The Inside Passage is home to many of Alaska’s larger coastal communities.
Carved by glaciers and blanketed with majestic Western hemlock and giant Sitka spruce, Alaska’s Inside Passage is a region of pristine water, snow-capped mountains, deep fjords and forested islands. With its mild, maritime climate, this area is prime habitat for bald eagles, sea lions, porpoises and whales.
Much of the southern panhandle is part of the Tongass National Forest, a 16.8-million-acre rainforest. In fact, it is the largest remaining coastal temperate rainforest in the world. Glacier Bay National park has 16 active tidewater glaciers and Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan has 3,000-foot cliffs rising directly from pristine ocean channels.
The picturesque coastal communities are rich in history. Russian influence is well-preserved in churches and other historical structures. The Native cultures of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians dominate this area. Ancient totem poles are abundant in many communities and the art of totem carving is preserved along with traditional dance and music.
If you would like to extend your Alaska vacation with us to include a small-ship cruise through the Inside Passage in southeast Alaska, visit our Alaska Trip Add-Ons section for details on special Alaska trip additions.