Los Angeles Times Book Prize
- Best book, science and technology, 2004.
Alaska Historical Society
- Contributions to Alaska History Award, for Ethical Collaboration, shared with Victor Fischer, 2013.
Library Journal Best Books of the Year
- Listed, 2004.
University of Alaska Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University
- Selected as Book of the Year for campus-wide reading and study, 2009.
American Meteorological Society
- Louis J. Battan Author’s Award for outstanding, newly published book on the atmospheric and related sciences, 2005.
Overseas Press Club of America
- Whitman Bassow Award, citation, best reporting in any medium on international environment issues, 2004.
Alaska Library Association
- Outstanding Alaskana of the Year (best Alaska book for 2004)
- Finalist, nonfiction , 2004.
Print journalism and broadcasting awards
Best of the West
(the most prestigious journalism award for western U.S. newspapers)
- First place, general interest column writing, 2019. “Charles has written columns that are well-reported, personal and fascinating. He has captured specifically local issues and people and presented these stories in a way that is universal. Exemplary writing.”
C.B. Blethen Award
- Distinguished Deadline Reporting, 1989, second place 1990.
American Society of Newspaper Editors
- Award for Distinguished Deadline Writing, first runner-up, 1989.
Society of Professional Journalists, US Northwest Region
- Best business reporting, 1991.
- Best reporting on criminal justice, honorable mention, 1991.
Society of Professional Journalists, Farthest North Chapter:
- Best spot news reporting, third place, 1987.
- Best series, third place, 1987
Alaska Press Club
(large print or all media)
- Suzan Nightingale Award for Best Columnist, 2016, 2017, second place, 2018, third place 1993.
- Public Service Award, honorable mention, 2018.
- Best talk show, 2014, third place, 2015.
- Best public affairs show, 2014, second place, 2015.
- Best Reporting on Health or Science, 2001.
- Best series, second place, 2017.
- Best general news story, second place, 1995.
- Best coverage of the Arts, 1994.
- Best reporting on the environment, second place, 1994.
- Best general reporting, first and third place, 1992.
- Best breaking story, first place, 1992, 1991.
- Best reporting on business and economics, 1992.
- Best comprehensive coverage, 1991.
- Best lifestyles or personality feature, third place, 1991.
- Best reporting on a political subject, 1990.
- Best reporting on health, science, consumer and the environment, 1990.
- Best long news feature, 1990.
- Best reporting, second place, 1989.
- Best comprehensive coverage, third place, 1989.
- Best breaking story, 1988.
Awards for public service
Anchorage School District
- Award for Excellence for leadership as chairman for two years of School Bonds YES! campaign, which won voter approval of $264 million in bonds, 2003.
Anchorage Municipal Assembly
- Resolution 99-136 “Recognizing the Leadership of Assemblymember Charles P. Wohlforth in the Orderly and Successful Disposal of the Anchorage Telephone Utility,” 1999.
Government Hill Community Council
- Citation “For exceeding even his usual high standards as a public servant in the matter of Municipal Ordinance 96-209,” 1997.