The Chugach is the second largest national forest at 5.4 million acres, roughly the size of New Hampshire. It is the most northerly national forest and has three regions that stretch 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. The Kenai Peninsula is a recreational playground, with its long hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and Alaska’s most popular sport fishery area. The icy waters of Prince William Sound are a boater’s paradise. Kayakers will find stunning scenery, the opportunity to see marine wildlife, and experience wild expanses of solitude. The Copper River Delta is the largest contiguous wetland in North America. Millions of birds use this area as a rest stop or nesting ground as they wing their way north or south.
Kenai Peninsula / Russian River
For thousands of years, people have been drawn to the Russian River area. Archaeological evidence and oral history show that Alaska Natives and early settlers harvested the abundant sockeye salmon runs where people continue to fish today. The legacy of the Kenai and Russian Rivers carries on as they continue to sustain indigenous cultures, the Kenai’s modern economy, quality recreational experiences, and a diversity of fish and wildlife species.
Copper River Delta
The Copper River Delta is renowned for its vast wetland habitats, mountains, and glacier. The delta can only be accessed from other parts of the state by boat, ferry, or plane, This area is managed for the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Cordova’s Copper River kings and reds are some of the world’s finest salmon and support important commercial and personal fisheries. Birds flock here to take advantage of lands set aside as nesting grounds and as a refueling and resting stop on their way through the North American flyway.
Prince William Sound
The forest meets the sea in Prince William Sound with more than 3,500 miles of intricate coastline, hundreds of tidewater glaciers, and bountiful marine like. The beguiling blue water is an open invitation to boaters and kayakers to explore this remote land. Nearly 2 million acres in western Prince William Sound have been designated as the Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area to preserve its unique wilderness character. Immense ice fields surround this inland waterway and give rise to magnificent tidewater glaciers. Icebergs and post-glacial terrain are the hallmarks of the landscape, offering a unique glimpse of geology and post-glacial reforestation in action.