Misty Fjords National Monument

Misty Fjords without the mist.
Photo by: get directly down, Creative Commons

The Misty Fjords National Monument was inaugurated by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. This wide area of 9,246 square kilometers is protected by the United States Forest Service. Most of the area is designated as wilderness but 614 square kilometers of it is the Quartz Hill molybdenum deposit. This is quite possibly one of the largest mineral deposits today.

The area is so remote that visitors usually opt to see the area on cruise ship tours or from above operated by tour operators in Juneau or Ketchikan. It would be impossible for large cruise ships to navigate through the small twisting channels of Misty Fjords. Smaller cruise ships are capable of entering the waters. Visitors who are looking for adventure can opt to spend a few days, or more, exploring the area by kayak.

The reason behind the name of Misty Fjords is because the area is often covered by Mist and clouds. This is one area where you will often see bald eagles grabbing salmon out of the water. These dark-green waters are also home to an abundance of jelly-fish.

Two of the most popular destinations within Misty Fjords are Rudyerd Bay and Eddystone Rock. Cliffs that are almost vertical surround Punchbowl Cove in Rudyerd Bay while New Eddystone Rock is the core of an extinct volcano.

This National Monument may be a wilderness but the experience of seeing a wilderness has now greatly diminished. Thousands of visitors every week flock to see the beauty of the national park. The sheer amount of visitors has really diminished the wilderness experience for some people. Some groups have raised their concerns over the steadily growing number of visitors in the area. They are calling for a better planned tourism schedule so that the wilderness experience can still be appreciated by other visitors.

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