The Chugach, America’s most northerly National Forest
This stunning landscape stretches across south-central Alaska, from the salty waters and snowy peaks of Prince William Sound to the fabulous salmon and trout streams of the Kenai Peninsula, covering an area the size of New Hampshire. It is one of the few places left in the world where glaciers still grind valleys into the hard rock of the earth.
A tapestry of land, water, plants, and animals.
Its geographic diversity is unique among national forests. The three distinct landscapes of the Copper River Delta, the Eastern Kenai Peninsula, and Prince William Sound are destinations for adventurers and nature enthusiasts the world over.
The “backyard” for half of Alaska’s residents...
A once-in-a-lifetime destination for a million visitors each year. You’ll find a special place here, camping with family and friends, cruising the Sound, or watching a million shorebirds. You’ll see Alaskans living and working in the national forest. They are guiding visitors on kayak adventures, working gold claims, commercial fishing for Copper River reds, following a traditional way of life.
Whether it’s your first trip or your tenth, we hope you enjoy the wild lands, wildlife, wild fish, and wild ice of the Chugach National Forest.
Prince William Sound
Kayakers sit spellbound, the world’s only witnesses to orcas slicing still ocean waters. Towering blue-white glaciers slowly grind to the sea. The rugged lands and water of the Sound challenge both spirit and body.
Visitors in kayaks, cruise ships, small boats, ferries, and float planes explore the Sound’s 3,500 miles of coastline and three million acres of ocean and land. Whether you rough it in a kayak, motor your boat through narrow channels, or watch with awe as your cruise ship glides past the landscape, you will experience one of the planet’s extraordinary places.
Four communities are gateways to your explorations. Whittier is an hour’s drive south of Anchorage, through the Whittier Tunnel. Day-cruise boats, the Alaska state ferries, and boat and kayak outfitters all work out of Whittier. From Whittier, take the ferry across the Sound to Valdez or Cordova. From Valdez you can drive back to Anchorage, a great scenic tour.
Sixteen rustic Forest Service cabins are available in the Sound, accessed by boat or plane. Each cabin offers its own blend of scenery and activities. Fishing and hunting charters ply the southwestern Sound out of Seward.
A journey into Prince William Sound feeds the senses and the spirit and will forever be a part of your life story. Fish the lakes or streams. How about watching from your cabin porch as fishermen pay out their nets? Beach combing and berry picking, spying otters with your binoculars, or having a cup of coffee at your hunting camp—a cabin trip will create memories of a respite from modern life.
In the summer Forest Service naturalists are on board state ferries and some day cruise boats, sharing their knowledge of the human history and natural history of the Sound. There are many archæological remains in the Sound. If you come across something, please leave the site undisturbed.