July 18, 2004
Our first port of call was Ketchikan, known as the ‘Salmon Capital of the World’ and is also the ancestral home of the Tlingit people, who have carved the world’s largest collection of totem poles.
We chartered a floatplane with Taquan Air and flew out to Misty Fjords National Monument, a nearly 2.3 million-acre tract of wilderness east of Ketchikan. Known as “The Yosemite of the North,” the terrain in Misty Fjords has been sculpted over the millennia by creeping glaciers to create a drastic but beautiful landscape. Taking its name from the almost constant precipitation characteristic of the area, the monument is covered with thick rainforests that grow on nearly vertical slopes from sea level to mountaintops. Dramatic waterfalls plunge into the salt water through narrow clefts or course over great rounded granite shoulders fed by lakes and streams that absorb the rainfall of more than 150 inches annually.
We landed on a mountaintop lake by approaching over the waterfall that drains the lake. We stepped out onto the pontoon to enjoy the fresh mountain air, eagle calls, and breathtaking scenery, and then took off back over that waterfall. High point of Ketchikan, hands down.
Experiencing the raw power of the great Alaskan north was awe inspiring. One of the most beautiful trips I’ve taken!
Update: Taquan Air still gets good reviews on TripAdvisor 2017. Do your due diligence and make your decision.
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