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Misty Fiords National Monument/USA

Introducing Misty Fiords National Monument

The Misty Fiords National Monument encompasses 3594 sq miles of wilderness and lies between two impressive fjords - Behm Canal (117 miles long) and Portland Canal (72 miles long). The two natural canals give the preserve its extraordinarily deep and long fjords with sheer granite walls that rise thousands of feet out of the water. Misty Fiords is well named; annual rainfall is 14ft.

The destinations for many kayakers are the smaller but equally impressive fjords of Walker Cove and Punchbowl Cove in Rudyerd Bay, off Behm Canal. Dense spruce-hemlock rain forest is the most common vegetation throughout the monument, and sea lions, harbor seals, killer whales, brown and black bears, mountain goats, moose and bald eagles can all be seen there.

Experienced kayakers can paddle out of the city (a seven- to 12-day trip) but most paddlers arrange to be dropped off deep in Behm Canal near the protected water of Rudyerd Bay.

Misty Fiords has 15 USFS cabins ($25 to $45) that are reserved through the NRRS. Two paddles - Alava Bay and Winstanley Island in Behm Canal - allow kayakers to end the day at the doorstep of a cabin.