Tongass National Forest

The treasures inside the Tongass National Forest are abundant and vibrant. Spanning nearly 500 miles of Alaska’s Inside Passage and bordered by the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this national forest is the largest intact temperature rainforest in the world. It is home to an exquisite array of mountains, glaciers, islands, forests, fjords, salmons, streams, and bays.

This forest received its name from the Tongass Clan of the Tlingits. Over 80% of Southeast Alaska is in Tongass, spanning over 10,000 miles of coastline and home to around 70,000 people living in 32 communities.

Tongass has 19 wilderness areas, including Russell Fjord Wilderness, Misty Fjords National Monument, and Admiralty Island National Monument. Activities about entertaining and educating residents and visitors alike.

Guests can hike miles of maintained trails through alpine meadows and dense forests or on boardwalks through muskegs. The West Glacier Trail to the Mendenhall Glacier is known as one of the most fabulous hikes in the Inside Passage. Other activities in the Tongass National Forest include ranger-led tours, kayaking, and canoeing.

Bear viewing is also popular in this forest. During the salmon spawning season, Tongass visitors gather at bear viewing sites. Equally popular are whale-watching opportunities to admire migrating humpback whales.

Wildlife at the Tongass National Forest is abundant. Sitka blacktail deer, brown bears, and wolves are the main species found here. Black bears, mountain goats, and moose are also common. Marine mammals along the shores include harbor seals, harbor porpoises, sea otters, minke, humpback, and killer whales. The waters teem with various fish, such as halibut and the five Pacific salmon species. More bald eagles live here than in other regions of the world.