Ketchikan | Southeast (Inside Passge)

Ketchikan is often the first city visited in Alaska by Cruise Ship. It is a bustling community backed by forested hills and surrounded by a waterway busy with float planes, fishing boats, ferries and cruise ships. The little town of almost 14,000 is built right over the water in many places. Commercial fishing enterprises, growing tourism and the Misty Fjords National Monument to the east make Ketchikan a great place to visit.

Misty Fjords National Monument is a pristine masterpiece featuring some of Alaska’s most spectacular scenery. Seventeen thousand years ago the area was covered in ice. Massive glacier action carved out its present landscape of long saltwater fjords and 3,000 foot cliffs.
One of the best ways to explore Ketchikan is on foot. Start at the busy City Dock with a stop at the Visitor Bureau to pick up a Ketchikan Walking Tour Map, so you won’t miss anything.

Ketchikan has the distinction of having the world’s largest collection of totem poles.

Ketchikan Visitors Bureau 50 Front Street, downtown on the cruise ship dock. Open May-Sept daily. 907-225-6166 or 800-770-3300

In 1883, a man named Snow built a salmon saltery where Ketchikan now stands. Two years later, businessmen from Portland, Oregon, hired Mike Martin to investigate possibilities of building a salmon cannery on the banks of Ketchikan Creek. Martin and the cannery’s manager, George Clark, formed a partnership and opened a saltery and a general store. Two years later, with the fishing trade flourishing, Ketchikan was definitely in business and by 1900, with a population of approximately 800, the town was officially incorporated.

With mining activities beginning in the area, Ketchikan became an important trading community, with an estimated two-thirds of miners’ wages reportedly ending up in the bars and bordellos of Creek Street.

Despite a mining decline, the fishing industry and timber operations began to grow with establishment of the Ketchikan Spruce Mills early in the century.
In 1954, Ketchikan Pulp Mill was completed at nearby Ward Cove, assuring jobs not only in town, but in the surrounding woods as well. Today, that industry is in trouble worldwide but the ever-resilient Alaskans are focusing on another mainstay, tourism.


Gilmore Hotel

326 Front Street; 907-225-9423 or toll free 1-800-275-9423. Downtown directly across from the cruise ship dock.


Ketchikan Hostel

2303 5th Ave. 907-225-5461. Clean, comfortable accommodations in a beautiful cedar home with views of the Tongass Narrows. Located one-half mile from …


Three C’s Campground

This is an overflow campground only has 4 camp sites.


Clover Pass Resort

15 miles North of Ketchikan. RV hook-ups with electricity, water, sewer, cable, laundry and dump station.  Rustic accommodations. Reservations can be made …


Last Chance Campground

take Tongass Highway north 4.8 miles from AK State Ferry terminal to mile post 7. Turn right onto Revilla Road at mile …


Signal Creek Campground

7 miles north of downtown Ketchikan, approximately 4 miles north of the State ferry terminal. Campground is immediately adjacent to Ward Lake. …


Ward Lake Recreation Area

8 miles north on Ward Lake Road signs to campgrounds, day use area, shelters, picnic tables, trails and lake for all to …


Liquid Sunshine

A gauge at the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau graphically shows Ketchikan’s 162 inch average rainfall—in feet!


Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center

Built in 1954, 350,000  King, Coho and Steelhead salmon raised and released annually. 1158 Salmon Road, Ketchikan, AK 99901; 1-800-252-5158, 907-225-9533.


Centennial Museum Library

on Dock Street in downtown Ketchikan, has an excellent collection of Indian artifacts, pioneer relics, wildlife, ores and minerals, a gun collection, …


Creek Street

is not so much a street as a boardwalk built on pilings and was the famed red-light district for half a century, …


Ketchikan Creek and Falls

downtown adjacent to the library, offers excellent views of the salmon runs that have made the town famous.


Ketchikan’s King Salmon Derby

is actually one of four salmon Derbys in the town, all getting underway in May or June. Entrants compete for thousands of …


Totem Heritage Center

serves as the place where totem poles salvaged from deserted Tlingit communities are gathered and restored to their original condition. The collection …


Ketchikan Walking Tour

A free do-it-yourself activity, includes 33 points of interest within easy walking distance of downtown area. The two-mile  excursion takes about two …


Totem Poles

Totem Poles which make up the world’s largest collection are clustered  in Totem Heritage Center, downtown; in Saxman Totem Park, two miles …


Creek Street

is not so much a street as a boardwalk built on pilings and was the famed red-light district for half a century, …

inter island ferry authority

Inter-Island Ferry

The Inter-Island Ferry Service is just a three hour ride from Ketchikan to Hollis on Prince of Wales Island. Toll Free 1-866-308-4848 …