Top Ten Wildflower-Viewing Spots
|Fireweed frames Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska (Melissa Farlow/National Geographic/Getty)|
Alaska's Tongass National Forest covers 16.9 million acres and accounts for 73 percent of the land along the Inside Passage. The Starrigavan Recreation Area, near the town of Sitka, turns into a riot of color in late spring and early summer. A boardwalk through an estuary passes by colorful displays of flowers, including yellow paintbrush, lacy white yarrow, wild geranium, and buttercup. The connecting Forest and Muskey Trail has a boardwalk through the muskegs (bogs), where bog orchids, pond lilies, shooting star, and sundew pop up in wildflower season. For a more ambitious hike, the Harbor Mountain Recreation Area has a trail that climbs 300 feet to a large herbaceous meadow. Besides providing sweeping views of the mountains and the sea, the meadows are covered in beautiful large-leaf gentian, chocolate lily, western columbine, and Sitka valerian.
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Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication