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Warren Island Wilderness

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A large cracked boulder sitting along a rocky beach, covered in small trees and lush green mosses.
Library image #2887: Trees growing out of cracked rock on Prince of Wales Island.


The United States Congress designated the Warren Island Wilderness (map) in 1980 and it now has a total of 11,559 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Alaska and is managed by the Forest Service.


Warren Peak rises dramatically from the sea to 2,329 feet above Warren Island, off the northwestern coast of Prince of Wales Island, about 75 air miles from Ketchikan. Covered in typically dense coastal spruce-hemlock rain forest, the area usually gets battered by extremely strong, wet winds that have twisted many of the trees near the shoreline. A few small, protected coves and beaches dent the leeward side of the island, but the rest of the shoreline is rock and windswept cliffs protected by dangerous shoals. Lack of boat anchorages and floatplane landing sites, combined with exposure to the open sea, makes access difficult, and Warren Island is, in fact, inaccessible much of the year. Sea lions, seals, whales, and sea otters may be seen along the shoreline, and Sitka black-tailed deer, black bears, and wolves have been spotted inland. Bald eagles live here, but Warren Island is best known for its seabirds. You'll find no trails, no chance to get wet firewood started most of the year, no facilities of any kind, and little chance of help if trouble arises. However, Warren Island Wilderness presents an excellent opportunity for a totally unspoiled Wilderness experience.

Planning to Visit the Warren 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 Warren 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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