The Lodge at Whale Pass stands in the heart of Alaska’s famed Inside Passage and the Tongass National Forest, nestled on the shores of a magical bay on Prince of Wales Island. While we are remote, the Lodge is easily accessed in less than 2 hours from Seattle on multiple, daily Alaska Airlines flights and a 40 minute floatplane hop harkening back to the romance of early aviation. The island abounds in majestic mountains rising over 3,000 feet, lush cedar, hemlock and spruce forests, vast wilderness, and dramatic coastline. Our location in a temperate rainforest means that we enjoy cooling temperatures in the summer (averaging between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit). The northern latitude means that summer days peak at over 15 hours of daylight.
The wildlife and scenery of our island is nearly unparalleled. In one day, you can watch the sun both rise and set over open water, marvel at breaching whales and darting dolphins along the shorelines, and watch black bears, eagles and spawning salmon. Nearly 1,000 year old trees protect the ancient relics of native cultures who lived over 10,000 years ago.
The tiny town of Whale Pass is an old-time outpost with no paved roads, grocery stores or restaurants. It does boast one of Southeast Alaska’s best early silver salmon runs, stunning waterfalls, and shorelines and a tidal estuary that offer enviable beachcombing. Whale Pass maintains a state dock and has an active EMS system and helicopter pad for emergency pickups.
Nearby are extraordinarily high concentrations of fish and marine life, including all five species of Pacific salmon, trout, halibut, rockfish, lingcod, whales, porpoises and seals. The local habitat is also home to numerous birds and land mammals, including black bears, wolves and deer.
“Whale Pass Lodge” opened in the early 1980s to immediate recognition as a premier Southeast Alaska sport-fishing destination. Its owners spent over twenty years developing most of the buildings that comprise today’s resort. Since then, the typical visitor has undergone a similar evolution, changing from a predominantly male, singularly fishing-focused traveler to a more diverse customer seeking a broader range of activities.
In 2003, Kevin and Lyn Ryter purchased the property with the mission to make it Alaska’s finest adventure lodge. They researched and engineered today’s numerous marine, land-based and cultural offerings with the same consideration and capability as the fishing program. Investments in top-of-the-line boats and equipment assured that guests had the best tools at their disposal to optimize their vacation, no matter the adventure choice. Combine a great staff with broad expertise in the outdoor life and hospitality, a major overhaul of the facilities and exacting standards for its food & beverage offerings, and you arrive at today’s Lodge at Whale Pass. A resort of the highest order with luxury and service well above that of the traditional fishing lodge.
The right idea. At the right place. At the right time. We built it – and they came. And keep coming back, to share our Southeastern Alaska experience year after year. We welcome the chance to share it with you.