Endicott River Wilderness
Located in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska.
Location: The Endicott River wilderness comprises 98,729 acres on the Chilkat Peninsula, on the west side of Lynn Canal, 45 miles northwest of Juneau and 30 miles south of Haines, AK. The western portion of the area bounds Glacier Bay National Park for about 40 miles.
Access: The most common access is by boat to the confluence of the Endicott River and Lynn Canal, then by foot 2 1/2 miles to the eastern boundary of the Wilderness. Boat access is often limited to spring and summer because of the dangers of winter storms in Lynn Canal. Limited air access by wheeled plane near the head of the Endicott River is possible.
Description: The area is typical of the rugged, recently glacial-influenced Chilkat Peninsula. The Endicott River, the central feature of the wilderness, has its source in broad brush-covered flats within the Chilkat Mountain Range. It then flows easterly through a deep, glacially carved river canyon. Elevations range from near sea level where the river flows into the saltwater of Lynn Canal up to 5,280 feet near Mount Young in the northwest portion of the area. The upper reaches are above timberline with active glaciers spreading over the common boundary with Glacier Bay National Park to the west and southwest.
Average annual precipitation is 92 inches with highest precipitation in the fall and the lowest through early spring (April-June).
The spruce-hemlock rainforest of the valley floor is interspersed with muskeg bogs or swampy areas typical of southeast Alaska. Much of the upper drainage is dominated by small slow-growing trees, thick brush, and alpine vegetation. The Endicott River drainage supports black and brown bears, mountain goats, and a limited number of moose.
Hundreds of bald eagles use the area along the river during the salmon runs. Eagle nesting density is high. Deer are present; however, the population fluctuates due to deep snow on their limited winter range. The Endicott River supports chum, coho, and pink Salmon.
Facilities: No facilities exist in the Wilderness.
For further information contact: Sitka Ranger District - Tongass National Forest
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
Endicott River Wilderness Travel Q&A
What's your favorite hike? Where's the best campsite? Join the conversation! Ask Your Question