Chugach National Forest Guide

The forest preserve now known as Chugach National Forest was created initially by Russia, which owned the land. The 6,908,540-acre area became one of the first United States national forests in 1892. This national forest, which is the furthest north and west in the United States, contains North America’s largest contiguous wetlands complex along the Pacific coast, and ice covers approximately 30% of the area. Despite covering nearly 7 million acres, there are only 90 miles of maintained forest roads here. Chugach National Forest is located about 220 miles southeast of Denali National Park and reaches south to Seward, which is the gateway city to Kenai Fjords National Park. Officially, this national forest contains three sections with district headquarters at Seward, Girdwood, and Cordova, Alaska.

Where to Camp

Camping in Chugach National Forest

A great way to explore Chugach National Forest is in an RV because you can drive to see the different sections, and Seward Highway runs through the middle of it, so getting around is very easy. If you do not have your own RV, rent one on RVshare.com.

RV Rentals Near Chugach National Forest

Shape Hiking Trails

Chugach National Forest Hiking Trails

Things to Do

Activities in Chugach National Forest

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How to get to Chugach National Forest

Address: This park maintains three district headquarters: Glacier Ranger District Address: 145 Forest Station Road, Girdwood, AK 99587 Seward Ranger District Address: 33599 Ranger Station Spur, Seward, AK 99664 Cordova Ranger District Address: 612 Second Street, Cordova, AK 99574

Fee: Entry fee $0

Over 500 miles of hiking trails are available at Chugach National Forest, which starts about 80 miles south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway. This forest located just south of Chugach State Park is a fantastic place to go fishing, especially for the five salmon types that live here seasonally. It is the only national forest where you can spot Dall sheep and one of only a few where you can see glaciers. An RV allows you to see all that this forest offers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Chugach National Forest

What type of wildlife lives in Chugach National Forest?

The Chugach National Forest is home to timber solves, caribou, martens, Sitka black-tailed deer, and black and grizzly bears among other animals. The Chugach is also the only national forest where Dall sheep can be found.

What is the closest town to Chugach National Forest?

Valdez is one of the closest towns to Chugach National Forest. The forest headquarters are in Seward, Alaska, and Anchorage is about 60 miles away.

Can you kayak, canoe, or raft in Chugach National Forest?

Yes, you can kayak, canoe, and raft in Chugach National Forest. Prince William Sound next to the Chugach National Forest allows many opportunities to kayak and canoe. There are also several outfitters in the area that lead whitewater rafting trips in the forest.

What is the best time to visit Chugach National Forest?

Summer is the best time to visit Chugach National Forest. In the late summer months, snow has melted in many places and hiking trails are easier to access. Summer is also a great time for kayaking, fishing, and other outdoor adventures.

Is there a limit to how long you can camp in Chugach National Forest?

Yes, there is a limit to how long you can camp in Chugach National Forest. You can camp at the same campsite for up to 14 nights in a row. This rule applies to backcountry camping as well as most campgrounds, although some developed campgrounds have shorter time limits.