Forest Facts

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Forest-wide Facts

  • The Chugach National Forest is the farthest north and west of all the national forests, and 30% covered in ice
  • The Forest has 96 separate watersheds
  • There are 41 public use cabins and more than 500 miles of trail
  • The Chugach is the size of the state of New Hampshire, yet only has 90 miles of Forest Service roads
  • Prince William Sound is the farthest north that cutthroat trout and yellow cedar are found
  • All five North American species of Pacific salmon are found on the Chugach: king, red, silver, chum, and pink
  • The Copper River carries 1/3 the sediment carried by the Mississippi River, but its drainage basin is only 1/40th as large
  • Precipitation ranges from 20" on the Kenai Peninsula to over 300" on Montague Island in Prince William Sound
  • In a distance of just 10 miles, the forest rises from sea level to 13,100 feet at Mount Marcus Baker
  • There are 1800 miles of anadromous streams and 48,100 acreas of documented anadromous fish lakes
  • Approximately 2% of the total forest watershed has roads
  • Approximately 500,000 people visit the Chugach for recreation each year
  • The Chugach has two public information centers: Begich Boggs Visitor Center in Portage Valley and Crooked Creek Information Center in Valdez


By geographic area…

Kenai Peninsual (21% of the Forest)

  • Accessible from the All American Seward Highway and by the Alaska Railroad passenger and Whistle Stop Service
  • Encompasses the Southern Trek of the Iditarod National Historic Trail
  • Headwaters of the Kenai River and encompasses Kenai Lake
  • The Russian River hosts 150,000 anglers each year
  • 5000 moose on the Kenai Peninsula (1000 of which are on the Forest)


Prince William Sound (48% of the Forest):

  • 3500 miles of shoreline
  • 20 tidewater glaciers
  • Encompasses the 2.2 million acre Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area
  • 3-5 thousand bald eagles live in Prince William Sound - the equivalent of the entire bald eagle population in the Lower 48
  • Over 200 active seabird colonies


Copper River Delta (31% of the Forest):

  • Largest contiguous wetlands complex on North America's Pacific coast
  • Stretches across 700,000 acres, draining a watershed of 26,500 square miles, an area the size of West Virginia
  • The largest unit in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, and considered on of the most essential shorebird habitats in the world


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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/about-forest/?cid=STELPRDB5053239