United States
Ketchikan Gateway Borough

Here you’ll find travel reports about Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Discover travel destinations in the United States of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day7

    Ketchikan - salmon & seals

    September 9 in the United States

    14,000 year long population, swelled by cruise ship passengers. Our trolley bus guide told us that, last week, there were 4 ships in and the visitors almost outnumbered the residents. Today there are 4 ships in..

    It’s been raining this morning - in a typical year, they have 15ft of water (so, 180”). By comparison, Glasgow, which is at the same latitude has 43”, but the total is similar to the highest peaks in the Lakes.

    There’s so much salmon and great feeding for seals and black bears. In The Creek, which runs through the old town, it was like “shooting fish in a barrel”.

    They’re 90 minutes by air from Seattle and over 2 hours from Anchorage. With only 60 miles over road on an island 100 miles x 60 miles, they rely on air, but mostly tug towed barges to bring all their supplies (including fuel) from Seattle. We saw a couple of these near the islands around Vancouver and wondered what they are. Now we know!

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  • Day5


    May 29 in the United States

    5.30 am alarm and a quick breakfast in the Lido as we docked at the quaint, first frontier, little town of Ketchikan. Ketchikan is known for its rain and it didn't disappoint. Our bus collected us for our trip and we saw bald eagles in the fields en route not a major wild life spot in these parts as there are as many bald eagles as people! We were greeted by our friendly kayak hosts, kitted up and used the rest rooms which were 'rural' with a curtain for a door. The kayak centre was in a rural spot and we were only a small group and it was good to get away from the cruise crowds and sample the delights of rural Alaska. We had a fast zodiac boat ride to the beach were our kayaks were waiting for us. More kitting up and a briefing from our guides Billy and Terry and we were on the water. It was both tranquil and scenic, there was one harbour seal spotted, more eagles and a star fish. We paddled around the remote Tatoosh isands, the water became a little more choppy when we were on the open sea side in the final section of the trip. We had some dry weather but the rain started again as we beached the kayaks and we were very glad of the shelter, home made cookies and hot chococlate. The rain didn't ease as we boarded the zodiac in fact it turned to hail and we were all pretty wet and cold by the time we got back. We boarded the bus and were pleased to be somewhere warm and dry. Once back at the ship we had a quick change of clothes and headed out to 'do' Ketchikan.

    In town first thing on the list was a warm cup of coffee then we started our tour of the town. We visited the compact Whale Park with its Knox Brothers clock and Chief Kyan Totem Pole (Ketchikan is the town with the most totem poles in Alaska), we saw St John's Episcopal Church, Creek Street which was once the rowdy, red light district of town and is home to Dolly's House, Dolly was the town's most successful madam! We of course did a little retail therapy but stayed out of all the diamond and jewels establishments!

    The ship set off around 3 pm, the weather was good so we sat on our balcony to enjoy the scenery and so some wild life spotting, we saw a group of 4 either seals or porpoises. We then went to a entertaining talk called Dreamers, Schemers and Stampeders which highlighted some of the colourful characters who lived here especially in the gold rush era.

    We dined with a couple from San Francisco and two girls from Toronto who were very amusing and entertaining.
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  • Day20

    Totem Bight, Ketchikan, AK

    September 1, 2017 in the United States

    Totem Bight is a state historical site in Ketchikan. This site held sacred by the natives has been salvaged and reconstructed. The site has several totem poles and a clan house. Our guide tells the story of each of the poles from the Tlingit and Haida tribes who lived in the area. Each totem pole reflects the native myths and legends. The symbols are the raven, the eagle, the beaver, the bear and wolf, and the killer whale.

    The totem poles were hand carved with native implements like the adze. Paint was made from charcoal, copper deposits, iron deposits and mixed with saliva and fish roe.

    It's a beautiful, quiet setting right on the banks of the Inland Passage just a few minutes from downtown.
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  • Day20

    Ketchikan, AK

    September 1, 2017 in the United States

    Have travelled south overnight to the port of Ketchikan for an 11am arrival. It's a much larger town based around the fishing and timber industries as well as tourism. We are the 5th ship in port today and can't dock until after 1:45pm. People who have earlier shore excursions have to use the tenders to go ashore. Ours is this afternoon, so we wait for the docking.

    The port is a hive of activity with float planes and helicopters buzzing between the cruise ships. All manner of sea craft go to and fro on this waterway. Ketchikan gets the most rainfall in Alaska. It is fine and sunny this morning.

    A large portion of the waterfront properties in Ketchikan are built on stilts over the water - there is so little land that can actually be built on as the mountains rise steeply so quickly. Property is quite expensive here in Ketchikan because of this - so little land can be built on. An interesting fact we learn is that homes cannot be accessed by cars.....they are accessed by stairs and elevated timber pathways which are called streets and avenues.
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  • Day25

    Ketchikan, United States

    August 26, 2017 in the United States

    Just arriving in Ketchikan, Alaska - touted as the Salmon Capital of the World. As we are docking, I thought I'd share a few pics. We are off to what I expect to be a very kitsch Lumberjack show... Haha. We purchased tickets in Oz online well before the trip, at about 25% of what they are charging on the ship... My tour guide thinks of everything!!!

    Will report back later!

    The Lumberjack Show was a little twee, but showcased the skills required for timber orders. It was fun and a good hour long show.

    Ketchikan is an interesting town, with a strong river in the centre of town, with a salmon ladder, complete with salmon swimming upstream. The "old" part of town showcases the history, being where the loggers andfisherman spent their free time and hard earned dollars, as evidenced by the signs at Dolly's house.Ketchikan gets 16 feet of rain (yes, you read that right!). We were lucky today, to have only an overcast, but dry day, maximum temperature 15 degrees.
    Today we had a very nice long chat with our lovely youngest daughter over coffee in a Cafe. We miss the family very much, so it made us a little homesick.

    Tomorrow we spend at sea, sailing the Inside Passage. We will be looking for some big marine life (hopefully a whale or two will come play), before docking in Vancouver on Monday, and more adventures in Canada!
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  • Day4


    August 2, 2016 in the United States

    Finally got to Ketchikan after two days on the boat. I had aways thought that I would go stir crazy locked up on board and I wasn't wrong. We were glad to get here and walk around Ketchikan. The best part was the salmon in the creek, jumping up the waterfalls. That was fun to watch, but really hard to photograph.

    Anyway, it's a scenic little town with tons of tourist shops to buy Alaskan junk. :) We supported the local economy a bit.

    Next stop... Juneau!
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  • Day7


    July 25 in the United States

    Landgang in Ketchikan, der Lachshauptstadt der Welt. Zusammen mit 10 anderen Wagemutigen ging es mit Jeeps über Stock und Stein durch den Tongass Wald, nach Amazonas der grösste Regenwald der Erde. Endstation war ein See, den wir per Ruderboot überquert hatten, danach kurze Wanderung im Wald.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Ketchikan Gateway Borough, কেটিকান গেটৱে ব্যুরো, Borough de Ketchikan Gateway, Arrondissement de Ketchikan Gateway, Ketchikan Gateway megye, Քետչիկան Գեյթուեյ շրջան, Borough di Ketchikan Gateway, ケチカンゲートウェイ郡, Ketchikan Gateway Kūn, Okręg Ketchikan Gateway, Ketchikan Gateway, Кетчикан-Гейтуэй, Кетчикан, کٹچیکان گیٹ وے برو، الاسکا, Boro han Ketchikan Gateway, 克奇坎門自治市鎮

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