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Togiak Wilderness

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A beautiful shot of the of the foliage carpeted Ahklun Mountains and their lush green lowlands on a sunny, clear day.
Library image #2021: Ahklun Mountains, Togiak NWR, 2006


The United States Congress designated the Togiak Wilderness (map) in 1980 and it now has a total of 2,274,066 acres (2274066.27 acres, technically). All of this wilderness is located in Alaska and is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service.


At 4.2 million acres, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge covers about the same amount of land as Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, a region important to Eskimo and Native American hunter-gatherers for more than 5,000 years. Over half of the refuge, the northern section, has been designated Wilderness. To the north of Togiak Wilderness stretches the vast Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. Three major river systems, comprising over 1,500 miles of water, lie within the Togiak Wilderness (Togiak, Kanektok, and Goodnews). More than one million salmon return to these waters each year to spawn. Fishing draws many visitors to the Togiak Region, both humans and brown bears. Floaters often run the rivers, fishing along the way for salmon, trout, char, grayling, and pike. The Togiak River flows wide and easily. The Kanektok and Goodnews are faster, more twisted rivers with a greater variety of fish. None of the rivers contain whitewater.

The Ahklun Mountains encompass about 80 percent of aree and give way to tundra and coastal plains at lower elevations. The mountains in the Wilderness hide many large lakes. Sea cliffs provide nesting places for approximately one million marine birds, including murres, puffins, auklets, kittiwakes, and cormorants. Beaches provide haul-outs for walrus, sea lions, and harbor seals. Seven species of whales have been identified cruising the coastline during migratory seasons.

You'll find no trails, just millions of mosquitoes in summer, severe winters, few trees, and fewer fellow humans.

Planning to Visit the Togiak 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 Togiak 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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