Meet the Neighbors
Explore the Inside Passage with Juneau as your home base
Glacier Bay and Gustavus
The most remarkable thing about Glacier Bay: when George Vancouver first explored in 1794, it was completely covered by ice. After 200 years of thawing, Glacier Bay National Park offers fantastic wildlife and glacier viewing. At its entrance: Gustavus (year-round pop. 386), offering excellent lodges and inns, kayaking, hiking, biking, and fishing. Access: Alaska Marine Highway ferry, regional air service, Alaska Airlines jet (a 14-minute flight).
Haines and Skagway
Northwest of Juneau, you’ll find Haines and Skagway, both connected to Alaska’s road system. In winter, Haines boasts world-class heli-skiing and the highest concentration of bald eagles on earth; in summer, breathtaking scenery, great fishing and the Southeast Alaska State Fair. With wooden boardwalks and restored buildings, Skagway resembles a living museum. Be sure to visit Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and the start of the world-renowned Chilkoot Trail. Access: Alaska Marine Highway ferry, commercial fast ferry, regional air service.
Southeast Alaska’s other “big” city (pop. 8,863), Sitka features an artsy, cosmopolitan downtown against a rugged wilderness backdrop; there’s also a volcano (Mt. Edgecumbe). Another distinguishing feature: the cultural fusion of Native Alaskan and Russian-American heritage. Fishing is off-the-hook here (pun absolutely intended). Access: Alaska Marine Highway ferry, regional air, Alaska Airlines.
Chichagof Island is the fifth largest island in the United States, with more than 2,000 square miles of land area and 742 miles of coastline -- the vast majority of it unspoiled wilderness. Fishing here is even more off-the-hook (pun even more emphatically intended), especially in and around the small but colorful communities of Hoonah, Pelican, Tenakee Springs and Elfin Cove. Access: Alaska Marine Highway ferry, regional air.
Petersburg and Wrangell
About 100 miles south of Juneau are the towns of Petersburg and Wrangell. Petersburg also known as “Little Norway,” blends strong Scandinavian cultural heritage with excellent fishing. Near the mouth of the Stikine River -- whose glacier-laden lower section John Muir likened it to “a Yosemite a hundred miles long.” Wrangell also serves as starting point for day tours to the bear watching observatory at Anan Creek. Access: Alaska Marine Highway ferry, regional air, Alaska Airlines jet.
Admiralty Island: Angoon and Pack Creek
Admiralty Island, or in Tlingit “Kootznoowoo,” is also known as “fortress of the brown bears.” Some 1600 grizzlies live on Admiralty Island, making it for exceptional bear viewing, especially the observatory at Pack Creek. Angoon, with a mere 600 human residents, is a 1000-year-old Native village with totem poles and tribal houses. Access: Alaska Marine Highway ferry, regional air.