The Port of Angoon is the only settlement on Admiralty Island. Almost all (90%) of Admiralty Island is designated wilderness that offers amazing opportunities for primitive recreation and solitude. With almost a million acres of old growth rainforest and alpine tundra surrounded by rugged coastlines, visitors can enjoy rewarding freshwater fishing in the island's creeks and remote mountain lakes. Fishing licenses, which can be acquired online from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, are required for both residents and non-residents.
The Port of Angoon enjoys cool summers and mild winters. Temperatures in the summer range from 7°C (45°F) to 16°C (61°F). Winter temperatures range from -4°C (25°F) to 4°C (39°F). Admiralty Island receives less precipitation than the rest of Southeast Asia, with an average of 43 inches of rain and 63 inches of snow each year.
Admiralty Island National Monument is an almost 4000 square kilometer (1493 square mile) preserve that supports one of the largest populations of bears, estimated to be around 1600 animals, in the State of Alaska. The bears find berries, roots, and sedges most of the year, but in August they feast on salmon before their winter hibernation.
Visitors to Admiralty Island and the Port of Angoon can only get there by boat or plane. They should prepare for unpredictable weather that includes cold rain, high winds, and rough waters. They should also be sure someone knows they are going to the island in case they get lost. Cell phones do not work in the wilderness, so visitors should have flares, a marine VHF radio, a personal locator beacon, or a satellite telephone. All drinking water should be filtered or chemically treated. While visitors have seldom had conflicts with the bears, they should be aware of good bear etiquette and be sure food is stored at least 12 feet above ground or in bear-resistant containers.
Access to the wilderness is available through the Admiralty Island Canoe Route and the Oliver Inlet Tram. There are 14 public-use cabins available for rent on the island. The Admiralty Island Canoe Route is 53 kilometers (32 miles) long. There are seven portages, the longest being 5 kilometers (3 miles) at the Mole Harbor trailhead. Built in the 1930s, the portages link seven mountain lakes in the Kootznoowoo Wilderness. There are four Forest Service cabins available for rent along the route. Because it is not used much, the route offers a memorable and fairly isolated wilderness experience, although floatplanes are common on the lakes that have cabins. Paddlers should be experienced when they use the Canoe Route, as the portages can be steep and long. Most commonly, people begin and end the Canoe Route in the Port of Angoon.
From Oliver Inlet State Park, visitors can use the tram to carry their boats and gear to the Seymour Canal Cabin and then paddle down to the trailhead at Mole Harbor some 65 kilometers (40 miles) to the south. Paddling to the Port of Angoon from Mitchell Bay, visitors can return to Juneau on the Alaska Marine Highway.