Between Glacier Bay and Lynn Canal, the Endicott River is born in the broad brush-covered flats within the Chilkat Mountains of Tongass National Forest. The river flows easterly, down a deep glacier-carved canyon to the salt water of Lynn Canal. At 5,280 feet, Mount Young stands above the rest of this Wilderness in the northwestern portion near the 40-mile boundary it shares with Glacier Bay National Park. Above timberline is the high country, a region of active glaciers extending south and west that drops into short alpine trees and thick brush in the upper drainage of the river. Along the river you'll find mighty coastal trees, a dense rain forest of spruce and hemlock interspersed with boggy muskegs typical of southeastern Alaska. Wolves and bears, mountain goats, and moose live here. Black-tailed deer are present, but heavy snowfall limits their numbers. Within the river, chum, coho, and pink salmon abound during the spawning season, drawing bald eagles, otters and other predators. There are no trails. Although it is possible to bushwhack along the river and over a low pass into Glacier Bay National Park, it is extremely dense with alder and salmonberry and would not be pleasant. Moose hunters occasionally hunt the lower river in the fall, but access to the upper plateau is limited to those willing to pay for an expensive bush plane flight to land on unimproved gravel bars. Other than the fall moose hunt, this is a very isolated and seldom visited 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 Endicott River Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.