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Admiralty Island National Monument

Admiralty Island National Monument is located 15 miles southeast of Juneau Alaska. The island is comprised of 1,406 sq. miles of northern temperate spruce-hemlock rainforest, intertidal shoreline and numerous creeks, inlets and waterways. Above the timberline lies alpine tundra and semi-permanent ice fields. Admiralty Island lies completely within the boundaries of the Tongass National Forest. It contains both the largest concentrations of Bald Eagles and Brown Bears anywhere in the world.

The only village on Admiralty Island is the community of Angoon, population roughly 600, which is 80% Tlingit Indian. Angoon is a fishing village and its economy is not centered on tourism, so no food or lodging will be found there. Visitors to the island should stock up on supplies in Juneau.

Visitors staying on Admiralty Island can rent one of the public use cabins or find a primitive campsite. There are literally hundreds of little beaches on the island, and there are designated campgrounds in Mitchell Bay. Guests are reminded to strictly observe procedures for bear safety and ecologic preservation.

The Koontznoowoo Wilderness is a paradise for outdoor adventurers. Visitors will have several great hiking trails to choose from. There are countless bays and waterways for fishing (catch and release) and boating, including the 32-mile Cross Admiralty Canoe Rte to Mole Harbor. Hunting is permitted in the Koontznoowoo Wilderness; Sitka Blacktailed Deer, Ptarmigan and Brown Bears are all approved game animals, though non-residents must hunt bear with a licensed guide.

Visitors to Admiralty Island often come to observe the island’s famous bear population. The Pack Creek Viewing Area is the best place to do so. During the summer months bears come to the creek to gorge on salmon. The bears are uniquely habituated to humans, meaning that they basically ignore visitors that don’t bother them or tempt them with food. Note, however, that habituated is far from tame, and that visitors must obey all procedures to the letter for their safety and the bear’s. Visits are by permit only, and there are no roads; floatplanes or kayaks are the most common means of reaching the area.

Wildlife that can be seen on and around Admiralty Island National Monument includes Mergansers, Canada Geese, Scoters, Porpoises, Harbor Seals and Humpbacked Whales. In the language of Admiralty Island’s native Tlingit tribes the term Koontznoowoo means “forest of the bears”. The greatest concentration of Bald Eagles on Alaska’s Admiralty National Island Monument (and therefore the world) can be found along the Seymour Canal.