Prince of Wales Island
Prince of Wales Island is the third largest island in the United States, with Kodiak Island here in Alaska being the largest and the big island of Hawaii the second. Included in “Prince of Wales Island” are the main island and hundreds of adjacent islands — a total of more than 2,600 square miles. Its 990-mile coastline has numerous bays, coves, inlets and points.
The landscape is characterized by steep, forested mountains and deep U-shaped valleys, streams, lakes, saltwater straits, and bays that were carved by glacial ice, which once covered this entire area. A scattering of muskegs, or bogs breaks the blanket of spruce-hemlock forest. Most of the mountains on the island are 2,000 to 3,000 feet high.
Prince of Wales Island is part of the vast Tongass National Forest. Covering almost 17 million acres, it is the United States’ largest national forest. It is also part of the Pacific Temperate Rainforest, the largest area of temperate zone rain forests on the planet. Temperate rainforest are one of the most rare and productive ecosystems in the world. This wonderful ecosystem is home to world-class wild salmon, black and brown bears, American bald eagles, Sitka black-tail deer and numerous other wildlife.