Logo bar of the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers which are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Tok and Ketchikan
A downed tree rests across a forested stream. Ferns and moss cover the tree and everything else in sight. This is the Tongass National Forest - a rain forest in Alaska.
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Frequently Asked Questions at the Discovery Center
red salmon swimming in shallow clear water
Sockeye salmon swimming in clear shallow water.
When do the salmon run?
The salmon runs start in early May and continue until September, but they vary each year. Also, different species of salmon run at different times through the summer. First to run are chinook (king) salmon, followed by sockeye (red) salmon and then the coho (silver) salmon.

Thunderstorm clouds in interior Alaska
Thunderstorm clouds.

What is the average annual rainfall in Ketchikan?
Ketchikan averages 165 inches of rain annually. It might be a good idea to pack a rain jacket when you visit.

Portion of a raven totem pole in downtown Anchorage
Portion of the head of a raven totem pole in downtown Anchorage.

What are the three Alaska Native groups in Southeast Alaska?
Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian.

The Alaska Native culture has been molded by the conditions of the Alaskan area. The coast of Alaska is covered with mountains. The climate is temperate and humid. The forests are populated with animal life and seas are bountiful as well. They survived by fishing, hunting, and gathering.

a thick Forest with light sunlight shining through the trees
A thick forest with sunlight shinning through the trees.

How large is the Tongass National Forest?
At 16.9 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is ranked as the largest national forest. Though its land area is huge, about 40% of the Tongass is composed of wetlands, snow, ice, rock, and non-forest vegetation, while the remaining 10 million acres are forested. 5.7 million acres of the forest are protected as wilderness.

clear skys snowy landscape winter scene in alaska
Chris Smith
Clear skies and snowy landscape in Alaska.

What are the winters like in Ketchikan?
Winters tend to be mild with average highs in the mid-30s to mid-40s. October and November are also the wettest months with 10-15 inches of rain.

map of hubbard glacier
Map of Hubbard Glacier.

Where is Hubbard Glacier?
North of Yakutat in Yauktat Bay and Disenchament Bay. From its source in the Yukon, the glacier stretches 122 km (76 mi) to the sea at Yakutat Bay and Disenchantment Bay. Named in 1890 after Gardiner G. Hubbard (regent of the Smithsonian Institution and first president of the National Geographic Society), it is the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, with an open calving face over ten kilometers (6 mi) wide.

medenhall glacier
Mendenhall Glacier.

Where is the Mendenhall Glacier?

Mendenhall Glacier is a glacier about 12 miles long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles from downtown Juneau in the southeast area of Alaska.

Originally known as Sitaantaagu ("the Glacier Behind the Town") or Aak'wtaaksit ("the Glacier Behind the Little Lake") by the Tlingits, the glacier was named Auke (Auk) Glacier by naturalist John Muir for the Tlingit Auk Kwaan (or Aak'w Kwaan) band in 1888. In 1891 it was renamed in honor of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall. It extends from the Juneau Icefield, its source, to Mendenhall Lake and ultimately the Mendenhall River.


Click to download the APLIC bear safety in Alaska brochure.
Bear Safety
How to stay safe when traveling in bear country.
The Alaska Centers Logo.
Activities at the visitor centers
Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Tok & Anchorage
Image of Cruise Ship from GLBA
Cruising Alaska
Find information regarding cruises and cruise ships. 
A glacier in Valdez
The Glacier Quiz
If you're a glacier whiz, then take our glacier quiz!
Blue glacial ice
Learn fun and interesting facts about glaciers and find viewing opportunities in Alaska.
The dark green spruce trees and lighter green foliage of the boreal forest are reflected perfectly by the waters of a small lake. The sky is blue with puffy white clouds. Did You Know?
With only 0.9 persons per square mile and only 0.001 percent of its land area developed, Alaska is one of the least populated places on earth.