During the day you'll ask yourself how more than one million birds of 13 species could be nesting here. But at night vast populations of Leach's storm petrels, fork-tailed petrels, Cassin's auklets, and rhinoceros auklets leave their underground burrows to feed in the ocean around the isolated islands of Forrester, Lowrie, and Petrel. An estimated 780,000 storm petrels nest on Petrel Island alone.
Forrester Island itself rises roughly 1,300 feet out of the sea and lies under a heavy forest of spruce and hemlock with a few lodgepole pine and red cedar bordering open muskegs. In small ravines and in areas of windfall on this mountainous piece of land the thick scrub, a web of berry bushes and devil's club, discourages travel. The shoreline has many sheer cliffs and few beaches, as does the shoreline of Petrel Island, which is also heavily forested. The nearby Lowrie Islands lie essentially flat.
To schedule your visit for the best time, avoid the spring nesting season. Almost all the available soil contains lengthy burrows, and one false step could end many of the lives developing within buried eggs. Forrester Island Wilderness receives 73.5 inches of precipitation each year with summer temperatures averaging in the low 50s and 60s (Fahrenheit) and in the low 20s and 30s in winter.
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 Forrester Island 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.