18,000 years ago much of Southeast Alaska was covered by thousands of feet of ice. Take a float plane trip from Ketchikan to Misty Fjords National Monument and notice that all the mountains below you have been ground down by ice. All the ones above still retain their jagged volcanic appearance. As the ice retreated over thousands of years, it gouged out the softer rock, and left the harder rock, creating a country of fjords. That’s what Misty Fjords National Monument is all about.
Seeing what the glaciers left behind is as stunning as viewing the glaciers themselves. Imagine the force it took to carve U-shaped valleys with 3,000-foot sheer cliffs rising above the water (not to mention that they extend another 1000-feet below water!)
This is one of the last places on earth where you can explore vast swaths of rugged, remote area untouched by humans. If you’re in Ketchikan, be sure to explore the monument. From quick flightseeing trips to multi-day excursions, there are a number of ways to get here and experience the dramatic, pristine wilderness.