I've lived near the Chugach National Forest all my life, but it wasn't until well into adulthood that I had seen all its parts and appreciated its vastness and variety. Still, I doubt I'll ever really know this seemingly infinite land. Prince William Sound, just one of the Chugach's three parts, has 3,500 miles of shoreline among its folded islands and deeply penetrating fjords and passages. The Copper River Delta is another world entirely. Unlike the musty secrets of the Sound's obscure passages, the delta opens to the sky like a heavenly plain of wind and light, its waving green colors splashed by the airiest brushstrokes. It's a huge area: Driving across the delta and back from Cordova takes most of a day. The western part of the national forest, on the Kenai Peninsula, is largely alpine. It's got remote, unclimbed peaks, but also many miles of family hiking trails, accessible fishing streams, and superb campgrounds. … Back to Article
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