Best of the Inside Passage
Mid-May through mid-September
Why This Trip?
For many travelers, the Inside Passage is a rite of passage. it's understandable: This area of Southeast Alaska not only serves up stunning scenery, but also many small towns that are big on adventure. Visit as an extension of your land trip (coming from Anchorage), or on an independent vacation, flying in from Seattle. You'll be seeing massive tidewater glaciers, tons of wildlife, small coastal towns, and the Alaska state capital: Juneau.
Fly to Juneau
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Enjoy your direct flight from Anchorage or Seattle into Juneau. Once you get settled, your first outing should be to see Alaska's capital city from above. Hop on the Goldbelt Tram and skim the tops of spruce trees as you ascend to the top of 3,819-foot Mount Roberts and enjoy breathtaking views. A great way to get a lay of the town (and stretch those legs after your flight) is a guided bike tour. You can also go panning for gold (and keep what you find!) and learn about the history of gold mining here.
Day & Overnight in Juneau
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Enjoy a full day in this gorgeous city that's surrounded by towering peaks. You'll find some fun options for whale-watching, bear viewing, or dog sledding, or a spectacular flightseeing trip! And definitely don't pass up the opportunity to see one of Juneau's main attractions -- Mendenhall Glacier. You can raft or kayak, or hike right on the ice!
Fly from Juneau to Skagway
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Today you'll take a super-quick 40-minute flight to Skagway; it's a huge time savings over the 7-hour car ferry. When you arrive, you'll want to start exploring this dramatically scenic town, set on the water and surrounded by towering mountains. Go on a walking tour of the quaint downtown and check out the shops.
Day & Overnight in Skagway
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Make the most of your full day in the beautiful Skagway area today: Take a train ride through history on the White Pass & Yukon Route. You'll truly feel like you're traveling back in time as you chug up through the heart of the Yukon, passing glacial rivers, waterfalls, and gorges. Choose from a half- or full-day outing. Take the morning half-day option and you'll have time to add another activity, like a spectacular helicopter ride to an icy blue glacier. Here you can go for a guided glacier hike or experience the iconic Alaskan sport of dogsledding!
Ferry from Skagway to Haines
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Experience jaw-dropping scenery as you take the 45-minute fast ferry from Skagway to Haines, with mountains climbing on either side of your. Then take in more of this beautiful setting as you get out on the water again, this time on a sea kayaking or rafting tour, where you'll also see marine wildlife, bears, and bald eagles. Choose a half-day tour and return to Skagway in the afternoon, or opt for a full-day tour and spend the night in Haines.
Fly from Haines to Glacier Bay
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Get ready to explore this amazing park by hopping an air taxi flight from Haines to Gustavus. Take the free shuttle to the cozy Glacier Bay Lodge, then drop by the visitor center inside the lodge to see exhibits, check the schedule for evening presentations, and stretch your legs on trails like the one-mile Forest Loop Trail. Head back to the lodge for dinner, which you can enjoy inside or out on the deck.
Day & Overnight in Glacier Bay National Park
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You'll have all day today to explore this magnificent park! Start with the lodge's 8-hour narrated catamaran tour—the only day tour permitted inside the park—where you'll get a close-up look at the bay’s massive tidewater glaciers. Enjoy lunch on board and keep an eye out for whales, bears, and mountain goats. You'll return to the lodge at 3:30 p.m., which leaves you plenty of time to enjoy another hike through the lush forest near the lodge before settling in for a delicious dinner.
Depart Glacier Bay National Park
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Today you'll fly back to either Anchorage or Seattle. Alaska Airlines offers flights in the early evening, so ask the lodge for recommendations of how to fill your day! They can book activities for you, including flightseeing and sea kayaking, so that you can make the most of your last day!