The Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness is made up of two watersheds divided by the alpine covered peaks of Portage Mountain. On the east side of the wilderness, Petersburg Creek spills down a U-shaped glacier-cut valley with mountain peaks overlooking the valley. The mountains reach their highest point at 3,577 feet and slope down to the sea-level grass flats of the Petersburg Creek estuary, a popular place for sheltered sea kayak day trips beginning in Petersburg. The creek is known for its salmon and trout, as well as for the uplands wildlife of black bears, wolves, black-tail deer and moose. A 6.5 mile rugged trail connects Petersburg Lake with a saltwater trailhead four miles west of Petersburg. The Duncan Salt Chuck, a tidally influenced salt marsh, has rocky rapids constricting its opening on the sea, making slack high-tide periods the safest time to enter by small boat. The salt chuck estuary provides excellent habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. This western side of the wilderness is more difficult for people to reach and can provide a quiet, tranquil place to escape. Typical of southeastern Alaska, spruce and hemlock fill most of the forest, with muskegs in the areas with gentle slopes and poorer drainage. Rain is frequent in summer and wind and snow in winter, with snow accumulations reaching 200 inches on the area's mountaintops.
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 Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck 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.