Ketchikan, Alaska is one of the rainiest cities in North America. So, we were very fortunate to arrive during a rare dry and sunny day for Ketchikan. An ideal day for exploration!
|Spectacular scenery at Totem Bight.|
|One of the gorgeous totems commemorating Alaska's heritage at Totem Bight.|
Since Totem Bight would be our furthest point for the day, we headed there first. The park is about a 20-30 minute bus ride from city center. The bus is incredibly reasonable--$1 per person each way and $.50 for kids. Admission to Totem Bight is free, so definitely an affordable excursion! Totem Bight State Historical Park exemplifies efforts to preserve the heritage of the Alaska Natives. Alaska bursts with resources and the giant cedar totem poles reflect respect for these natural gifts. As the Natives began to move into larger communities to work, totem poles began to erode away into the landscape. The U.S. Forest Services launched a program in the 1930's to salvage these monuments as well as hire older Native carvers as well as train new carvers to help in preservation and future carvings. After Alaska gained statehood, the park came under the management of Alaska's Department of Natural Resources.
|Interior of clanhouse.|
|Charming buildings on Creek Street are on stilts.|
After exploring Totem Bight, we headed to Creek Street. Creek Street is an adorable historic section the city resting along picturesque Ketchikan Creek. Once the "red light district" of Ketchikan, the street is full of shops and provides for a pleasant aside. You will be bombarded with stores right when you depart from the cruise ship. However, I recommend waiting until visiting Creek Street to shop. We found the area calmer and easier to peruse. We also found it easier to find items made in Alaska to bring back. That being said, I do also recommend a stop at the Scanlon Art Gallery and Arctic Spirit Gallery where you can also find Alaskan art and pieces from Native craftsmen.
|Stones steps of Rainbird Trail|
Deer Mountain Trail and Rainbird Trail are the two most notable trails you will probably hear about when planning a trip to Ketchikan. The Deer Mountain Trail is steeper and much longer than Rainbird Trail. Rainbird Trail is more manageable if you are visiting on a cruise. The trail does have a bit of climb and some of the path is rock. A walking stick may be beneficial for some hikers.
|View from Rainbird Trail in Ketchikan, Alaska|
|Rainforest in Ketchikan, Alaska|
|Bald Eagle in Ketchikan, Alaska|
- Lumberjack Show
- Tongass Prairie
- Misty Fjords
- Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary
**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.