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Tongass National Forest Tours and Activities

Tongass National Forest
Encompassing 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is the largest forest in the United States. Originally the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve, a project of Theodore Roosevelt started in 1902, the park was developed and renamed in 1908 to pay homage to the Tongass Clan of the Tlingit Indians. Visitors to Tongass National Forest have an enormous array of activities and experiences to choose from: bird-watching, trekking, fishing (there are five species of salmon here, among other fish), camping, visiting glaciers, lake canoeing, off-roading and just relishing pure fresh air and pristine natural beauty. In fact, there are 17,000 miles (27,359 kilometers) of lakes, creeks and rivers to enjoy within the forest. Wildlife is also prevalent, with chances to view otters, brown and black bears, wolves, eagles and Sitka black-tailed deer.

Those who truly want to experience the best of the Tongass National Forest can kayak on Amalga Harbor to see the famous Mendenhall, Eagle and Herbert glaciers while also keeping an eye out for whales, birds, seals, porpoises and sea lions. There are also opportunities for hiking and lake canoeing in the forest, which can be done in a Native American-style canoe. Before visiting the Tongass National Forest, you may want to visit the Tongass Historical Museum in Ketchikan to learn about the area’s geography and Native Alaskan heritage.

Practical Info

Tongass National Forest covers most of Southeast Alaska and surrounds the Inside Passage.
Address: Tongass National Forest, Sitka, Alaska, USA
Hours: Daily
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22 Tours and Activities to Experience Tongass National Forest

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Ketchikan Electric Bike and Rain Forest Hike Ecotour

Ketchikan Electric Bike and Rain Forest Hike Ecotour

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121
Ride an electric bike to the end of Ketchikan's 'road to nowhere' and then hike thorough a wildlife-rich rain forest on this combo eco-tour. Pedal from the marina to the end of the island's paved road system on a battery-powered bike, and then dismount to trek through the wilderness of the Tongass National Forest, following a trail that passes an active salmon-spawning stream, a waterfall, beach views, and dense foliage that's home to an array of native Alaskan wildlife.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$153.25
From
US$153.25

Misty Fjords National Monument Floatplane Tour

Misty Fjords National Monument Floatplane Tour

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78
Step off your cruise ship and into a floatplane to admire the glassy blue lakes, waterfalls, and snowcapped peaks of Misty Fjords National Monument on this shore excursion from Ketchikan. Capture bird’s-eye views of varied landscapes and spot eagles, bears and plenty of other wildlife. But that’s not all—your aerial adventure, limited to just six people per plane, includes landing on a lake or fjord.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$289.00
From
US$289.00
Taking safety measures

Ketchikan Kayak Eco-Tour

Ketchikan Kayak Eco-Tour

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285
Navigate the waterways and islands of Clover Pass on a small-group kayak eco-tour from Ketchikan. Along the way, spot native Alaskan wildlife that inhabit this protected region where the thick foliage of the Tongass National Forest meets the sea, from sea lions and migratory humpback whales to eagles' nests and exposed starfish colonies. Paddle with two guides and a small group of no more than eight people for a more personalized wildlife-watching journey.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$151.29
From
US$151.29

Ketchikan Jeep and Canoe Safari

Ketchikan Jeep and Canoe Safari

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60
After relaxing aboard your ship, this off-road Ketchikan shore excursion will pump up your adrenaline. First, steer or ride in a 4WD Jeep Wrangler® deep in Tongass National Forest. Then, at Lake Harriet Hunt, paddle with your group a Native American–style, 20-person canoe! Keep watch for deer, moose, eagles and even bears along the way. Reward your outdoor activities with a delicious snack of smoked salmon, clam chowder, fresh bread with local wild-berry jam, and hot chocolate.
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  • 4 hours
From
US$174.66
From
US$174.66

