Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska

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    Misty Fjords Kayak Rangers Approach Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown in Alaska

    Misty Fjords Kayak Rangers Approach Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown in Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Near Ketchikan Misty Fjords Kayak Rangers Approach Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown in Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    Scenic Misty Fjords Cruising

    Misty Fjords is about 20 miles from Ketchikan and is only accessible by ship or plane. Small cruise ships with Inside Passage itineraries often include a day sailing in this magnificent park, or an air excursion can be booked in Ketchikan.

    Misty Fjords has been a National Monument since 1978 and sits in the middle of the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The area is beautiful--granite cliffs soaring towards the sky, and misty clouds covering the surrounding lush rain forest. Wildlife is plentiful, and the water is peaceful. The only distractions in Misty Fjords are the numerous flight-seeing planes, which sound like huge mosquitoes as they buzz about.

    Cruise West brings forestry rangers aboard for the day while cruising the Misty Fjords.

    Before entering the Misty Fjords, the Spirit of Yorktown stopped near a tiny cove to pick up two young women who were serving as summer rangers in the Misty Fjords National Monument. They lived in a floating A-frame...MORE cabin, which was anchored in the cove. High tides in the Misty Fjords can change water levels by as much as 20 feet, so living on the water is a good choice. (It also may help protect them from bears.) The rangers use kayaks to move around the park, keeping trails open and doing wildlife surveys. A larger boat picks them up once a week to go into Ketchikan for some R&R and supply replenishment. They were both very knowledgeable about the Misty Fjords and the flora and fauna of southeast Alaska. Their stories of wildlife encounters (those pesky bears) were enthralling.

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    Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska

    Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    The snow-capped Coastal Mountains surround the Misty Fjords.

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    Eddystone Rock in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska

    Eddystone Rock in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Near Ketchikan, Alaska Eddystone Rock in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    Eddystone Rock is located in the Behm Canal of Misty Fjords. The massive, 200 foot high basalt rock is a volcanic plug created eons ago.

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    Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska

    Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    The mountains surrounding the Misty Fjords are snow-capped, even in August. However, visitors will not see coastal glaciers flowing down into the Misty Fjords.

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    Rudyerd Bay at Misty Fjords near Ketchikan, Alaska

    Rudyerd Bay at Misty Fjords near Ketchikan, Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Rudyerd Bay at Misty Fjords near Ketchikan, Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    Rudyerd Bay is the most scenic bay in the Misty Fjords. Surrounded by granite cliffs and filled with wildlife, ships and float planes flock to Rudyerd Bay.

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    Rudyerd Bay Punchbowl in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska

    Rudyerd Bay Punchbowl in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Near Ketchikan Rudyerd Bay Punchbowl in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    Can you spot the small boat in front of the Punchbowl? It helps put the size into perspective.

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    Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska

    Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    The sun on this rocky cliff almost makes it look like a glacier!

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    Sightseeing Boat in Misty Fjords Alaska

    Sightseeing Boat in Misty Fjords Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Sightseeing Boat in Misty Fjords Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    Misty Fjords is only accessible via cruise ships, boats, or float planes.

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    Cruising Rudyerd Bay at Misty Fjords on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown

    Cruising Rudyerd Bay at Misty Fjords on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown in Alaska
    Misty Fjords Near Ketchikan, Alaska Cruising Rudyerd Bay at Misty Fjords on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown in Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison
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    Rudyerd Bay Punchbowl in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska

    Rudyerd Bay Punchbowl in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Near Ketchikan Rudyerd Bay Punchbowl in Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    By definition, a fjord is a valley carved by a retreating glacier where the glacier has been replaced by the sea. The punchbowl shape of this 3000-foot granite cliff was carved by the glacier.

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    Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska

    Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords - A Look at the "Punchbowl" in Rudyerd Bay Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison

    The "Punchbowl" is a good example of how glaciers can carve even granite cliffs such as this one.

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    Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska

    Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska
    Cruising Misty Fjords Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. Misty Fjords (c) Linda Garrison