NewsMail - - WEEKEND -

“The Mistys”, as the lo­cals af­fec­tion­ately call them, are dom­i­nated by gran­ite moun­tains and land forms, draped in a forested cloak.

The mid­night blues, emerald greens and greys run deep here, pro­vid­ing a vis­ual over­load.

As the area re­ceives 150in (3810mm) of rain­fall an­nu­ally, the mon­u­ment usu­ally sports a veil of moist air ris­ing up from the fjords be­low that ap­pears as fog and mist.

The Ton­grass Na­tional For­est here is the largest in the US, cov­er­ing six mil­lion hectares in to­tal of tem­per­ate North Pa­cific coastal rain­for­est.

Tours are op­er­ated un­der per­mit and strict guide­lines to pre­serve its pris­tine na­ture and the unique plants and an­i­mals that ex­ist here, pro­tected by nat­u­ral bound­aries.

As a re­sult, lit­tle has changed in six mil­lion years since the glaciers carved, ground, pushed and scraped out the land forms in the ice age, cou­pled with the le­gacy of mas­sive vol­canic ac­tiv­ity.

The re­sult is a ma­jes­tic ta­pes­try of sea cliffs, gran­ite rock walls, steep fjords, and wa­ter­falls best seen from above and at wa­ter level.

This is serene, still Alaskan wilder­ness lost in time, yet so ac­ces­si­ble.

Pic­turesque spots such as Walker Cove, Rudy­erd Bay and Punch­bowl Cove are the main at­trac­tions, ac­cessed by Behm Canal, which sep­a­rates the is­land from the main­land.

Wa­ter­falls such as the 305m Big Goat Lake Falls are just one of the spec­ta­cles vis­i­tors just like us have come from all over the world to see. Misty Fjords Na­tional Park is 35km east of Ketchikan, Alaska.

Var­i­ous cruise com­pa­nies have itin­er­ar­ies tak­ing in Ketchikan as part of Alaskan In­side Pas­sage itin­er­ar­ies.

The Misty Fjords can be reached by float­plane or cruise tour.

More at hol­lan­damer­ica.com; us-parks.com; visit-ketchikan.com.

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