The Wonders of Tongass National Forest

When talking about scenic and picturesque forests, Tongass National Forest will always tend to crop up in a conversation. Spanning over 500 miles in the southeast part of Alaska, it is considered to be the largest intact temperate forest. Also one of the largest in the United States, this majestic rainforest got its name from the Tlingit Indian clan of Tongass. Here are more facts about the Tongass National Forest that will certainly entice nature lovers wherever you may be.

Abundant Ecosystem

If there is one thing that Tongass National Forest can be proud of, it is the abundance of its ecosystem. Considered to be the largest temperate forest not just in the US but in the whole world, it is a mosaic of towering species of trees and timbers creating a picture-perfect view for all visitors. Aside from spruces, cedars, and hemlocks, there are a wide variety of mosses and ferns that drape the forest land. Also thriving in this diverse ecosystem are evergreens, conifers, and wild berries.

Since it is located in the coldest state of the US, it is no surprise that some of the parts Tongass National Park are covered with ice. Other parts, however, are enclosed by wetlands, marsh, and rocks. This unique combination makes it more exciting to stride along this stunning environment. One of the most famous spots Mendenhall Glacier that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors year by year.


There’s nothing more fulfilling view for every wildlife lover than seeing rare species of animal live freely in their natural habitat. This is exactly what will greet you in Tongass National Park. Since it houses various bodies of water, it holds some of the precious species of Pacific Salmon, halibut, and other fishes endemic to this area. Get ready to see Grizzly Bears, Bald Eagles, Marbled Murrelets, and black-tailed deer running around the jungle.

What to Do in Tongass National Forest

Aside from appreciating the beauty of nature and the diversity of its ecosystem, you will never run out of activities when you visit Tongass National Park. One of the most popular activity is watching migrating humpback whales. A charter boat will ferry to a specific location where there are higher chances of seeing these marine creatures in their natural habitat. Fish and Anan Creek offers you the best place to see bears during the salmon spawning season.

Mountain trekking is also a famous activity that visitors get to enjoy in Tongass National Forest. There are more than 20 trails that you can choose from depending on your skill level and chosen view. West glacier trail offers a breathtaking view of Alaskan mountains. Finally, indulge yourself in kayaking and canoeing activities in a chain of lakes within the Admiralty Island. Misty Fjords Waterfall also offers an amazing view for kayakers with a soaring waterfall as your backdrop. With these activities, there will never be dull moments inside the Tongass National Forest.


Over the past decades, logging has remained as the biggest threat to Tongass National Forest. Illegal loggers heartlessly targeting old and rare species of trees. In fact, about nine percent of the forest has been declared as affected by this activity. If continued, this does not only endanger the fate of the forest by more importantly the wildlife that dwells within. Good thing, measures are now being taken to ensure that Tongass National Forest will be protected for the years to come.


Our earth has a vast of forests that we can explore and enjoy. However, due to the negligence of some, there is a serious chance that the next generations may not see them anymore. Hence, everyone must do our own share in taking care of these natural wonders.


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