Covering more than 16.7 million acres, Tongass National Forest is the largest forest in the United States. This temperate rainforest, located just 13 miles from Alaska’s capital, is more than 500 miles across in places. This national forest, officially recognized by Congress in 1907, has 31 communities in or near it. Western red cedar, Sitka spruce, and western hemlock are the primary species found in this rainforest. There are so many recreational opportunities in this national forest that covers about 90% of southeast Alaska. Many people choose to come to Tongass because it has one of the highest concentrations of brown bears and bald eagles in the world.
Camping in Tongass National Forest
Traveling in an RV is a fantastic way to explore Alaska’s Inner Passageway communities. If you do not have an RV, rent one meeting your needs on RVshare.com, where you can find well-equipped motorhomes and travel trailers in all sizes.
Glacier Nalu Campground
After a day of hiking and exploring Tongass National Forest, enjoy a picnic in the gazebo at Glacier Nalu Campground. Easily get around Juneau because this campground is on the city’s bus route. Rates start at about $40 per night.
Auke Bay RV Park
Auke Bay RV Park is open year-round. This 31-site campground offers one pull-through site. Inquire about the rates at this campground where only 30-amp electricity is available.
Mendenhall Lake National Forest Campground
Enjoy a stunning view of Mendenhall Glacier from Mendenhall Lake National Forest Campground located about 13 miles from Juneau. Each site comes with its own grill for meal prep and a picnic table. Rates start at about $10 per night at this campground that is open from May to September.
How to get to Tongass National Forest
Address: 6000 Glacier Spur Rd, Juneau, AK 99801
Fee: Entry fee $0
Tongass National Forest provides the quintessential Alaskan vacation. Especially in the summertime, go to some of the special areas set up to watch brown and black bears. There are numerous glacier lakes that are great places to go trout and salmon fishing. There are 19 designated wilderness areas within this park’s boundaries. Many people still live off the land by hunting, fishing, and gathering food in the forest. Explore it for yourself by bringing your RV to Tongass National Forest. If you do not have one, then rent one on RVshare.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tongass National Forest
Is there a fee to get into Tongass National Forest ?
There is no fee to get into Tongass National Forest. However, there is a $5 fee to visit the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center and learn more about the area.
How many hiking trails does Tongass National Forest have?
The Tongass National Forest has more than 700 miles of hiking trails throughout the forest. Trails range from wheelchair-accessible boardwalks to backpacking trails through alpine areas.
Does Tongass National Forest offer free camping sites?
Yes, there are free camping sites in Tongass National Forest. Dispersed camping is allowed within the forest and does not cost. There are also developed campgrounds and cabins that can be reserved for a fee.
What type of wildlife lives in Tongass National Forest ?
Tongass National Forest is home to wildlife including moose, deer, beaver, and porcipines. You'll also find all five kinds of Pacific salmon in the waters of this national forest.
Can you kayak, canoe, or raft in Tongass National Forest ?
You can canoe and kayak in the various lakes in the Tongass National Forest. There are also local outfitters that lead rafting trips in the Tongass National Forest area as well.