Frost covered Dude Mountain trail with sunset glow
A frosty Dude Mountain - Photo courtesy of Sheila Spores,
Forest Management Staff Officer


Welcome to the Tongass National Forest

The Tongass is the nation’s largest national forest and covers most of Southeast Alaska, surrounding the famous Inside Passage and offers unique chances to view eagles, bears, spawning salmon, and the breath-taking vistas of “wild” Alaska. Hike or take a sled-dog ride on a glacier, stroll along boardwalk trails, fish in streams or the ocean, or relax at a remote cabin. If spying some truly wild wildlife is on your bucket list, visit the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and Steep Creek Bear Viewing area in Juneau, Anan Wildlife Observatory in Wrangell, Fish Creek Bear Viewing Area in Hyder, or Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area on Admiralty Island, or immerse yourself in native culture at the stunning Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, located just steps away from the cruise ship docks in downtown Ketchikan.

How to get a Christmas tree from the Tongass National Forest

Forest users do not need a permit to cut a Christmas tree on Tongass National Forest for personal use. A household may remove one Christmas tree per year. Make sure to check the area Motor Vehicle Use Map to confirm the tree is in a Forest Service land management area before cutting:

There are no regulations on what tree species or size to cut. However, there are a few rules people are asked to follow:

  • Trees may not be cut from any developed Forest Service recreation sites
  • Trees may not be cut from the Heen Latinee Experimental Forest.
  • Trees may not be cut from land within 330 feet of a bald eagle nest (often located near water.)
  • Trees many not be cut within 100 feet of a salmon stream or a road.
  • Trees should be no larger than seven inches in diameter at the stump
  • Cut trees as close to the ground as possible, below the lowest limb or 12 inches from the ground.
  • Do not top a larger tree.
  • Do not cut a tree and then discard it for another one found to be more desirable.
  • Christmas trees should not be harvested from muskeg areas, as regeneration in these area is very difficult to establish.
  • The tree cannot be sold, bartered or used in any commercial-type exchange for goods.

Please call the local district for more information

Recent News


Central Tongass (CT) Project

The Forest Service is planning to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze a variety of resource management actions to implement over a 15-year period. The Central Tongass project area encompasses National Forest System (NFS) lands and lands of other ownership, as authorized by other land owners, within the Petersburg and Wrangell Ranger Districts (3.7 million acres) to facilitate integrated and economical projects across all lands. Other than for invasive treatments, Wilderness will not be considered for resource management actions. The project area includes, but is not limited to, Mitkof, Kupreanof, Kuiu, Wrangell, Zarembo and Etolin Islands and the Alaska mainland.

Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project (POW LLA)

Prince of Wales sub alpine with ferns and trees

The purpose of the POW LLA Project is to improve forest ecosystem health on Craig and Thorne Bay Ranger Districts, help support community resiliency, and provide economic development through an integrated approach to meet multiple resource objectives. The proposed action will be developed through extensive public involvement to meet the Purpose and Needs for the project, with activities that will occur over the course of 10 to 15 years. Input from the tribes and the public will help determine the location and types of activities, and how extensively they will occur across the landscape. For FAQs and answers, please see our Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project (POW LLA) FAQs page


Angoon YCC crew starts season off on the Kanalku Trail Project

Angoon YCC crew poses on a log, forest in the background

The first trip of the 2019 season, and for many their first backpacking/camping trip, was the Kanalku Trail Project. The crew was dropped by boat at the Kanalku fish camp.

Forest Service, Ketchikan Indian Community to cooperate on South Revilla Project

Norman Skan Earl Stewart Nov 2019

The Tongass National Forest and Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on November 18, 2019.


Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) Team restores Spasski Creek

HNFP crew members

In June, the Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) successfully restored 300 meters of Spasski Creek, a priority watershed.

Just for Kids

Childrens Forest Logo

Imagine a coastal rainforest, wet, mossy, teeming with life, and intact. Pull on your rubber boots, we are going on a hike to get to know the Tongass National Forest.

View All Spotlights

water and mountain view with trees, eagle, wildflowers below

Tongass Visitor Guide 2019

water and blue sky flanked by mountains

State of the Tongass 2018