Plants and Animals of Sitka

Explore Sitka

The temperate rainforest surrounding Sitka is home to some of the most interesting plants and animals in the world. Bugs, birds, fish and a variety of other species inhabit this special area. Here are a few plants and animals you may encounter when venturing into the wilderness.


Stoneflies can only survive in waters that are good quality and Sitka has some of the best to offer. Stoneflies eat leaves and sometimes dead salmon found in Indian River. 


Eagles can often be spotted along the tree line or searching the beaches for food. Eagles are best seen in the fall when salmon begin their runs. Look up high on totem poles or tree tops to spot an eagle while exploring.

Pink Salmon

This is the most common species in Indian River. The pink salmon, or humpies as the locals often call them, life cycle is complete in two years from hatching to spawning. Pink salmon return to the same spot to produce their own young, making Indian River a popular location.


The plants in Sitka are typical of a coastal temperate rainforest. Devil’s club and blueberries can be found on the forest floor shadowed by Hemlocks and Sitka Spruce. One Sitka spruce in the Sitka National Historic Park is close to 500 years old. As you get closer to the water, you’ll find salt and flood tolerant species. Look up and you’ll see red alders, spruce trees and salmonberry bushes. There are over 100 nonvascular plants throughout the forest.

Grab your family and start exploring! Remember to always pack a bag full of emergency goodies for outdoor adventures.

*Photos courtesy of Sitka National Historic Park

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