For all of us locals and lovers of the last frontier, it is no surprise at all to find out that a place in Alaska was featured on this list of ‘
The 19 Most Beautiful Places In The World Are Hidden In America‘ published by the Huffington Post. The 4.7 million acres of land that make up the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska are truly a force to be reckoned with. With land that was formed by earthquakes as well as volcanoes and its stunning features which were carved by the advance and retreat of glacial ice, this special place is one of the most beautiful sights in the entire world to behold.
The Togiak National Widlife Refuge is dominated primarily by the Ahklun Mountains and the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in the north, chilly waters of Bristol Bay in the south and the Wood-Tikchik State Park to the east. The Ahklun Mountains cover roughly 80 percent of the entire refuge. If you've heard the John Muir quote, "the mountains are calling and I must go" - you'll likely think it was drummed up after a visit to this enchanting place.
With the eastern corner located 350 air miles southwest from Alaska's largest city of Anchorage, the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge is completely road-less and only accessible via boat or plane.
The breathtakingly scenic Togiak National Wildlife Refuge is hometo 283 species of wildlife in total. This including 33 kinds of fish, 201 birds, 31 land mammals, 17 marine mammals and 1 amphibian – the wood frog. 2.3 million acres of the total 4.7 million acres are designated as the Togiak Wilderness Area which is the second largest contiguous wilderness area within the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Kanektok, Goodnews and Togiak Rivers are very popular for both wildlife viewing and fishing. If you are looking for an up-close-and-personal experience in Alaska, this special place is where you need to be.
Each year nearly 3 million salmon (including all five species) are produced from these rivers. As you can see pictured above, the migration pattern is a phenomenal sight to behold. The Togiak National Wildlife Refugre is home to 500 lakes which equate to roughly 25 acres (22 football fields) in size. Some are even deeper than 400 feet which is simply incredible. But it gets better; some of the elongated lakes in the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge are over 900 feet deep. These lakes primarily lie in glacier-scoured bedrock.
Fishing is one of the primary forms of subsistence based practices for locals in outlining villages and rural areas. Sport fishing is a very popular activity in this part of Alaska as visitors from all around the world come to enjoy world-class fishing for a variety of different fish. Trophy rainbow trout is one of the biggest bucket-list items for fly fishermen and women that seek out this renowned area.
Hiking and backcountry camping are popular activities in the area. If getting lost in paradise is your thing (with a compass to find your way back home, of course) - this is the place for you. Wild, raw Alaska at its finest. The area was formed by 'fire and ice' - volcanoes and glacial ice. As the two came together, you can see that magic began to take place.
With roughly 600 miles of coastline, you'll want to climb to the highest peak around and spend the day just feasting your eyes on the most glorious dose of eye-candy imaginable.
Flickr - Alaska Region U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Or you can venture down the mountain closer to the coastline and enjoy the fantastic terrain and wildlife viewing opportunities at Cape Peirce.
This unique area is actually home to one of only two haul-outs for Pacific walrus in North America. At one time there can be up to 12,000 male walrus spotted on the nearby rocks and beaches at one time. Hauling-out is the behavior in which the walrus will temporarily leave the water to sites on land or ice, between periods of foraging activity or for mating purposes.
Have you ever visited this beautiful area? If so, we’d love to hear about your experiences (and see your pictures, too) in the comments below!
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