Just 22 miles (35 kilometers) outside of Ketchikan lies the vast and remote Misty Fjords National Monument—a collection of sea cliffs, deep-cut fjords, glacial valleys, thick rainforests, and roaring waterfalls. Accessible only by boat or floatplane, Misty Fjords is an outdoor playground for hikers, kayakers, and day cruisers.
As the second largest wilderness in the National Forest System, Misty Fjords National Monument is an ideal day trip from the nearby city of Ketchikan. Its remote location leaves visitors with two options for experiencing the national monument: boat, or plane. Flightseeing tours by seaplane are a popular option, especially for those pressed for time, and there’s nothing like seeing the wilderness from above to get a sense of its sheer size. Visitors can cruise over the waters of Behm Canal, Walker Cove, Punchbowl Cove, and Rudyerd Bay— ideal locations for spotting bears, bald eagles, Sitka deer, mountain goats, killer whales, and Dall porpoises. For the full Alaskan experience, combine a flight tour with a feast of sweet Dungeness crab.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Many seaplane tours include a guaranteed window seat for plenty of photo ops.
- Flightseeing tours from Ketchikan often last several hours.
- Many tours to Misty Fjords National Monument include hotel pickup and drop-off in Ketchikan.
- The area receives lots of rainfall, so be sure to dress accordingly.
How to Get There
Many of points of interest within the national monument can be accessed via Behm Canal, the main waterway through the heart of the wilderness area. Most visitors arrive by cruise ship or fly over the monument in seaplanes from Ketchikan or Juneau, Alaska.
When to Get There
Most guided tours to Misty Fjords National Monument operate only during the summer months (May through September).
Shore Excursions from Ketchikan
Misty Fjords is one of the most popular shore excursions for cruise ship passengers who arrive at Ketchikan. These tours often include a seaplane flyover and landing at one of the park’s lakes or fjords, and give travelers peace of mind with a guaranteed on-time return to their cruise ship.