Ketchikan, Alaska

[flagallery gid=11 name=”Gallery”]Ketchikan is the 5th largest city in Alaska and has a population of just over 7,000.  The city is known as the “Salmon Capital of the World”.  I have visited in June, August and September and saw the most fish ever in one place in Ketchikan Creek in September.

One can take a downtown walking tour from the Visitors Bureau and through the Welcome Arch.  Along the way you can visit the Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center.  It’s about $12.00 to tour both and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The hatchery releases more than 300,000 salmon, steelhead and rainbow trout each year.  When I was there I saw two injured eagles that were given a new home here.

Also, on this walk is the Totem Heritage Center (see picture).  Here there are some original totem poles from Tlingit and Haida villages from the 19th century.  There are three major locations where you can see totems: City of Saxman, Totem Bight and the Totem Heritage Center.

Creek Street is a well-known area especially in 1903 when more than 30 bawdy houses lined the creek over the years.  Today many shops line the street although you can now tour “Dolly’s House” where the most famous madam had her business.  Her house is preserved much as she left it and the inside can be seen for about $5.00.

On my third visit to Ketchikan I ventured out in a semi-submersible.  It makes is possible to see what’s below the water and the boat runs along a shallow area where there are many starfish, jelly fish and other ocean critters.  The crew will show you a few of these up close and touchable!

I don’t shop too much when I travel but I found the nicest little shop in Ketchikan, the Chinook Company at 307 Stedman Avenue where I did all my Christmas shopping.  They have an assortment of gourmet wild foods, outdoor clothing and unique art.

Also for shopping enthusiasts there is a Tongass Trading center that you can see from the ship dock where you can find all kinds of unique touristy items.

Another recommended tour to take is the Misty Fjords: Waterfalls, Wildlife and Natural Wonder.  Over 2 million acres within the Tongass National Forest was designated in 1978 as the Misty Fjords National Monument.  The best way to experience this area is on a floatplane or helicopter.   You’ll see magnificent glaciers, waterfalls, lakes and sheer granite cliffs.

I would highly recommend a visit to Ketchikan and most of the ships’ itineraries include this quaint city with a wilderness feel to it.  It’s very picturesque and rustic, surrounded by a vast wilderness and impassable mountains.