The Lodge’s location in the remote heart of Tongass National Forest presents countless opportunities to disappear into the serenity and inspiration of true nature. Local trails leading out along the beach can take you through the old “ferry” forest or up to a deer meadow. Quiet lakes, fish-choked creeks, powerful mountain vistas and rushing waterfalls are all within easy walking distance from the lodge. You can choose from flat, meandering gravel roads to wild trails with significant elevation changes. Take along a nature guide to show you some hidden treasures or walk alone in search of yourself.
The rocky shores, nutrient-rich waters, and limited human presence elevate beachcombing in Whale Pass to near-spiritual proportions. Bald eagles and sea birds will squawk out as you take in the shallow water sea life, including sea stars, anemones, sea cucumbers and urchins. As the tide recedes, clams spit flashes all over the mud flats. Raking reveals condominiums of these crustaceans often five and six clams deep. The ebbing tide reveals troves of shells, driftwood, baby wolf eels and crabs and a multitude of other curiosities under every overturned rock. Creeks bubble across the rocky shoreline every few hundred yards supporting a whole new ecosystem and inviting you to hike up into the lush forest. To complete the exploration of the sea life in Whale Pass, you can captain a skiff or grab a guide to set and pull crab pots for a bounty of the sweet Dungeness.
If the local flora and fauna only whets your appetite, you can seek out more remote tranquil beauty within our coastal Alaska setting. Rarely visited estuaries, tidal flats and wilderness streams, accessed by boat or by van, can reveal protected, beaver filled coves and mystical animal trails into the lush forest. Scenic solitude and wildlife encounters will be interrupted only by your cast of a fly line for shots at cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden, salmon and steelhead. Arrange for a lakeside picnic or charter a floatplane for a bonus air safari (additional charge for floatplanes).
Our fleet of vehicles and an extensive network of logging roads open up more hiking options. You can look for birds, deer, bear, and other wildlife and tour a working fish hatchery, learning about the life cycle of the salmon. A nearby stream pumps inconceivable amounts of water off of the island over an impressive waterfall and boasts pools teeming with spawning salmon, attracting bears, bald eagles and anglers. The lake above the waterfall is an excellent spot for a gourmet picnic or a peaceful paddle in one of the lodge kayaks.
Prince of Wales Island, showcasing the vastly varying terrain of Southeast Alaska, gives you the chance to hike through muskeg, old growth forests and karst (limestone) landscapes, all within moments of each other. In the shadow of trees that are hundreds of years old, you can gape at a ten story waterfall disappearing into a vast underground cave system, only to see it gush back out of the ground 50 yards away. And everywhere you go, you’ll be sharing this natural wonder with river otters, birds, bears and the whole menagerie of Alaskan wildlife.