Chris Smith (USFS) in 1995.
The United States Congress designated the Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness (map
) in 1980 and it now has a total of 46,758 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Alaska
and is managed by the Forest Service.
The Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness is made up of two watersheds divided by the alpine covered peaks of Portage Mountain. On the east side of the wilderness, Petersburg Creek spills down a U-shaped glacier-cut valley with mountain peaks overlooking the valley. The mountains reach their highest point at 3,577 feet and slope down to the sea-level grass flats of the Petersburg Creek estuary, a popular place for sheltered sea kayak day trips beginning in Petersburg. The creek is known for its salmon and trout, as well as for the uplands wildlife of black bears, wolves, black-tail deer and moose. A 6.5 mile rugged trail connects Petersburg Lake with a saltwater trailhead four miles west of Petersburg. The Duncan Salt Chuck, a tidally influenced salt marsh, has rocky rapids constricting its opening on the sea, making slack high-tide periods the safest time to enter by small boat. The salt chuck estuary provides excellent habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. This western side of the wilderness is more difficult for people to reach and can provide a quiet, tranquil place to escape. Typical of southeastern Alaska, spruce and hemlock fill most of the forest, with muskegs in the areas with gentle slopes and poorer drainage. Rain is frequent in summer and wind and snow in winter, with snow accumulations reaching 200 inches on the area's mountaintops.