Chugach

Guide 2016

brochure Chugach - Guide 2016
CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST 2016 VISITOR GUIDE CAMPING page 10 WILDILFE page 12 VISITOR CENTERS page 15 Welcome Table of Contents Overview.....................................3 Eastern Kenai Peninsula........5 Prince William Sound..............7 Copper River Delta..................9 Camping and Cabins............ 10 Trail Guide................................ 11 Wildlife...................................... 12 Bears.......................................... 13 Backcountry Guide............... 14 Visitor Centers........................ 15 Chugach National Forest VISITOR GUIDE Forest Coordinators & Contributors: Nick Racine, Alicia King, Mona Spargo, Annette Heckart, and Charles Lindemuth Cover: [top] Summit Lake on the Kenai Peninsula. [bottom]: Kayakers in Chugach National Forest. Photos courtesy of Chugach National Forest. to the Chugach National Forest! The Chugach National Forest, one of two national forests in Alaska, serves as the “backyard” for over half of Alaska’s residents and is a destination for visitors. The lands that now make up the Chugach National Forest are home to the Alaska Native peoples including the Ahtna, Chugach, Dena’ina, and Eyak. The forest’s 5.4 million acres compares in size with the state of New Hampshire and comprises a landscape that includes portions of the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, and the Copper River Delta. The Chugach National Forest: • Is home to thousands of glaciers; • Contains over 3,500 miles of shoreline; • Includes the Copper River Delta, the largest contiguous wetlands complex on North America’s Pacific coast; • Includes the Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area at almost a third of the forest acreage; • Produces 66 million salmon a year (11% of Pacific salmon production) via stream and lake habitat for all five species of pacific salmon; • Incorporates more than 180 miles of the Iditarod National Historic Trail known as the Southern Trek; and • Provides world-class recreation and fishing experiences. This visitor guide provides an overview of opportunities available to residents and visitors. These opportunities involve your own planning or could incorporate one of our outfitters and guides who are permitted to provide quality experiences within the forest (i.e. rafting, fishing, hunting, hiking). We also provide U.S. Forest Service ranger-led interpretive programs at our Begich, Boggs Visitor Center and Crooked Creek Information Site as well as at other locations on and off the forest in partnership with tourism businesses such as: • The Alaska Railroad Whistle Stop (Anchorage/Portage) • Major Marine Tours and Phillips Cruises (Whittier) • Portage Glacier Cruises (Portage Lake) Get Out and Explore! Hop on a train for a drive-free option into the Chugach National Forest, plan a multiple day trip to access remote primitive campsites, attend the famous Cordova Shorebird Festival, or visit the world-class interactive exhibits at Begich, Boggs Visitor Center. There is something for everyone on the Chugach. From the Kenai Peninsula to Prince William Sound, to the eastern shores of the Copper River Delta, the forest is full of special places. People come from all over the world to experience the Chugach National Forest and Alaska’s wilderness. Not only do we welcome international visitors, but residents from across the state travel to recreate on Chugach National Forest lands. Whether you have an hour or several days there are options galore for exploring. We have listed just a few here to get you started. If you have a couple of hours: If you have a couple of days: Kenai Peninsula Kenai Peninsula Visit the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center • One hour south of Anchorage • World class exhibits and 20 minute film • Hike Byron Glacier Trail to view a glacier • View salmon spawning at Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform Hike the Resurrection Pass Trail • Designated a National Recreation Trail • 40 mile trail with eight rental cabins and camping spots along the route • Varied terrain from thick forest to alpine meadows Prince William Sound Go flightseeing • Experience the bounty of the sound in an afternoon • See magnificent glaciers sculpt the landscape • Breathtaking scenery Take a Kayak Trip in Prince William Sound • Practice your kayaking skills • Explore busy bird rookeries • View sea-life up close • Rent a primitive cabin Copper River Delta Copper River Delta Hike the Eyak River Trail • 2.9 mile