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Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws
Photograph taken in  the Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness
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.

Planning to Visit the Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck 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 Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck 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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