Best of Ketchikan
Collected by Travis Marshall, AFAR Local Expert
1 Kasaan Rd, Kasaan, AK 99901, USA
Spend a day exploring by boat or seaplane the rugged landscapes of Misty Fjords National Monument, where more than 8,000 square kilometers (or 2 million acres) of protected wilderness encompass fog-shrouded, temperate rain forests; electric-blue...
420 Spruce Mill Way, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
One of Ketchikan’s most popular attractions is an hour-long, family-friendly show that celebrates the skills and strength of professional Alaskan lumberjacks. Cheer along as the ax-wielding woodsmen compete in events such as tree climbing, ax...
50 Main St, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center is the perfect spot to get acquainted with the culture, history and attractions of the Ketchikan area. Upon walking through the door, you’ll be greeted by a trio of totem poles, one from each of the region's...
Saxman, AK 99901, USA
For a firsthand look at the indigenous cultures of Ketchikan, head just south of town to Saxman Village. Here you can not only peruse the collection of 25 standing totem poles, but also watch as master woodworkers create new ones right in the...
629 Dock St, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
The Tongass Historical Museum is a small city-run museum where visitors can peruse displays highlighting the town’s history and the art and culture of the native people from the area. Just outside the museum, a large totem pole called Raven...
Unnamed Road, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
Bears are among the most iconic animals you’ll see while exploring Alaska’s wilderness. They are especially common during the salmon season, when they go fishing at rivers and creeks like Margaret Creek—about 20 minutes from Ketchikan by...
116 Wood Rd, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
At this private reserve, you can join a tour led by a naturalist who will show you Alaska’s unique flora and fauna. You may spot bears and bald eagles among forests of cedar and spruce as you hike near salmon-rich Eagle Creek. Along the way, the...
601 Deermount St, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
At the Totem Heritage Center you’ll find a large collection of authentic, unrestored 19th-century totem poles, recovered from native village sites in the area. And the museum here is a must-see for anyone interested in learning how to recognize...
9883 N Tongass Hwy, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
The Forest Service established Totem Bight State Historical Park in 1938 as a place to repair or replace historic totem poles that had been damaged, and to teach wood carving to a new generation of Native Alaskan artists. Today, the site features...
24 Creek St, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
Today, Ketchikan’s Creek Street crawls with visitors hunting for souvenirs among the boardwalk’s shops, but in the early 1920s crowds came here for very different reasons—to visit the speakeasies and brothels. Dolly’s House Museum is located in...
Pipeline Srv Rd, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
Whether you prefer hiking, fishing, kayaking or some other activity, you’ll find no shortage of outdoor adventures around Ketchikan. Local guides lead ATV treks and zip line tours through the surrounding rain forest. Hiking trails provide the...
1101 Copper Ridge Ln, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
One of the best ways to explore the natural beauty around Ketchikan is by simply setting out on foot along one of the many trails around town. One popular spot is the short, two-kilometer Rainbird Trail. The trailhead is a short walk from the...
5690 Roosevelt Dr, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
Don snorkeling gear and dive into the chilly waters of the Inside Passage—you'll stay quite warm in your heavy-duty wet suit—to see the wildlife beneath the waves firsthand. At Mountain Point, you can swim in the shallow intertidal zone, where...
The ocean near Ketchikan is rich with seafood like king crab, octopus and shrimp. On the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour, you board a ship from the TV show Deadliest Catch to marvel at the creatures the crew hauls in. The tours last about three...
8th & Upper Milton St, Metlakatla, AK 99926, USA
Just south of Ketchikan, the town of Metlakatla is the only settlement of native Tsimshian people in the United States, and it’s accessible to visitors by ferry or floatplane. While there, you can stop in at the community art center to see works...
989 Stedman St, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
The Alaskan wilderness can be rugged and inaccessible, but you’ll have no trouble navigating mountains and rivers while driving an all-terrain vehicle on an off-road adventure. These tours explore the temperate rain forest near Ketchikan with...
11728 S Tongass Hwy, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
Seafood is literally Ketchikan’s reason for being. The earliest settlement here was a summer fishing site for Native Alaskans, and when pioneers arrived, it became a hub for salmon fishing and processing. So it’s no surprise you’ll find an...
2096 S Tongass Hwy, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
The natural scenery around Ketchikan is some of the most beautiful in the world, with lush green forests fed by steady rains. Much of it is best explored by sea on a scenic cruising excursion. You can take a boat trip into the Misty Fjords...
119 Potter Rd, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
Ketchikan is called the Salmon Capital of the World, and for good reason: Five different species of salmon swim the waters here. Anglers shouldn’t miss the chance for a sportfishing excursion to hook a wild salmon—or another of Alaska’s iconic...
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