Story last updated at 7/2/2014 - 2:57 pm
What: Stikine-LeConte Wilderness, Wrangell Ranger District, Tongass National Forest.
Details: The Stikine-LeConte Wilderness, lies within the Wrangell Ranger District and was named for the Stikine River and LeConte Glacier and bay. It is a wilderness of superlatives:
The Stikine is the fastest, free-flowing navigable river in North America.
The LeConte is the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America.
Kate's Needle, at 10,002 feet, is the highest peak on the Tongass National Forest.
The Stikine Icefield is the largest icefield on the Tongass.
It hosts the world's largest spring concentration of bald eagles.
At nearly 450,000 acres, it is roughly the size of the Hawaiian island of Maui.
The Stikine River, which traverses about 350 miles within Alaska and Canada, is a dynamic transportation corridor, conveying fish, wildlife, humans, goods, and minerals between British Columbia and coastal Alaska.
If you go:
Be prepared for river-based recreation - birding, boating, fishing and photography.
Visit Chief Shakes Hot Spring. No reservations needed.
Reserve a public use cabin at www.Recreation.gov - try Mallard Slough or Mount Rynda and stay a few nights.
For a preview of this wilderness in photos, visit the USFS slideshow: http://bit.ly/1mBRxPO.
About this feature: In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act, a landmark piece of legislation that, to date, has resulted in the designation of nearly 110 million acres of land in the United States and Puerto Rico. The U.S. Forest Service manages 35 million acres of designated wilderness - 5.8 million acres of that wilderness is located on the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska.
This year, the Forest Service in Alaska has joined a national effort to recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Alaskans living in every community in Southeast live within a day's travel of one of the 19 wilderness areas on the Tongass - these are public lands reserved for the benefit and enjoyment of all, and open for gentle yet robust exploration.