trail begins along the Eyak River • A wonderful variety of landscapes, forest, muskeg, alder, and dense grass • Popular access site for anglers during the coho salmon runs Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival • Birder’s paradise • Millions of shorebirds • Community events, workshops, and educational opportunities Prince William Sound Printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks. The Chugach National Forest Visitor Guide is published by the Alaska Geographic Association in cooperation with Chugach National Forest. Whether it’s your first trip or your tenth, I hope you enjoy your national forest. ©Alaska Geographic USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. Produced and Designed by: Terri Marceron FOREST SUPERVISOR, CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST ALASKA REGION 241 North C Street, Anchorage, AK 99501 (907) 274-8440 or toll-free at (866) AK-PARKS 2 www.alaskageographic.org 3 Eastern Kenai Peninsula The Eastern Kenai Peninsula in the Chugach National Forest is best known for its spectacular recreational opportunities. Its forested lands, mountains, and rivers are just minutes south of Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. The peninsula is a haven for visitors and residents alike. A hiker’s paradise, it boasts hundreds of miles of maintained trails. For the fisherman, numerous opportunities exist to reel in “the big one.” The Eastern Kenai Peninsula truly holds some of the forest’s most accessible treasures. Camping Numerous camping opportunities exist along the Seward Highway, a nationally designated All-American Road and National Scenic Byway. Trail River Campground, south of Moose Pass, is located strategically between Seward and Cooper Landing for visitors who want to access recreational opportunities in both areas. The campground can accommodate modern recreational vehicles and has a day use area along the scenic shore of Kenai Lake. A large group site, available by reservation, has a volleyball area, horseshoe area, covered pavilion with fire grates, and playground equipment. Nearby are Ptarmigan Creek Trail, Victor Creek Trail, and Carter Lake Trail that access the spectacular backcountry and offer fishing opportunities in both lakes and streams. Chugach Whistle Stop The Chugach Whistle Stop is a partnership between the Chugach National Forest and the Alaska Railroad Corporation. Through this partnership, visitors have a distinctive travel and recreation experience found nowhere else in the United States. The Glacier Discovery Train takes passengers off the road system and into the backcountry of the Chugach National Forest. The Spencer and Grandview Whistle Stop stations are ready for you to enjoy. At Spencer a trail leads to a spectacular view of Spencer Glacier or you can continue to the edge of the glacier. (See page 11 for mileage details.) For those looking to overnight, 4 camping options including a group campsite, dispersed camping outside the developed recreation area, and the Spencer Bench Cabin. (Reservations required for group site and cabin.) At Grandview there is a short interpretive trail where passengers can stretch their legs. Grandview is the end of the line for the Glacier Discovery Train and returns back to Portage and Anchorage after this stop. In the future, the Chugach Whistle Stops will be connected by 30 miles of trails with the potential for a multi-day excursion into the rugged Kenai Mountains. So climb aboard and experience the Alaskan backcountry where only the Alaska Railroad and the Chugach National Forest can take you. DON’T MISS... Iditarod National Historic Trail —Southern Trek The Chugach National Forest has restored and developed 65 miles of the Southern Trek of the Iditarod National Historic Trail, connecting the communities of Seward and Girdwood. Additionally, there has been an installation of seven major bridges and numerous minor bridges, construction of one new trailhead, and restoration of one historic cabin. The trail represents a national heritage, recreation, and education resource that inspires and draws Iditarod enthusiasts, history buffs, students, and outdoor adventurers from around the world. Located less than an hour from Anchorage, the Southern Trek provides year-round opportunities to experience the spirit of the historic Iditarod. 