US Forest Service – Tongass Ranger Station

Welcome to the Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest national forest. The Tongass 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.

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Coast Mountains and Canadian border on the east, the lush greenery of the Tongass National Forest spans 500 miles of Southeast Alaska. Comprising the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, the Tongass is a place filled with islands and salmon streams, where towering mountains sweep down into thick old-growth forest and granite cliffs drop into deep fjords.

At roughly the size of West Virginia, the Tongass National Forest is also the largest national forest in the U.S. and home to approximately 70,000 people living in 32 communities, including the state capital, Juneau.

Alaska Natives have continuously inhabited the Tongass for more than 10,000 years, residing with salmon, bears, wolves, eagles, and whales. The first nations include the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian. Living from the land is still a way of life here, a cultural tradition as well as a necessity, supported by the abundance of fish and wildlife in the region.

People from all over the world are passionate about the Tongass. The Forest Service strives to find the right balance, so that people may continue to find both inspiration and a way of life in this vast, unparalleled place.

– excerpt taken from the Tongass National Forest Website.