The City of Whittier is located within the Chugach National Forest, the second largest national forest in the United States. Visitors to the Port of Whittier will find it a wonderland of fjords, tidewater glaciers, and islands. Bird watchers will also find a wide range of birds and seabirds in the kittiwake rookery across the Passage Canal from the Port of Whittier.
Port of Whittier businesses offer a range of water-related recreation opportunities in the summer that include fishing charters, day cruises, kayak tours, and scuba diving. Winter recreation includes show shoeing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Temperatures in the Port of Whittier range from an average high of 17 °C (62.6 °F) in July to an average low of 5 °C (23 °F) in January. The Port of Whittier receives about 248 inches of snow each year. The only months without snowfall are June through August, and snow is negligible in May and September. Average snow depth reaches 49 inches in March.
The Chugach National Forest surrounds the Port of Whittier. Stretching over salty waters, snowy peaks, salmon and trout streams, the Chugach National Forest is about the same size as the State of New Hampshire, about 5.4 million acres. It is rare in that the glaciers are still grinding valleys into the earth.
The forest near the Port of Whittiercontains three distinct ecological areas. The Eastern Kenai Peninsula, containing the Russian River, attracts thousands of salmon fishermen each year. Back-country streams and lakes in the area are abundant with grayling and trout. The Copper River Delta, an area of wetlands and rain forest, offers a driving trail where visitors can see the Childs Glacier's blue walls. Prince William Sound is a wonderland for kayakers, cruise ships, small boats and ferries, and float planes. Hunting is a popular activity in the Chugach National Forest. Big game hunting is allowed for those with permits. Brown and black bears, moose, deer, sheep, and mountain goats are the prey. There is also a wide range of game birds and waterfowl, but hunters must be aware of the regulations before they pull the trigger.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Whittier by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.