5 Prince William Sound The forest meets the sea in Prince William Sound, where lush rainforest borders 3,500 miles of intricate coastline. Glaciers are a prime attraction in Prince William Sound with hundreds of glaciers spilling from high peaks, some flowing all the way to the ocean and calving into remote fiords. As our climate changes, the ice is retreating in many areas, providing a glimpse of unique geology and postglacial reforestation. Keeping it Wild In 1980, Congress designated roughly two million acres along western Prince William Sound as the Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area (WSA). This recognized the area’s exceptional beauty and remoteness and its possible future designation as federal Wilderness. The Forest Service maintains the area’s wilderness character to provide the public outstanding opportunities for solitude, primitive recreation, and inspiration in an undeveloped setting. Fishing, hunting, hiking, kayaking, skiing, camping, birding, and many other non-motorized activities are encouraged. The WSA only pertains to Chugach National Forest lands and does not affect motorized or other uses on marine waters. Recreating in the Sound Unplug from daily life! Enjoy kayaking, boating, glacier and marine life viewing, and ample wilderness. Established trails are few but the hiking is beautiful and short treks reach alpine areas and great views. For overnight stays, spend days exploring the alpine slopes, berry-picking, fishing, hunting, or skiing in winter, and evenings at a beach campsite. Always practice Leave No Trace principles (visit lnt.org), and note restrictions in the wilderness study area. Permits are not required for general camping and all campsites are primitive. Contain camping activities to beach gravel surfaces and clean up bits of garbage, dismantle fire rings, and replace moved rocks or materials. Four campsites in Blackstone Bay and Culross 6 Passage provide durable gravel camping surfaces. Bear cans and portable toilets are loaned free at the Glacier Ranger District. For details visit Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in Portage Valley, Glacier Ranger Station in Girdwood, or Crooked Creek Information Site in Valdez. Sightseeing If you don’t have a lot of time, a day cruise or flightseeing trip is an excellent way to see Prince William Sound. Catch a boat from Whittier or Valdez. Cruises range from four hours to several days and you can tailor the trip to meet your schedule. Flightseeing allows for a birds-eye view of the sound—flying over 15,000 square miles of fiords, inlets, glaciers, and mountain peaks. Both choices allow for great wildlife viewing and sightseeing. DON’T MISS... A Kayak Trip in Prince William Sound Experience profound silence and calm as you ply the waters of Prince William Sound. Kayaking is a wonderful way to be out on the water and explore busy bird rookeries, sealife, and breathtaking scenery. Plan a multiple day trip to access remote campsites and cabins around the Sound. Cabins can be reserved 180 days in advance. Be prepared! Help can be hours away. Review tide, bear, and water safety information before heading out, as communications may be non-existent. If you are not comfortable heading out on your own, check out local tour operators that can provide guided kayak adventures in the Sound. 7 Copper River Delta The 700,000 acre Copper River Delta, the largest contiguous wetlands along the Pacific coast of North America, is named for its abundant copper deposits. It’s woven from six glacial river systems and renowned for its vast wetland habitats, mountains, and glaciers—with Miles and Childs Glaciers calving directly into the river. Unconnected by roads, you must take a boat, ferry, or plane to Cordova to access the area. It is obvious the delta is managed for the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Bear, moose, bald eagles, and mountain goats are frequently sighted, making wildlife viewing very popular. More than two million salmon spawn in the river each year traveling almost 300 miles to return to spawning grounds. The high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids the fish require for the journey make them a favorite of cooks and chefs the world over. variety of sedges, grasses, and forbs bordered by shrub communities dominated by sweet gale. Willows, alder, and ponds dot the landscape and pockets of Sitka spruce harbor common terrestrial species of the area. The best time to catch wildflowers in bloom is from June to July along the boardwalk and road. Cabins Scattered around eastern Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta are 16 cabins where you can get away from it all. Take a short flight from Cordova and find yourself nestled on the beach in one of our beautiful cabins. The cabins do not have electricity or running water, but if roughing it doesn’t bother you, check them out. Try your hand at beachcombing for glass balls, wild berry picking, digging razor clams, or fishing. Birding The delta is for the birds—literally. Swans, geese, ducks, shorebirds, and bald eagles are all temporary or permanent inhabitants of the area. 