The Misty Fjords are among the most beautiful, best known and most visited bays along the Alaska coastline. Thanks to their position along the Inside Passage at the southernmost point in Alaska, these fjords are frequented by boating enthusiasts and cruise ships from both Canada and the Continental United States. Both the waterways and the surrounding wilderness are part of the Misty Fjords National Monument.
The waterways, islands and inlets of the Inner Passage were probably among the first places visited by tribes migrating from Asia over ten thousand years ago. They were ‘discovered’ by Russian explorers in the 18th century, and flooded by prospectors during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. The region was declared a national monument in 1978.
The Misty Fjords are actually a cluster of fjords off of the Inner Passage. Carved out by past glaciation action, many of the mountains surrounding the bays are a unique u-shape, with some walls shooting nearly straight up for over half a mile. The bay shore and the lower slopes of the mountains are home to a thick pine forest. The area is also home to the world’s largest deposit of molybdenum.
The Misty Fjords, while fairly far south, are largely undeveloped and difficult to travel by land. Most visitors come by sea, frequently by cruise ship. Other visitors come by private boat or even by plane from Juneau. Web: www.visit-ketchikan.com (official website).