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 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.
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
Wrangell 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.
Alaska Marine Highway The terminal
is at the north end of town on the Zimovia Highway. Call for reservations
Rainforest 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.
Breakaway 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
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
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 Wrangells 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
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.