Thousands of years ago, rivers of ice carved the spectacular Pacific Coast Ranges, which extend along the West Coast of North America from Alaska to California. You can still see the remnants of the ice age in the magnificent Stikine-LeConte Icefield and associated southeastern Alaska glaciers around Petersburg and Wrangell.
A unique way to experience the area is a flightseeing excursion. Flightseeing in southeast Alaska provides an eagle’s view of the glaciers, snowcapped mountains, scattered islands, bays, rivers, and alpine lakes of the Rainforest Islands. Seeing these landscapes from the water or forest is awe-inspiring, but the aerial perspective truly shows the majestic and expansive landscape of Alaska.
Shakes Glacier & the Stikine River
Wrangell is the Gateway to the Stikine River, or Stik-Heen, which means ‘Great River’ in Tlingit. The Stikine River certainly lives up to its name. Experience the “wild side” of the Stikine River in a jet boat. Described by naturalist John Muir as “a 100 mile long Yosemite”, the Stikine River is the fastest navigable free-flowing river in North America. Travel past snow-capped mountains, icy glaciers, and thundering waterfalls on a trip, many consider to be the highlight of their Alaska vacation.
LeConte Glacier is located just east of Petersburg and is a popular attraction worthy of a boat or float plane trip. But, even if you can’t get to the glacier, sometimes the glacier comes to you. It is common to see icebergs from LeConte Glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America, on the beaches around Petersburg. Take an air or boat tour to LeConte Bay.
Air charters can be arranged from most of the Rainforest Island communities.