Where Eagles Fly
Favorite thing: Or you'll see eagles out on the water getting food. This picture was taken not far from where the McDonald's drive-thru is at the Plaza, Ketchikan's mall.
Out in the Tongass Narrows the island that is visible is Pennock Island, the island that separates the Tongass Narrows into two channels right near downtown Ketchikan.
Bedrock and Sand
Favorite thing: Here is one kind of interesting thing that I learned about Ketchikan while I was there: The town and its surrounding area has a very high bedrock level, meaning that it is fairly close to the surface, and in addition to this the soil there is very sandy. Because of these factors, you will notice that many of trees in the forests often take root and grow on top of other trees for stability. When trees die they are left on the forest floor to become "nurse trees" for seedlings. It is an amazing sight to see trees growing on top of trees while hiking through an area. It's the first time I've ever seen anything like it.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Favorite thing: You'll get some of the best views of Ketchikan from on deck of a cruise ship. You'll be able to pick out the places to go before you can leave the ship.
The shops on this extended portion of the City Dock are designed for tourism. There are restaurants, art galleries, souvenier shops, that will keep you busy enough that before you know it the cruise ship will be blowing it's horn to remind you to reboard.
Things are Bigger in Alaska
Favorite thing: They say that all things are bigger in Texas, but I think the Alaskans might have one-upped them, at least when it comes to some types of wildlife and plants. In Ketchikan, because of the vast amount of rainfall and the extended hours of sunlight during the summer months, things tend to grow rather large. This includes trees, which as you would imagine grow to incredible heights, but also farmed products such as pumpkins (some of the world's largest pumpkins have been from here, weighing over 1000 pounds). Some animals also fit into this category, like the slug in the photo. This sucker was at least 7 inches long! Cute, isn't it?
(Photo is dedicated to Ms. Jen (CoAir13)
- Family Travel
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Holland America Tied to City Dock
Favorite thing: I got the chance to tour a ship parked behind this Holland America. I was amused that they take such good care of their guests that they wash the windows while in port so the tourists can have that much better view!
Fondest memory: Sometimes in the summer there are ships tied up at the City Dock, and in the Tongass Narrows. One day that I remember there were basically more tourists in town than residents... and Ketchikan is one of the largest cities in Alaska.
Favorite thing: On our "Duck" tour, our knowledgeable guide told us about the land shortage in Ketchikan. He told us to have a look at the Town, and to take note of how the roads, etc are built, and pointed one out.
To our amazement, it wasn't built on land, but was built out from the hillside on a wooden trestle.
Taking more note, we saw shed's were built out over the water, Creek street walkway was over the creek, and so on......
You wouldn't want any knee or leg problems either, quite a few homes built on the hillsides are only accessible by steep, staircase walkways.
Float plane is the way to move here, not by car!
Take Pictures While Docking
Favorite thing: Thousands of visitors come to Ketchikan each summer on cruise ships. Some of the best pictures you'll get of the towns that you visit will be from the deck of the cruiseship.
Fondest memory: I love walking around on the docks. Here is a picture of Thomas Basin from a ship anchored at the City Dock.
Walk or ride your bike around...
Favorite thing: Walk or ride your bike around the town! Explore.. it's not a huge city, but you could probably get a nice workout seeing what there is to see. You'll either see some local (or even touristy, unfortunately) shops and just local residences on the hills. You have to eat seafood here... especially if you like salmon or crabs... it's going to be extremely fresh! Also, I highly reccommend staying in a bed and breakfast, it's a lot of fun.
Fondest memory: When the owner of the bed and breakfast yelled up to us saying that a pod of whales was going by (we could see the water passage from the kitchen). Likewise, when I looked out at one point and saw a dozen Bald Eagles circling over the water. (I included a picture other than the whale picture since they are hardly visible even with the picture in front of me here).
Visit the Tlingit village of...
Favorite thing: Visit the Tlingit village of Saxman and see the art of totem pole carving, live!
There is a great collection of local Indian art and culture displays which you don't want to miss.
Fondest memory: Deer mountain. A 3000 feet mountain rising almost out of the city itself.
We hiked up there with our friends/hosts and spent the night in an 'A' type cabine, after getting married up there !!! I don't think we will have too much competition with THAT wonderfull day.
We truely miss our friends there, who became our family (no double quotes!).
Totem poles on sight...
Favorite thing: As you approach Ketchikan on board of the cruise ship you will get to see many of these TOTEMS (actually you will see many of them almost anywhere you go in Alaska) which were made by the natives a long time ago and which size is amazing!
- Visit the Totem Heritage...
Favorite thing: - Visit the Totem Heritage Center
-Visit the City Park , The gold rush started here
- The city of Ketchikan is very nice too, buildings above the waterways very you can look at many artists and get nice souvenirs.
Favorite thing: This town has plenty of totems scattered all over the place, sometimes in the most unlikely of spots. This was taken near the vicinity of Creek Street.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Ketchikan would be these totems, as well as Burger Queen. Also going to the internet place by the pier ha ha!
- Adventure Travel
This is Ketchikan
Favorite thing: There's tons of things I liked about Ketchikan. You never have to walk to far to find good shopping, you can find some great places to eat, but most of all, it's a town surrounded by Alaskan wilderness. It's like something out of a postcard.
- Adventure Travel
Totem Bight - Frog on Totem Pole
Favorite thing: I read on the Understanding Totem Poles section, which I put in the general tips in this section, that frogs were placed on totem poles to keep them from falling down.
I'm wondering why this poor little frog is on there being held up by it's legs!
- Arts and Culture
- National/State Park
Dry Docked Ferry
Favorite thing: Ketchikan is where the Alaska Marine Highway has a lot of work down on the ferries during the off-months in the winter when traffic slows down.
Fondest memory: This is the M/V Bartlett, which is no longer part of the AMHS fleet. The State of Alaska sold the ferry to the highest bidder on E-Bay.