How Pybus Point Lodge Made Me Fall in Love With Alaska

By McKella Kinch


Drawing of Pybus - Pybus in the background

Everyone who knows me knows I’m the biggest whiner in the cold. Typically, I don’t voluntarily travel to areas that require me to wear a coat.

I’m also not really into fishing.

So, I never thought that one of the most amazing trips of my life would be to a fishing lodge in Alaska.

How did this work, you ask?

Here’s how Pybus Point Lodge became one of my favorite places in the world.

A Welcome Escape

I visited the lodge in the summer of 2020. I had a lot going on at the time on top of the pandemic, so this trip was a lifesaver. As they say, “Come to disconnect and leave connected,” and that’s exactly what I needed. (And what I got!)

Quick background on the lodge: Pybus Point Lodge is a surprising but extraordinary member of the Redmond family that’s located on the inside of Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska. In the 1800s, a fish cannery operated on that land until most of the island was declared a national monument. The cannery site, however, was made private property and then divided in 1987. The lodge was built on the east portion of the land and operated as a rustic fishing lodge until it was renovated in 2019. Pybus Point Lodge is now a family-oriented luxury adventure destination with world-class fishing and unparalleled guest services.

I was super impressed by the accommodations. The cabin I shared with my family was spacious, yet cozy, with fireplaces in every room, comfy beds, and a full kitchen and living room with leather couches, a TV, and big windows that looked out onto the bay. The bathroom was nicer than my bathroom at home. Also, I’m a girl who appreciates little touches like chocolates on a pillow, so I was happy to be greeted by a little raspberry-filled Ghiradelli bite.

The entire staff, from captains to dock hands to waitstaff to housekeeping, was always friendly, helpful, and accommodating. They put this experience over the top!

Mckella in front of pybus

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a gym, washers and dryers in the cabins, and an outdoor hot tub where you enjoy a nice hot soak with a stunning view of the bay.

While the lodge is a wonderful place to relax, the real adventures are the excursions.

I could write for pages and pages about my amazing week at Pybus, but you’re a busy person with things to do, so I’ll stick to the highlights (in no particular order):

Highlight #1: Fishing

When we arrived by seaplane from Juneau, the friendly staff gave us a quick orientation and helped us grab our rubber boots and rain gear. The kitchen staff had already made delicious sandwiches for us to take in our day bags. And these aren’t the sad sammies you used to brown-bag to elementary school, but good sandwiches with gourmet ingredients and enough heft to get you through the day.

Then we boarded the boats, which were surprisingly comfortable. There was plenty of sitting room, wrap-around decks, and built-in bathrooms.

Mckella holding a Halibut fish

It was a bright, sunny day, and you could see for miles around. All those stunning photos you’ve seen of the Alaskan wilderness? It looked exactly like that. Picture vast stretches of ocean with mist-shrouded blue mountains in the distance, and occasional islands covered in towering evergreen trees. “Breathtaking” is an understatement.

We spent the day fishing for rockfish, halibut, and salmon. Now, this is not the kind of fishing where you stick your pole in the water and hope you catch something. You’re going to be busy. I never had my line down for more than a minute before I was hauling something out of the water. As my mom said, “This isn’t fishing, this is catching.”

I’m really not into fishing, but I still had an amazing time. The captains knew all the best spots for catching and somehow managed to give us all plenty of attention and instruction. (Not to brag, but Captain Jamie said I had perfect form as I reeled in my first halibut.)

Side note: If you have spaghetti noodle arms like mine, I highly recommend a fishing belt to help you brace your pole, especially for the halibut. Those suckers are STRONG, and you have to drag them up from the very bottom. (Thank me later.)

At the end of your day, you can also ask the staff to prepare your catch for your dinner that night! I enjoyed my first halibut with some delicious romesco sauce and a side of roasted veggies.

Highlight #2: Whales, Whales, Whales

image of three whales

While the fishing was a blast, what I really wanted was to see whales, and Alaska is THE place for whale watching. Not long after we started fishing, I noticed the plume of a humpback whale’s water spout in the distance. I started squealing and doing a little happy dance on the boat. A whale! In real life! The captain immediately brought me some binoculars so I could get a better look.

Then we saw another. And another. I soon realized that whales in Alaska are like deer in the Rocky Mountains. They’re everywhere. And they’re HUGE. You really can’t comprehend how massive these creatures are until you see them in person. Even from far away, their size astonished me.

One of the most jaw-dropping moments was watching a pod of about six orcas through the binoculars. This group included several adults with dorsal fins taller than me and a few younger ones trailing the grown-ups. As I watch the orca fins slicing through the water, I noticed a humpback arcing out of the waves in the distance, followed by its speckled fluke sinking into the water. Two different whale species in a single view through the binos. How incredible is that?!

image of a whale

We saw even more whales the next day on our way to the Sawyer Glacier and some of the nearby waterfalls. As we cruised through the passage, I sat on the back of the boat (you’ll definitely want your rain gear for this) and watched water spouts, shining gray backs sliding in and out of the waves, and massive flukes flipping over as whales dived. After a while, I noticed that being surrounded by whales started to feel commonplace and ordinary. But the novelty of even being in a place where this was common never got old.

Highlight #3: Sawyer Glacier

I highly recommend taking this day trip. Not only is the glacier itself incredible to see, but the ride is also an adventure in itself.

It takes several hours to get there, especially if someone (definitely not me) keeps asking the captain to get closer to the whales. We also stopped to view and photograph some of the waterfalls along the way.

It got colder as we got closer to the glacier, and we started noticing chunks of ice floating in the water. Not dangerous, scary Titanic icebergs, but smaller ones that gave us a taste of what was to come. I noticed that the icebergs varied in color, and the captain told me that the older ice is a more intense shade of blue. So the ice that’s bright Otter Pop blue had been frozen for millions of years!

Then, we arrived at the actual glacier. I wasn’t prepared for the sheer scale of this towering mountain of ice. The lower parts of this gargantuan ice wall were electric blue, growing gradually lighter toward the top, and finished off with a top coat of fresh, white ice and snow, like frosting on a cake. It was truly stunning. I could have sat and just looked at it for hours.

The other thing I didn’t expect was the noise. You wouldn’t think glaciers would be noisy, but every few minutes, there’d be a sound like a cannon blast, and a chunk of ice would break off and fall, almost in slow motion, into the water, kicking up a huge splash. I don’t know what that says about the health of the glacier, but it was amazing to see and hear.

I was also excited to see all the seals sunning themselves on the smaller icebergs. (Can you tell I love animals?) Most of them were shy and slunk into the water, but a few brave ones hung out as we got closer. Wildlife and incredible geographic features? That’s my kind of adventure!

Seals on ice berg

Choose Your Own Adventure

These were the highlights of my Pybus Point stay, but they have tons of activities to choose from.

You can fish all day every day if you want, visit natural hot springs, tour nearby glaciers and waterfalls, and hike through beautiful temperate rainforests. There’s also river fishing, crabbing, bear watching (safely from a boat, don’t worry), kayaking, and lots more.

The lodge is also a great place to spend some alone time. I never really adjusted my sleep schedule, so I enjoyed spending bright, early mornings on the cabin’s front porch, painting the bay in my watercolor journal.

At the end of your trip, the lodge sends you home with a few cases of fileted, vacuum-sealed, frozen fish from your adventures. Honestly, I can’t think of a better souvenir!

It’s Time to Check Alaska Off Your Bucket List

image of Mckella smiling

I could go on and on about Pybus Point and Alaska in general, but what I really want to say is this: go.

If you know that spending a few days in one of the most beautiful places on earth, with some of the kindest humans out there would fill your cup and nourish your soul, I can’t recommend Pybus enough. It was there when I was in serious need of unplugging and healing, and I know it can do wonders for your state of mind as well.

If Alaska is on your bucket list, there’s no better way to experience it than at Pybus Point Lodge. The landscape, accommodations, service, and overall experience are unparalleled. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and I hope I get to go back someday! Check out what other folks have to say about their experience there.

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Comments (2)

Kathy T Adkins

I am trying to talk my husband into an Alaskan trip for our 50th anniversary next summer/fall. Could you send me some information on the Lodge and any day trips that may be available. Or send me a link.
Thank you!

Redmond Life:
Hey Kathy,
Yes! This is the Pybus Point Lodge website:


Thank you for this wonderful insight, and sharing your adventure with all of us dreaming of the day that we are able to visit our last Frontier State.
Redmond Life:
Hey Yvonne, Of course! We appreciate you:) Hopefully you will be able to visit soon!