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. The delta is an integral part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, which brings together organizations to recognize and protect critical shorebird habitat. Alaganik Slough Alaganik Slough is a unique wildflower viewing area situated on the expansive Copper River Delta. The threemile road accessing Alaganik Slough from the Copper River Highway winds through species-rich wetlands and ponds. At the end of the road you will find a developed site with a wheel chair accessible 900-foot-long boardwalk that parallels the slough. This area supports both aquatic and terrestrial plants. The wetlands here are dominated by a 8 DON’T MISS... Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival The most inviting small town in Alaska just may be Cordova, a fishing community and birder’s paradise. Each year during the first weekend in May, the community welcomes millions of shorebirds to the Copper River Delta. Community events, workshops, and educational opportunities are offered throughout the week. Travel to Cordova from Anchorage by air or if you have time for a more leisurely trip, the ferry leaves from Whittier, 60 miles southeast of Anchorage, and crosses scenic Prince William Sound (www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs). More information is available from the Cordova Chamber of Commerce (www.cordovachamber.com) 9 Kenai Peninsula Trails Camping in the Chugach Cabins There are 42 primitive (no electricity or running water) cabins located throughout the Chugach National Forest. Hiking Highlights Campgrounds Campgrounds are generally open from mid-May through September. The stay limit is 14 days except for the Russian River Campground, which has a 3-day limit from June 10 through August 20. Most campgrounds have a few sites for large RVs. Quartz Creek and Williwaw are able to handle 60-foot RVs. Backcountry camping is permitted but is limited to 14 days in one area. COST: $30-$85 a night. STAY LIMIT: 3-7 nights summer; 7 nights winter. Campground Location GET THERE: Hike, paddle, charter a plane or boat. KENAI PENINSULA HEAT: Woodstove and/or oil stove. Check before you go: A few cabins have no stove and others require you to bring your own fuel. BRING: Sleeping bags and pads, cook stove and gear, first aid, water, food, insect repellent, extra food, and clothing. # Sites A variety of trails exist in the Chugach National Forest, from short, easy day hikes to more strenuous, multiday adventures. Lost Lake Trail: This popular 7.3-mile trail leads to the beautiful alpine Lost Lake and neighboring small lakes and ponds that populate the hills to the east. Mount Ascension is aptly named as it towers more than 3,000 feet in the west. A favorite backcountry run takes place here every summer. The area is still snow-covered into late June. The trail is steep and difficult, but the views and open cross-country walking make it worth the effort. Heney Ridge Trail: This local favorite will have you waxing lyrical about its merits. The fact that the trail is a mere 6 miles out of the town of Cordova belies the beauty of Heney Ridge. As you make your way through the oldgrowth forest with massive moss-covered Sitka spruce, you cross the oldest split log bridge in the area and begin your way through a series of switchbacks. The views from the switchbacks tantalize you as they come in and out of focus. Two and a half miles sees you at the top knoll with great views of Orca Inlet. If you are still feeling strong, continue another mile and a half to the top and reward yourself with a knockout view of the Gulf of Alaska and Kayak Island. Cooper Creek 26 Crescent Creek 9 Porcupine 34 Trail of Blue Ice: A walk in the woods that is fun for the whole family Primrose 7 Ptarmigan Creek 16 Quartz Creek 45 CAMPGROUND REGULATIONS Russian River 84 is waiting for you in Portage Valley. The wide trail allows for side-by-side strolling and has an accessible, smooth surface of gravel, pavement, or wood decking. The views are spectacular as you walk along the creek and through glacial valleys. You can hike or bike the round-trip from Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform to Moose Flats, or customize your trip with