to one location. The experience of traveling from port to port via a cruise ship or driving along these gorgeously prolific shores is unmatched. You can visit Juneau, the State Capital, or stop and explore the Salmon Capital of the World. There are many small villages and larger towns, from Sitka to Haines, to Craig and Kasan. Each with its history and culture.
There is an endless list of outdoor recreation options too. Visitors can ice climb glaciers, take guided tours of cities, cultural monuments, or hike along the tops of glaciers. You can fish, hike, bike, and explore the area by car or RV. There are campgrounds, RV parks, luxury fishing lodges, B&B's, cabin rentals, and hotels. Dine on your own or take in the range of cafes and restaurants, many of which focus on local foods and fresh fish.
Enjoy the wildlife from guided whale watching tours to fly-out bear viewing or even a trip to Admiralty Island and the bear sanctuary there. The Alaska Panhandle is a wild area, which means it is terrific for birding, both seabirds, and terrestrial wonders. You can go from city to remote mountain pathways in minutes. There are places for mountain biking, remote hiking and backpacking, and sites in town that offer a cozy retreat with fantastic views of volcanoes.
The Inside Passage is significant, and the list of what you can do here is long - So long that you can customize your experience to fit your lifestyle. Those range from fishing to wine tasting to remote hiking and backpacking to sitting along a forgotten shore and reading your book. There is something here for the whole family, and what you find will change you. That is why this is such a popular destination. Sample it all, or carve out a little piece of paradise - This is your Alaskan Dream Vacation.
Fishing the Inside Passage
The waters along the Inside Passage include many natural fisheries that produce big Salmon and Halibut…so it's not surprise that Halibut fishing & King Salmon fishing tops the list of many visitors to the Inside Passage. With plenty of runs of baitfish, such as herring, these waters are full of Rockfish, Lingcod, Snapper, Sea Bass, and big Salmon Sharks.
The fishing options range from saltwater guided fishing charters to freshwater fly fishing to self-guided saltwater fishing and DIY fishing options for both freshwater and saltwater. The waterways contain all five species of Pacific Salmon with fishing for King Salmon and Silver Salmon topping the list. The population of Pacific Halibut is large with opportunities to target Barn Door Halibut (those over 100 pounds) and Chickens (Halibut under 100 pounds.) There are remote streams, lakes, and rivers where you can fish for Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Steelhead, Lake Trout, Dolly Varden, and Arctic Grayling. Many of the areas around the towns and cities have Forest Service hiking trails that are well-maintained so that you can hike and fish along the rivers and streams and in the lakes here.
The many options for fishing the Inside Passage mean that you can design a fishing expedition that fit your fishing style or wish list. Hook up with a guide who may show you fishing that you've never dreamed of or take a charter and experience the amazement of battling a 200-pound Halibut. You can fly out to remote lakes, rivers, and streams to hit the peak King Salmon spawning runs or to tempt Trophy Rainbow Trout into striking a fly. The fishing options are endless.
With so much to do, see, and experience, it is no wonder that the Inside Passage and the Alaskan Marine Highway are a visitor's choice for experiencing the beauty and wildness that is Alaska.
Top Rated Fishing Lodges & Charters
Other Fishing Destinations To Consider
The Salmon Capital of the World - A great option to base your fishing trip out of or stop for an afternoon of fishing while on an Alaska cruise…A wide variety of options from daily charters to luxury resorts and everything in between.
Saltwater & Freshwater Fishing - Juneau, the state capital of Alaska has a small-town feel and offers a excellent saltwater fishing for Halibut & Salmon on the Inside Passage as well as freshwater fishing for Trout, Steelhead, Dolly Varden & more
Fishing & Adventure on Baranof Island - Visit Sitka for great fishing for Halibut & Salmon, a good variety of lodges from luxury to afforable and a wealth of outdoor activities & wildlife viewing on Baranof Island.
Prince of Wales Island
Experience Alaska Fishing & Nature on the 4th Largest Island in the United States - A beautiful & remote island in Southeast Alaska that offers world class saltwater fishing, freshwater fly fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing & more.
The Adventure Capital of Alaska - A popular stop on the Alaska Marine Ferry & most Inside Passage cruise routes...Haines is a great place to experience outdoor activites & take in the beautiful Alaska sights.