Whittier is a tiny little harbor town (about 300 residents) 60 miles south of Anchorage. It is the gateway to Prince William Sound. To reach Whittier, you have to drive the longest highway tunnel in North America (2.5 miles, one way traffic, combined rail and highway use, no bicycle or foot traffic permitted, $12).
As you can imagine, the town is very small. However, the natural beauty around the town is abundant!
The water around the bay area is clean and blue, with mountains, glaciers and waterfall as background. Lots of Sea Gulls around the area (I will post a separate blog just for Sea Gulls later on). I was told you can even see other marine wildlife such as sea lions, sea otters or whales from the shore. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any except fish when I was there. The best way to see wildlife is, of course, by boat.
What impressed me the most is Portage Pass Trail in Chugach National Forest, located just pass the tunnel. It is a short trail (about 2 miles one way), but the view is spectacular. The first part is a steep uphill of less than a mile to the pass at 750 elevation. The view of Portage Lake and Portage Glacier at the pass is breathtaking! Numerous tarns found at the pass also make the area like a playground. I was told, in warmer days, people like to dip in these mountain pools.
(Bay area around Whittier)
(Misty bay area)
(First glance of Portage Lake and Portage Glacier at the Portage Pass)
(Portage Lake and Portage Glacier)
(One of the many tarns at Portage Pass)
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html