a 3-mile loop that begins and ends at Portage Lake. Store all foods, beverages, garbage, pet food, cooking or food storage Tenderfoot Creek 35 Trail River 91 EMERGENCY: No phones, no radios, and cell phone coverage is not guaranteed. Be prepared. equipment in a vehicle, food locker, or camper. Fires are allowed only in established grates. Cutting live vegetation or standing deadwood is prohibited. PORTAGE/TURNAGAIN PASS Pets must be on a leash at all times. Please dispose of feces in garbage Bertha 12 cans. Secure pet food inside a vehicle. Black Bear 12 Do not feed any wild animal, even birds. Granite Creek 19 Williwaw 60 Reservations For cabins and campground reservations call (877) 444-6777 or visit www.recreation.gov. To reserve the Spencer Bench Cabin in the summer season, mid June-mid Sept., call the Alaska Railroad 1-800-544-0552. 10 Trail Guide Nightly camping fees range from free for remote sites to $30 dependingon campground, and $150 for a large group site. Campgrounds on the Kenai Peninsula and the Portage/ Turnagain Pass area are operated by Alaska Recreation Management under permit from the Forest Service. Childs Glacier Campground is operated by the Forest Service. The trail is always open, but check-in at the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center for a map of the area and suggestions on customizing your walk. The Visitor Center is open from 9am to 6pm, 7 days a week, Memorial Day to mid-September with great exhibits, an award-winning film, and a bookstore. COPPER RIVER DELTA Childs Glacier campground cannot be accessed via the Copper River Highway due to a bridge closure. Contact the Cordova Chamber of Commerce for a list of companies that provide access to the area. Carter Lake Crescent Creek Crescent Lake Trail Devil’s Pass Falls Creek Grayling Lake Trail Gull Rock Iditarod–Bear Lake Idit.–Meridian Lakes Johnson Pass Lost Lake Primrose Ptarmigan Creek Ptarmigan Lake Rainbow Lake Resurrection Pass Resurrection River Russian Lakes Victor Creek 3.4 miles 6.2 miles 8.1 miles 10 miles 3.9 miles 1.5 miles 5.7 miles 7.5 miles 8.3 miles 23 miles 7.3 miles 7.5 miles 3.5 miles 3.6 miles 0.3 miles 38.4 miles 16.3 miles 21.8 miles 2.25 miles Whistle Stop Trails Grandview Vista Spencer Viewpoint Spencer Glacier Spencer Bench Cabin 0.2 miles 1.3 miles 3 miles 5.4 miles Girdwood/Portage Trails Byron Glacier 0.8 miles Crow Pass 4 miles Gary Williams Moraine 0.2 miles Portage Pass 2 miles Trail of Blue Ice 5 miles Upper Winner Creek 9 miles Williwaw Nature 1.25 miles Winner Creek 3.5 miles Copper River Delta Trails Alaganik Boardwalk Alaganik Slough Alice Smith Intertie Copper River Crater Lake Eyak River Haystack Heney Ridge Lake Elsner McKinley Lake Muskeg Meander Pipeline Lakes Power Creek Saddlebag Glacier Sheridan Mountain 0.2 miles 0.4 miles 6.6 miles 0.6 miles 2.4 miles 3.3 miles 0.8 miles 3.7 miles 6 miles 2.4 miles 3 miles 1.8 miles 4.2 miles 3.1 miles 2.9 miles Mileage provided are one-way distances. For more trail and camping information visit www.fs.usda.gov/chugach 11 Don’t Have a Bad Bear Day! Watchable Wildlife The Chugach National Forest is bear country. It is your responsibility to BE BEAR AWARE! • Watch for signs of bears such as tracks and scat. • Make noise to avoid surprising bears in the area. EASTERN KENAI COPPER RIVER DELTA Tern Lake Hartney Bay Located at the intersection of the Seward and Sterling highways at Milepost 37. This area hosts a myriad of animals, birds, fish, and unique plants. Common loons, bald eagles, and arctic terns share the area with a variety of songbirds and shorebirds like the northern water thrush, golden-crowned sparrow, and the greater yellowlegs. Beavers, river otters, muskrats, and salmon ply the cold, clear waters of Tern Lake. Moose, Dall sheep, and mountain goats can be seen on the surrounding mountains. Best viewing seasons: spring, summer, and fall. Located at the end of Whitshed Road, approximately 5 miles south of Cordova (not on Forest Service land). From mid-April to mid-May, visitors have the opportunity to view whirling flocks of tens of thousands of shorebirds as they rest and refuel during their long journey northward. The rest of the year brings a wide variety of songbirds and marine mammals such as harbor seals, Steller’s sea lions, and sea otters. In late summer, pink and chum salmon return to Hartney Creek to spawn. Best viewing seasons: spring and fall. Moose Flats Day-Use Site Located at Mile 1.0 on the Portage Highway. This site has a short boardwalk trail along several ponds. It is a good site for observing waterfowl that nest and rear their young in the ponds and river channels. Moose are also frequent visitors to the area and the boardwalk makes a nice observation post. Best viewing seasons: spring, summer and fall. Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform Located at Mile 4 of the Portage Highway. Spawning sockeye, chum, and coho salmon arrive in late July and remain throughout early fall. In addition to salmon, visitors may see a variety of local songbirds, bald eagles, and black and brown bears. Best viewing seasons: spring, summer, and fall. Alaganik Slough Located at Mile 17 of the Copper River Highway. An accessible boardwalk leads visitors to stunning views of both the expansive wetlands of the Copper River Delta and the surrounding mountains. A wide variety of wetland animals including trumpeter swans, moose, brown bear, and shorebirds can be seen in the area. Best viewing seasons: spring and fall. VIEWING SAFETY KEEP YOUR DISTANCE If an animal alters its behavior because of your presence, you are too close. Responsible visitors use binoculars and telephoto lenses to observe an animal’s normal behavior. RESPECT THE ANIMALS Animals often respond to repeated interference by abandoning homes, nesting sites, and even their young. Remember that we are the visitors. NEVER FEED WILDLIFE PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND Crooked Creek Information Site Located on the outskirts of Valdez at Mile 0.5 of the Richardson Highway. Pink and chum salmon return to this clear water stream each summer to spawn. Occasionally, black bears can be observed feasting on the returning fish. Best viewing seasons: summer and fall. 12 Animals that become accustomed to human food become problem animals that need to be removed from the area. Don’t leave backpacks, trash, or food where an animal might find it. DRIVE SAFELY When you see wildlife, stop to view it from a safe pullout, not from the roadway. Please do not follow an animal at close distance in your vehicle. Be alert for animals crossing the road, especially at dawn, dusk, and at night. • Travel in groups. Groups are noisier and easier for bears to detect and avoid. • Never approach a bear. This aggressive behavior on your part forces a bear to react. Harassing bears is illegal and very dangerous. • Dogs can increase your risk of a serious bear encounter. Consider leaving them at home, or keep on a leash. • Store food, trash, and personal hygiene products in provided bear-proof lockers or in your vehicle in the frontcountry. Use a bear-resistant food canister in the backcountry. Never store them in your tent. • Cook and store food at least 100 yards from your tent. Learn more about bears and bear safety. Pick up a copy of Bear Facts at any Forest Service office. • Bear spray has been found to be an effective deterrent in bear country. Become familiar with the deterrent you carry before going outdoors. FISHING IN BEAR COUNTRY Plan Ahead and Prepare • Be knowledgeable about bear behavior and the area where you will be fishing. • Avoid fishing during low light conditions when visibility is decreased. Stay Alert While Fishing • Keep stringers and belongings with you at all times. • Splashing fish attract bears. If a bear is close enough to notice splashing—stop fishing. • Do not let a bear get a hooked fish. Cut the line. Handle Your Catch Properly • • • • Bleed your fish into the water immediately. Cut carcasses into small pieces that can easily be carried by the current. Toss all fish waste into deep, fast-moving water. Procedures for handling catch differ for the Russian River (see below) Attention Anglers at the Russian River! When fishing along the banks of the Russian River or hiking along the Russian River Anglers Trail ALL possessions must be within 3 feet, all retained fish within 12 feet. Do not clean fish on the river beyond a gut and gill. Take fish out whole to clean and dispose of the waste responsibly elsewhere. Pick up a copy of the Russian River Guide at the Russian River Campground entrance station for more information. 