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Wrangell Alaska

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Nestled on an island at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River, Wrangell offers visitors a friendly taste of a frontier community in the midst of some of the most unique and pristine wilderness in Alaska. Known as the "Gateway to  the Stikine", Wrangell offers a step back into time. There is much to immerse yourself in. Walk among petroglyphs and imagine the people who carved them thousands of years ago. Visit chief Shakes Tribal House, Totem Park and the Wrangell Museum  for a glimpse in to the tlingit Native' way of life. Hike up to Rainbow Fall or stop and pick the abundant wild berries. Traverse the Stikine River Delta by jet boat, fly over majestic snowcapped mountains, rest in natural hot springs, or explore the Tongass National Forest.

Fishing and tourism have provided this community of 2,100 the basis of steady  economic growth.

Wrangell Map (PDF)


Wrangell was settled in 1834 by the Russians, who erected a stockade—Fort  Dionysius—to prevent the Hudson's Bay Company from fur trading up the  Stikine River. When the Russians finally leased Southeast Alaska to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1840, Fort Dionysius became Fort Stikine, a British fur trading post. The settlement was renamed Fort Wrangell when Alaska became a United States territory in 1867. Prospectors of two gold rushes surged through Wrangell  en route to the gold fields via the Stikine River, first in 1874 with the Cassiar discovery, and again in 1897-1900 with the Klondike discovery. Wrangell Alaska

Alaska's first Protestant (Presbyterian) church and American school were established here in 1877. A weekly newspaper, The Wrangell Sentinel, printed its first issue November 2, 1902, which makes it the oldest continuous publication in Alaska.

Information & Emergency

wrangel alaskaWrangell Visitor's Center is located at the James and Elsie Nolan center at 296 Campbell Drive 907-874-2829 or 1-800-367-9745

Emergency 911: Police 874-3304; Ambulance/Fire 874-2000; Wrangell Medical Center 874-7000, 310 Bennett Street.


Diamond C Cafe in the Thunderbird Hotel. Excellent home cooked meals, home-made soups and desserts.

Stikine Restaurant , located in the Stikine Inn.

Zaks, located on Front Street.



Stikine Inn non-smoking facility, and is handicapped-accessible Gift shop and restaurant. 907-874-3388 or 888-874-3388

Alaskan Sourdough Lodge lodging accommodations are 16 comfortable sleeping rooms with private baths, telephone, high speed internet. 907-874-3613 or 800-874-3613



City Park 1.5 miles from ferry terminal on Zimovia Highway has fireplaces,  picnic tables and shelter, toilets, and a ball park.

Nemo Road Campsites are maintained by the US Forest Service located approximately 14 miles from the ferry terminal.

Shoemaker Bay Marina 4.5 miles from ferry terminal on Zimovia Highway  has large parking area with individual parking spaces for campers and trailers.  A fee is charged. Power and water provided.


Transportation & Tours

wrangel alaskaAlaska Marine Highway The terminal is at the north end of town on the Zimovia Highway. Call for reservations 800-382-9229
wrangel alaskaRainforest Islands Ferry. The New Rainforest Islands Ferry is scheduled to begin service in 2015. The passenger/vehicle ferry MV “Rainforest Islander” will make four round trips each week, year-round from Coffman Cove to Wrangell and Petersburg. Mini-coach services for walk-on passengers will meet ferry arrivals and departures at all ports. In addition to regular mini-coach service they will stop at put-in/take-out points for passengers traveling with kayaks and canoes. Food and beverage service will be available aboard the ferry.

Alaska Airlines at the airport



Things To Do

wrangel alaskaBreakaway Adventures has been in operation since 1989. Their tours are among the most unique and exciting tours available in Southeast Alaska.
They also specialize in saltwater and freshwater drop-offs and pickups. Skiffs, canoes and kayaks can be rented for guided or unguided trips throughout the Stikine/LeConte Wilderness area and Anan Wildlife Observatory or Forest Service Cabins in the area. All guided tours are fully narrated 1-888-385-2488, 907-874-2488

Alaska Vistas offers bear watching tours at the Anan Wildlife Observatory, 35 miles south of Wrangell. During the trip on the comfortable and heated jet boats you will have the opportunity to see many of the species of marine life found in these waters. At the trail head a USFS interpreter will provide a brief history of the observatory and explain recent wildlife activity to the group. The guides are well trained and are experts on Bear safety.
Alaska Vistas offers other tours of the area including the Stikine River and they also have a paddling center that can help plan a short excursion or a multi day adventure. 907-874-3006 toll free 1-866-874-3006

Alaska Waters’ “Stikine River Jet Boat Tour” highlights the local, gold rush and Alaska Native history of the Stikine (Stik-Heen) River. The tour also includes a visit to Wrangell’s Petroglyph Beach, Kik-Setti Totem Park and Chief Shakes Tribal House.

Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory, about 30 miles south of Wrangell, receives an average of 200,000 spawning pink salmon each year, the largest in Southeast. The USFS maintains an observation platform and shelter to watch the bears and eagles feeding on the salmon. The observatory is accessed via a 1/2 mile trail from the beach.

Salmon fishing in the coastal water near Wrangell is excellent. The Wrangell Salmon Derby runs the last two weeks of May with special derby days and weekly prizes. Good clam digging will be found in season on the beach near Pat's Creek.

Sunrise Aviation is a small flightseeing and charter air carrier. They offer a variety flightseeing packages local sights including: Stikine River, LeConte Glacier, Anan Bear Observatory and Telegraph Creek, B.C. 800-874-2311

Tyee Travel Inc. is a full service travel agency. 800-977-9705

Chief Shake's Island, in the city harbor, is reached by foot bridge from the end of Wrangell's main street The tiny island is the site of a replica of an Indian tribal house surrounded by several historic totem poles. The  tribal or community house, which contains a display of Indian cultural items, is open when cruise ships are in port.

Muskeg Meadows Golf Course, 907-874-GOLF (4653). A 9 hole Par 36, USGA rated, green fees are $15, club rental available.

Petroglyphs—ancient rock carvings—are scattered along Wrangell's beaches. Many of these interesting and unusual carvings can be seen by driving out Stikine Avenue (1/2-mile from the ferry terminal) where a boardwalk trail leads to the beach from the left of the road. Upon reaching the beach, look for petroglyphs along the next several hundred yards near the water line, where a boardwalk trail leads to the beach and an observation deck overlooking the beach.

Rainbow Falls Trail, a one-mile Forest Service trail, begins at a point 5.2 miles from the ferry terminal on the Wrangell Hwy.

Stikine River is the fastest navigatable river in North America. The River begins almost 400 miles up in British Columbia. Popular sightseeing opportunities include daily excursions by jetboat, or longer trips by raft, canoe and kayak.

James & Elsie Nolan Center 296 Campbell Dr; 907-874-3699. houses the Wrangell museum, visitor Center, Civic Center and Movie Theater. Historical displays  featuring Wrangell, The Tlinget Indians, Gold rush, trapping, logging and  fishing industry exhibits. We are open year round. 



Wrangell Alaska
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