A Cruise up the Inside Passage, 2011-07-06

July 2011 we took a family cruise through the Alaska Inside Passage.

Cruising the Inside Passage

The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Tracy Arm Fjord.

Up the Tracy Arm

It was early morning.  It was very still.

At the end of the fjord is the Sawyer Glacier.  The fjord was undoubtedly cut by that glacier and it’s vanished cousins.  The fjord is 600 feet deep below the glacier; you could think of this like floating 600 feet in the air through Yosemite Valley. This cliff would be much higher…

Here’s the Sawyer Glacier:

Sawyer Glacier

Though I didn’t get a picture, my most vivid memories are of flocks of large birds in the distance, flying over the water. Geese, pelicans, maybe, flying in silence.  This is wilderness — no roads filled with family vans looking for a campsite here.


Side Canyon
Another Side Canyon

The side canyons are beautiful and forbidding.  The area is part of the “Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness”, and according to the USDA, “…there are no established hiking trails or public recreation facilities…”  However, I’m sure that with sufficient determination and resources it would be possible to trek in some of these canyons.


Ducks in a row

ducklings crossing a major street


Out for a walk, and found a mama duck and babies. This is Crow Canyon Road, a major surface street.  Before COVID-19 there would be heavy traffic. But the Samaritan here stopped and shooed them across, and I was able to walk across the road to the center divide to get a picture.

Just around the bend here, on Feb 24, less than two months ago, a 12 year old girl was killed by a hit and run driver.  There is a makeshift memorial just out of view.