Rudyerd Bay, Misty Fjords National Monument

Rudyerd Bay, Misty Fjords National Monument

by | Dec 7, 2018

Rudyerd Bay is a fjord on the mainland of Southeast Alaska, about 37 air miles (60 km) east of Ketchikan, and extending northeast for 14 miles (22.6 km) from the east shore of Behm Canal.

The region was first visited by Europeans in 1793 when Captain George Vancouver explored Behm Canal. Vancouver discovered New Eddystone Rock, a column of basalt 237 feet (72 m) tall in the middle of Behm Canal. Rudyerd Bay was named in 1879 by W.H. Dall of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey for the English engineer, John Rudyerd, who rebuilt the Eddystone lighthouse in England after its destruction in 1703. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 set aside the Misty Fjords National Monument as part of a settlement between the federal government and the State of Alaska over land use.

Misty Fjords National Monument is a wilderness area administered by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Tongass National Forest. John Muir compared the area with Yosemite Valley for its similar geology and glacial morphology. Light-colored granite, about 50 to 70 million years old, has been sculpted by glaciers into deep U-shaped valleys. Many of the glacial valleys filled with seawater and are called “canals”. The walls of these valleys are near-vertical and often rise 2,000 to 3,000 feet (600 to 900 m) above sea level, and descend to 1,000 feet (300 m) below sea level. Read more here and here. Explore more of Rudyerd Bay here:

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