Visiting Southeast Alaska
The Tongass National Forest is a place of great beauty and natural wonder. From ice glaciers to sandy beaches, mountain tops to muskeg lowlands, the Tongass spans millions of acres along the Southeast Alaska panhandle. Whether bear viewing, fishing, or just going for a walk, it’s a place where you can truly “get away from it all.”
How to get here
By Air: There is Alaska Airlines jet service to Yakutat, Juneau, Gustavus (summer), Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell and Ketchikan. Other towns have scheduled commuter air service. The smallest places are served by charter air service.
By Water: The Alaska Marine Highway ferries serve Skagway, Haines, Juneau, Angoon, Hoonah, Sitka, Pelican, Tenekee, Petersburg, Wrangell, Kake, Hollis, Ketchikan, Metlakatla and Hyder. The Interisland Ferry Authority serves Ketchikan and Hollis (Prince of Wales Island).
By Land: Of all of the communities in Southeast Alaska, only Skagway, Haines and Hyder are connected to the continental road system via Canada.
The Tongass National Forest is located in the coastal rainforest of Southeast Alaska. Summer temperatures usually range from the mid 40s to mid 60s (F) with extremes dipping into the 30s and “soaring” into the 80s. Annual rainfall in downtown Juneau averages over 90 inches and in Ketchikan over 120! Needless to say, good rain gear and warm clothing are essential. Layers of wool or synthetic clothing and rubber boots are standard dress in all the areas of Southeast Alaska.
Whether you are going on a short walk from town or on a long expedition into the backcountry, we ask that you embrace Leave No Trace and that you encourage other to do the same. By serving as responsible stewards we can preserve the integrity of the Tongass National Forest and enjoy the wild Alaska experience for years to come.
The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What you Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors