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Coronation Island Wilderness

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Viewing out of a small cave along the beach, to the coastline in the distance.
Library image #2892: Littoral Cave on Prince of Wales Island.

Introduction

The United States Congress designated the Coronation Island Wilderness (map) in 1980 and it now has a total of 19,114 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Alaska and is managed by the Forest Service.

Description

Rising to almost 2,000 forested feet above the sea, Coronation Island stands off the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, south of Kuiu Island and north of Noyes Island. Stands of tall Sitka spruce and western hemlock dominate the island and extend to the shoreline, which in places falls away at sheer cliffs. Understory vegetation is lush and varied. The Henyakwan Tlingit traditionally used Coronation Island, and would often camp in Egg Harbor while awaiting fair weather to travel out to the Hazy Islands, where they would gather bird eggs. A lead mine operated on the west shore of Egg Harbor from the early 1900s until the late 1960s. In addition to a healthy population of various seabird species, Coronation's inhabitants also include Sitka black-tailed deer bald eagles, and recently, wolves. Sea otters, Steller's sea lions, harbor seals, and seasonal humpback whales are common sights off shore. Strong prevailing winds from the open ocean and a steep, ragged coastline make the windward side of the island virtually inaccessible. On the leeward side you'll find some protected coves and beaches guarded by rocky shoals that make all approaches risky. Access is generally via floatplane or boat, and there are no developed trails or facilities on the island. Wilderness camping is unrestricted, but you may want to bring along your own firewood, as there is a constant canopy of foggy skies and the wood here rarely dries out. Fishing and hunting are allowed. Coronation Island receives few human visitors and is a prime example of Alaskan Wilderness.

Planning to Visit the Coronation Island Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Coronation Island Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.



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