13 Backcountry Guide BE PREPARED: Carry extra food, water, insect Begich, Boggs Visitor Center FIRE SAFETY repellent, a map, compass, a pocketknife, waterproof matches, and emergency supplies with you. • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, dry grass, or leaves DON’T take scented, spiced or smoked foods with you as they attract bears. Don’t drink untreated water— Giardia occurs in the forest. Boil all water or use a filter. • Pile extra firewood away from the fire PACK OUT: Toilet paper, used pads, tampons, and garbage. • Have a shovel handy for shoveling dirt on an out of control fire PLAN AHEAD: Always let someone know where you • Keep your campfire small are going and when you expect to return. Have a backup plan and a flexible schedule. • Be sure any matches you use are out; break them into pieces TAKE A FRIEND: Traveling alone increases your risk • Never leave a campfire unattended dramatically. Traveling in groups is recommended. • Extinguish fires completely DRESS PROPERLY: Leave your cotton at home; • Never bury a fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire • Keep plenty of water on hand synthetic pile or wool are best. Rain gear is a necessity. Bring a hat and gloves—even in the summer. STAY BACK: Icebergs are unstable and can roll over at any time. Stay away from the face of tidewater glaciers to avoid large, unexpected waves caused by falling ice. • Fires in Prince William Sound should be built in the intertidal zone, below the high tide. • If you see a fire burning out of control call 911 Planning Your Trip Visit the Alaska Geographic bookstores at the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in Portage Valley, the Crooked Creek Information Site in Valdez, or the Ranger District Offices in Girdwood and Cordova to find books, maps, films, and gifts related to the natural and cultural history of the Chugach National Forest. Chugach National Forest In the backyard of Alaska’s largest city, the Chugach National Forest is a treasure for all to enjoy. Let author Andromeda Romano-Lax lead you through its riches to discover cultural traditions, abundant wildlife, recreational opportunities, and the Forest Service’s 100-year legacy of celebrating these treasures. Item #12293001 Softcover $17.95 Hardcover $21.95 Chugach National Forest Map U.S. Forest Service 14 Hours Activities Fees Contact us 9 am to 6 pm daily Summer (Closed in winter) Information, award-winning film, exhibits, ranger-led programs and guided hikes, and Alaska Geographic bookstore. $5.00 for adults, children 15 and younger are free! Fee includes admission to movie and exhibits. Begich, Boggs Visitor Center 800 Portage Lake Loop Portage Valley, AK 99587 (907) 783-2326 Crooked Creek Information Site The Crooked Creek Information Site near Valdez perches between Prince William Sound and the forested mainland. The site is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and is a popular place to watch wildlife and spawning salmon. There is an underwater salmon camera at the site that can be viewed on YouTube in the summer. Hours Activities Contact us 9 am to 6 pm Tuesday-Sunday, closed Monday Summer (Closed in winter) Information, viewing platform, exhibits, ranger-led programs, and Alaska Geographic bookstore. Crooked Creek Information Site Mile 0.5 Richardson Highway Valdez, AK 99686 (907) 835-4680 Legacy of Land, Sea and Sky Item #12293001 Discover Alaska Collection This overview map of the entire 5.4-million-acre Chugach National Forest indicates land ownership, public-use cabins, campgrounds, hiking trails, and includes information on the area’s human and natural history. Pins, patches, magnets, hats Item #35025002 Show your support for Chugach National Forest with these collectable designs: Portage Valley, Prince William Sound, Copper River Delta, Kenai Peninsula. Exclusively from Alaska Geographic. The Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is a world-class facility with interactive, multi-sensory exhibits, the Portage Valley Learning Center, the Alaska Geographic bookstore, and a 200-seat theater that shows the film Retreat and Renewal. Knowledgeable Forest Service interpreters provide programs on the natural and cultural wonders of the Chugach National Forest. During your visit, be sure to take a cruise on the MV Ptarmigan for a spectacular view of Portage Glacier. $10.00 Also available online at alaskageographic.org Forest Partners Not only is the Chugach National Forest known for its recreation opportunities, but also for its innovative youth programs. Engaging youth across the forest in varied disciplines enables us to provide meaningful outdoor career experience and create public stewards for the future. Chugach Children’s Forest is a unique partnership between Alaska Geographic and the Chugach National Forest; it empowers and enables Alaskan youth to explore and care for their public lands. We work with the Student Conservation Association and Environment of the Americas to engage youth and young adult interns in forest-wid

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