Ketchikan Rainforest Canoe and Nature Walk

Ketchikan Rainforest Canoe and Nature Walk

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40
Discover the tranquil beauty of Tongass National Forest on this 3.5-hour guided tour from Ketchikan. Paddle with a group of up to 20 passengers in a Native American–style canoe across a secluded lake, and then enjoy a nature walk through a rain forest. Gain insight into local Native American history, as well as the wildlife and plants you see along the way. A riverside snack and hotel transport are included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
From
US$108.63
From
US$108.63

Ketchikan Shore Excursion: Rainforest Canopy Ropes and Zipline Adventure Park

Ketchikan Shore Excursion: Rainforest Canopy Ropes and Zipline Adventure Park

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121
Get off your cruise ship and your adrenaline going on this half-day shore excursion to a Ketchikan zipline adventure park. Soar through the Alaskan rain forest on seven ziplines and eight canopy ropes. This natural jungle gym includes suspended logs, rope bridges, a climbing tower and staircase, meaning thrill seekers of all experience levels will share in the excitement. Round-trip port transport included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$125.00
From
US$125.00

Rainforest Zip, Skybridge & Rappel Adventure in Ketchikan, AK

Rainforest Zip, Skybridge & Rappel Adventure in Ketchikan, AK

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47
If you’re thinking, “Zipline tour? Been there, done that,” maybe you just need to up the ante. This thrilling zipline tour in Tongass National Forest will have you flying through an Alaskan rainforest canopy at heights up to 135 feet (41 meters) above ground. Across 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) of dual-line cables and three hanging bridges, you’ll have unique vantage points to look for bears feeding on salmon and watch bald eagles soar through the sky. This exciting experience from Ketchikan is limited to nine people per group so you can enjoy personalized attention from your guides.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$189.00
From
US$189.00

2 Hour Alaska Rainforest Walk and Totem Park Small Group Tour

2 Hour Alaska Rainforest Walk and Totem Park Small Group Tour

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Focus on the scenery of Tongass National Forest and Totem Park on this eco tour from Ketchikan. Traveling with a small group of just 11 people or fewer means you'll get personalized attention and plenty of time to ask questions of your guide. Follow your guide on a walk through the Alaskan rain forest and Totem Park, where you'll get views and photo ops of pristine creeks, ancient trees, and moss-covered ground. There's even a geo-caching scavenger hunt to keep kids interested and occupied.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$77.93
From
US$77.93
Taking safety measures

Traitors Cove Bear Viewing

Traitors Cove Bear Viewing

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23
Island Wings Air Service is owned and operated by Alaska veteran pilot Michelle Masden, who started flying in 1977 and began her business in Ketchikan in 1993. Island Wings takes the time and makes the effort to help you realize your Alaskan dreams. Share our love of flying through our vast Alaskan wilderness. Experience the freedom of flight over the wild grandeur of the mountains, the islands and the endless sea. In business since 1993, Island Wings takes the time and makes the effort to help you realize your Alaskan dreams. Our focus is the quality of your experience. From the handling of your reservation, to the equipment we operate, to the places we visit; we don't compromise and neither should you. The total time for this tour is 4.25 hours including: the flight, three hours onsite at Traitors Cove Bear Viewing Observatory, and fifteen minutes for the pick-up and drop-off.
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  • 4 hours 15 minutes
From
US$461.74
From
US$461.74

Misty Fjords Seaplane Tour from Ketchikan

Misty Fjords Seaplane Tour from Ketchikan

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164
The wild landscapes of the Misty Fjords National Monument are some of the most impressive in Alaska—jagged peaks, icy lakes, and dramatic glacier valleys. On this tour, enjoy unbeatable aerial views as you soar overhead in a seaplane. Listen to live commentary from your guide as you fly over mountains and waterfalls, touch down to experience the fjords up close, and enjoy plenty of opportunities to take photos.
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  • 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$280.00
From
US$280.00

