Flying the Misty Fjords

Misty Fiords National Monument, Ketchikan, Alaska

Misty Fjords National Monument is located 40 miles east of Ketchikan, Alaska, along the Inside Passage coast in extreme southeastern Alaska. The area is nicknamed "The Yosemite of the North" for its similar geology. Formed by glaciers, the glacial valleys are filled with sea water. The walls of these valleys are near-vertical and range from 2,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level and drop 1,000 feet below it. The scenery ranges from tidewater estuaries to mountains often shrouded in mists, sky-blue lakes, waterfalls and the seemingly endless evergreen forest. Misty Fjords' road-less location is only accessible by floatplane or boat from Ketchikan. We took a tour boat out of Ketchikan for a 6-hour boat tour. The weather was pretty raw with periodic rain. Along the way, we saw it all, rugged mountains, eagles, the very cool New Eddystone Rock and waterfalls. Perhaps the most unexpected sight was the large number of floatplanes that were taking off and landing. Misty Fjords might be considered nature's busiest airport. I can only imagine what the number of planes would have been if the weather was nice. This is one of the floatplanes taking off with the mists and mountains in the background.