Alaska Bucket List: Exploring Tongass National Forest

Consisting of nearly 17 million acres of unscathed wilderness, Tongass National Forest is the largest National Forest in the U.S. With more than 2.8 million annual visitors, Tongass sustains the largest contiguous temperate rainforest in the world, but also over 5,000 jobs and more than $380 in yearly revenue! Located just down the coastline from this majestic biome, Elfin Cove Resort provides guests with various recreational opportunities ranging from historical hikes to kayaking from island to island in search of artifacts and other archeological treasures. The Tongass National Forest itself is the real treasure in every sense of the word, and we invite you to explore the dynamic array of wildlife, waterways, and geology that’s practically our backyard. There’s something for everyone at Tongass, so we’d like to give you an idea of what to expect in America’s largest forest.


One of the most popular physical activities at Tongass is hiking. Even a leisurely tour through the ancient forest, filled with dense undergrowth and moss-covered logs, will be life-changing. You’ll feel like a real adventurer as you scale steep alpine foothills in search of the perfect view of the Gulf of Alaska or a series of cascading waterfalls. After a long day on the trail, you can take a soak in the illustrious hot springs that overlook the coast. Tongass National Forest is a truly amazing gift that every outdoor enthusiast should have on their Alaska bucket list.


Hiking in Alaska is such a popular activity, so we decided to cover it separately. However, you’ll quickly learn that there are several other excellent recreational opportunities and attractions at Tongass National Forest. Quite possibly, the most challenging part of your Alaska vacation with Elfin Cove is deciding where to go and what to do on this exciting adventure. Here are three of our favorites:

  • Wildlife viewing—particularly the bears—at Tongass is a spectacular undertaking that any animal lover will enjoy.
  • Fishing in the Tongass is a unique endeavor at the top of many angler’s Alaska bucket lists. Many restoration efforts have led to reclaiming 93 percent of the forest waterway’s natural state, meaning an ideal ecosystem for massive trout and salmon!
  • Kayaking to Tongass from our lodge has been a guest favorite for as long as we can remember. Part of what makes kayaking in these pristine waters so special is the ability to visit ancient islands scattered along the way.


The primary reason visitors choose Elfin Cove Resort is our status as an elite Alaskan fishing lodge. The reason guests return is that they usually find out something new they want to dive into next time! No matter your flavor, Elfin Cove Resort promises to deliver an unforgettable adventure every step of the way. For more information or to reserve your stay, please visit us online or call 888-922-3474.