Alaska Nature January 16, 2017
by Courtney The Rainforest Getaway In Alaska That’s Hard To Get To, But Worth The Trip
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, this
one little town in the Last Frontier is one of Alaska’s best kept secrets. In every aspect of the word, Sitka is truly a gem of a town. Not only is the town filled with rich history and unlimited outdoor recreational activities, but it offers panoramic beauty in every single direction you look. Although it many be a bit challenging to get to, we are certain that once you visit, you’ll never want to leave.
Located on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island is the undeniably charming island town of Sitka.
The population of Sitka sits just under about 9,000 year round residents.
In fact, a very unique fact about Sitka is that it is actually the largest city-borough in the United States with a land area of 2,870.3 square miles and a total area (including water) of 4,811.4 square miles .
The only way into Sitka is via air travel or water travel.
If you decide to fly in, you'll be blown away the towering mountain views lined with the lush rainforest of the Tongass National Forest.
Many locals that live in neighboring Southeast Alaska towns choose to access Sitka via personal boat.
The large boat harbor makes it easy for travelers to come in and out all year long, although the snowy winter months definitely cause travel to slow down a bit.
Others choose to access Sitka via cruise line or the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry system.
The saltwater fishing industry is a large attraction to this magical island escape. Visitors enjoy fishing for salmon, yellow-eye, cod and much more!
Watch as bald eagles soar in the sky as you spend your days and nights out fishing on the saltwater.
Wildlife viewing on Sitka is absolutely remarkable. It'll be impossible not to smile when you lay your eyes on a Sitka Black-tailed Deer or a large bear searching for food.
Many also enjoy viewing marine mammals such as otters, sea-lions and whales as they swim around in the salty water.
The Sitka Sound Science Center is a wonderfully educational place to check out the aquatic ecosystems of Alaska.
Other really neat local wildlife attractions include the Alaska Raptor Center and the Fortress of the Bear educational bear rescue center.
Sitka is filled with rich history. The Sitka National Historical Park preserves the site of a battle between invading Russian traders and indigenous Tlingit, which happened in the 1800s.
The Tlingit and Haida totem poles that stand along the park’s scenic coastal trail will blow you away with their incredible detail from top to bottom.
Many are surprised to learn that Sitka is actually a very popular surfing spot for those strong enough to brave the chilly temps of the Alaskan waters.
Another very popular recreational activity in Sitka is kayaking. Hop around the island and enjoy many areas with secluded beaches and hiking trails that are off the beaten path.
Hiking on Sitka is absolutely EPIC! It is also one of the most incredible ways to enjoy the bountiful untouched wilderness areas.
Indigo Lake which is located about ten miles southeast of central Sitka is one of the most enchanting day-hike experiences that anyone can have while visiting this gem of an island.
Whale Bay on Sitka is a great place to enjoy a peaceful mountain climbing experience that will lead you to the most breathtaking, unforgettable views once you get to the top.
No matter what you choose to do while visiting Sitka, you'll be spoiled by views of Mount Edgecumbe in the distance. This dormant volcano is picturesque in the distance as you watch the sunrise and sunset on a daily basis.
To check out more about the small community that is ‘big on beautiful’ – be sure to watch the lovely YouTube video below and imagine what it would be like to spend a day in this enchanting island paradise.
If you like to hike and you’re interested in visiting southeast Alaska, be sure to check out
this above ground cave that will give you a completely surreal experience. Also, you might be surprised to learn that Alaska has a rainforest, and it’s actually the largest in the United States of America.
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