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Camping at Harris River Campground

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Overview of Harris River Campground

Harris River Campground is a popular camping spot situated within the Tongass National Forest, which is the largest national forest in the United States and spans across Southeast Alaska. The campground is known for its beautiful scenery, rich wildlife, and proximity to fishing streams and hiking trails. It offers a tranquil escape amidst the lush rainforest and provides opportunities for outdoor recreation and appreciation of nature.

Location and Accessibility

The campground is located on Prince of Wales Island, which is one of the largest islands in Southeast Alaska. Access to the island typically involves a ferry ride or a small plane trip. The campground itself may be reached by a road system and is located off the Hydaburg highway, a short distance from Hollis. It’s advisable to check the current condition of roads and transportation options before planning your visit.

Campsites and Facilities

The Harris River Campground offers several campsites suitable for tent camping as well as RVs, although size limitations may apply. The campground is equipped with basic amenities including:

  • Picnic Tables: Each campsite typically features a picnic table.
  • Fire Pits: There are fire pits for campfires, but the use of these may be dependent on seasonal fire regulations.
  • Toilet Facilities: The campground is equipped with vault toilets.
  • Water Access: Drinking water may be available, but visitors are advised to check the seasonal availability and consider bringing their own.

It's important to note that these facilities are usually rustic, in keeping with the natural setting of the forest.

Activities and Recreation

Visitors to Harris River Campground can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including:

  • Fishing: The Harris River and nearby streams offer opportunities for fishing, especially salmon and trout.
  • Hiking: There are numerous trails within close proximity to the campground, suitable for varying levels of difficulty.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Tongass National Forest is rich with wildlife, including eagles, bears, and Sitka black-tailed deer.
  • Nature Photography: The scenic landscape offers abundant photography opportunities.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing: Nearby rivers and lakes are ideal for paddling sports.

Reservations and Fees

It’s usually recommended to reserve a campsite in advance, especially during peak camping seasons. Campsites can be reserved through the U.S. Forest Service’s reservation system, and there may be a nominal fee for camping. Always check the latest information on fees and reservations before your trip.

Rules and Regulations

The standard regulations aimed at protecting the environment and ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all visitors apply at Harris River Campground. These include:

  • Leave No Trace: Visitors are expected to pack out all trash and leave the campsite as they found it.
  • Food Storage: Due to the presence of bears and other wildlife, proper food storage is crucial. Use bear-resistant containers or lock food in vehicles.
  • Fire Safety: Follow all fire regulations and never leave a fire unattended.
  • Pets: Pets should be kept under control and on a leash.

Planning Your Visit

For an enjoyable experience at Harris River Campground, it is advisable to:

  • Check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing.
  • Bring insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be prevalent during certain times of the year.
  • Plan for self-sufficiency, as services and supplies on Prince of Wales Island may be limited.

Remember to always adhere to the U.S. Forest Service guidelines and respect the natural environment to ensure the campground remains pristine for future visitors.

Location of Harris River Campground
Other Campgrounds in Tongass National Forest
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