Kayak and Boat Small Group Tour

Kayak and Boat Small Group Tour

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Spend a few hours experiencing Alaska’s nature and wildlife on this small group boat tour. After meeting up with a knowledgeable local guide at Alaska Kayak Company, embark on a journey through the Inside Passage. Then hop in a kayak and go exploring for black bears, humpback whales, orcas, bald eagles, and other animals. Enjoy a delicious snack of wild smoked salmon before returning to Ketchkian.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$173.34
From
US$173.34
Taking safety measures

Private Boat, Kayak, & Hike Adventure

Private Boat, Kayak, & Hike Adventure

A recent guest did us the courtesy of defining the spirit of how we operate. "If you're reading this, you've probably had the same experience we have had with some mass-market tour operators. Their excursions often feel impersonal and over-rehearsed. Without hesitation I can tell you that Tim and Mary were the most genuine, most authentically engaging tour operators we have ever had the pleasure of spending time with. I think its because their enjoyment of boating and kayaking around the beautiful islands near Ketchikan is part of their core values. Its who they are, not who they are trying to be." We go out into the ocean and forest because it is what we love to do. We bring others because we have a passion for sharing the beautiful area we call home.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$1,328.21
From
US$1,328.21
Taking safety measures

Ketchikan Helicopter Tour, Mahoney Falls

Ketchikan Helicopter Tour, Mahoney Falls

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2
This is a 20-minute tour that flies out to the legendary 1,500-ft. Mahoney Falls! Fly over Ketchikan, cruise ships, and the Tongass Narrows. Once at altitude, we fly over the Tongass National Forest (the largest National Forest in USA), Mountain Lakes, and the breathtaking Mahoney Falls waterfall. Eagles, mountain goats, and deer sightings are a possibility on this Ketchikan helicopter tour!
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  • 50 minutes
From
US$169.00
From
US$169.00

Ketchikan Helicopter Tour, Mountain Lakes

Ketchikan Helicopter Tour, Mountain Lakes

This 30-minute helicopter tour from Ketchikan gives passengers a view of the pristine Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska. This temperate rainforest provides opportunities for mountain goat and black bear sightings. The flight rounds five gorgeous lakes that are only accessible via hiking. So if you are only visiting for a short while and want to see the stunning nature areas of Alaska, this helicopter tour is for you. Optional Exclusive Landing, additional $50 per person: Add a 20-minute landing on a remote ocean beach or lake on Alaskan Native land giving you the opportunity to take photos and enjoy the peace and beauty of the forest surrounding Ketchikan.
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  • 1 hour
From
US$310.65
From
US$310.65

Helicopter Combo Tour in Ketchikan

Helicopter Combo Tour in Ketchikan

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4
This 30-minute flight is a combination of our two best tours, Mahoney Falls and Top of the World. You will fly out to a 1500 foot waterfall, with the possibility of seeing mountain goats. Then fly along the George Inlet and up to our exclusive helipad on an 1800 foot mountain with views of the Canadian Rockies and Prince of Wales Island. You will stay on the helipad for 10 - 20 minutes to take pictures and enjoy your surroundings. The remainder of the 30-minute flight flies over the Tongass Narrows, Ketchikan, and the cruise ships.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
From
US$300.26
From
US$300.26

Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion

Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion

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1
Lighthouse Excursions is a locally owned & operated Ketchikan tour company, and we pride ourselves on providing guests with an experience of Southeast Alaska through local eyes. Our Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion is a grab-bag of some of Ketchikan's top attractions, with a little something for everyone. Whether you're a lighthouse enthusiast, a history and culture buff, or love seeing wildlife in their natural environment, this tour is for you! We're passionate about where we live, and we love showing it off to guests from all over the world.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$108.95
From
US$108.95

Alaska Ocean Wilderness Expedition

Alaska Ocean Wilderness Expedition

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3
Go on an adventure as you explore the deep mysterious waters of island studded sea passages in search of wildlife aboard a rugged Zodiac expedition craft. Your experienced captain and expert naturalist will use their considerable local knowledge of the area to unlock the secrets of this biologically rich ecosystem. You will feel the ocean breeze on your face and taste the salty sea air as you skim across the waves. You will indulge your curiosity as you navigate narrow channels, next to rocky coast lines, emerald forested islands, and black sandy beaches. You will become an explorer, a mariner, an adventurer.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$165.00
From
US$165.00
Taking safety measures

