Top Ten Wildflower-Viewing Spots

Alaska
  |  Gorp.com
Fireweed frames Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska
Fireweed frames Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska (Melissa Farlow/National Geographic/Getty)

6. Alaska
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.

Check out more photos of Alaska.


Published: 21 Mar 2009 | Last Updated: 8 May 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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