Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage
Southeast Alaska, often known as the Inside Passage’s Alaska Panhandle, stretches five hundred miles from Mt. Fairweather’s base to Misty Fjords National Monument. Canada is to the northeast, whereas the ocean is to the southwest. With Sitka spruce and cedar forests, verdant mountains, sheer fjords, and tidal water glaciers connected by startlingly blue seas, it is indeed a breathtakingly beautiful landscape.
The Fairweather Mountains
On May 3, 1778, Captain James Cook named Mount Fairweather, in honor of the nice weather he witnessed on his voyage. Even though Southeast Alaska weather regularly obscures the Fairweather Mountains, they can be viewed from hundreds of miles away on clear days. Mount Fairweather, which rises over Bartlett Cove at the Glacier Bay Park headquarters, can be viewed from almost seventy miles away.
Misty Fjords National Monument
Misty Fjords National Monument is a beautiful mosaic of sea cliffs, steep fjords, and rock walls jutting 3,000 feet straight out of the ocean, barely twenty-two miles east of Ketchikan. The monument is surrounded by a thick rainforest that develops on vertical slopes from sea level to mountaintops and gets its name from the area’s continuous precipitation.
Tongass National Forest
The Tongass National Forest, which covers all Southeast Alaska and borders the renowned Inside Passage, offers a rare opportunity to observe eagles, bears, spawning salmon, and spectacular views of Alaska’s “wild” side. Hike, sled, or stroll along boardwalk tracks on a glacier.