Covid-19 Private Family Tour! Authentic Ketchikan Native Experience

Covid-19 Private Family Tour! Authentic Ketchikan Native Experience

Experience our home in a comfortable and safe family atmosphere! We created this Covid-19 tour for families and small party's up to 6 see Ketchikan while we maintaining the most safe measures. We will do our best! Our guides are local citizens who call this wonderful place home. We offer exclusive opportunities to see and experience the local Native Cultures of Revillagigedo Island! This is your touring experience and we will do our best to accommodate your experience.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$384.62
per group
From
US$384.62
per group
Taking safety measures

Ketchikan Jeep and Canoe Safari

Ketchikan Jeep and Canoe Safari

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15
While in Ketchikan, embark on this 4-hour adrenaline-fueled Super Saver Combo tour. Rumble along the back roads of Tongass National Forest in a 4WD Jeep Wrangler® — and keep your eyes open for bald eagles, moose, deer, and the occasional bear. Along with your group, paddle across a lake in a Native American–style canoe, and enjoy delicious snacks at a remote camp. Learn about the forest's wildlife and vegetation on a short walk through the woods. Save money and embrace the beauty of Ketchikan on this quintessential Alaskan tour.
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  • 4 hours
From
US$181.17
From
US$181.17

Rainforest Trail Bike & Hike Adventure

Rainforest Trail Bike & Hike Adventure

Join an experienced Alaskan trail guide for a mountain bike ride through the unspoiled beauty of Ketchikan’s coastal rainforest. The gently sloped, historic trail weaves through the Tongass National Forest. The three-mile-long trail includes a series of optional, fun features accessible for riders of all abilities and skill levels. Guests will enjoy an Alaskan style snack of hot clam chowder, smoked salmon, rolls and beverages. On the nature walk your guides will introduce you to Southeast Alaska’s unique old growth forest and active salmon spawning stream ecosystems.
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  • 3 hours 45 minutes
From
US$146.31
From
US$146.31

Ketchikan Rainforest Canoe and Nature Walk

Ketchikan Rainforest Canoe and Nature Walk

star-4
7
While in port at Ketchikan, explore the wilderness on this 3.5-hour rain-forest canoe-and-nature-walk shore excursion, suitable for all fitness levels. Along with your group, paddle a large Native American–style canoe across a tranquil lake in the Tongass National Forest, and gain insight into Ketchikan's Native American history. Learn about the forest's wildlife and lush vegetation on a short walk through the woods. Leave behind the modern luxuries for a peaceful experience in nature.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
From
US$115.68
From
US$115.68

Neets Bay Bear Adventure & Flightseeing

Neets Bay Bear Adventure & Flightseeing

This once-in-a-lifetime wildlife expedition with the wild black bears of Southeast Alaska is certain to charm everyone from nature-lover to photography enthusiast. Depart via an authentic Alaskan floatplane with digital CD audio systems and individual passenger headsets to Neets Bay. Neets Bay is one of the finest bear viewing locations in Alaska. The flight is over the largest National Forest in the United States. Neets Bay is also home to one of Southeast Alaska's salmon hatchery operations. During a ¼-mile guided walk along a stunning, well-maintained nature trail through the Alaska rain forest, your naturalist guide will describe the habits of the bear and the lifecycle of their favorite meal - salmon. A secure, covered viewing area allows for up-close observation of the bears in their natural habitat among the wilderness beauty of the Tongass National Forest. Other wildlife possibilities include eagles, Sitka black-tail deer, mink, marten and seals.
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$409.00
From
US$409.00

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Tongass National Forest hours of operation?
A:
Tongass National Forest hours of operation: Daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Tongass National Forest?

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