Posted May 23rd, 2011, 02:19 PM
Do any of you experienced cruisers have suggestions for what we can do in Ketchikan inexpensively and on our own? We like walking and hiking, and pretty much anything else.
Ketchikan is a great walking town. You can start at your cruise ship and do a great 'downtown loop' that is only about 2-3 miles, seeing most of the downtown area. There is a downloadable/printable Walking Tour Map here
that you can check out before you arrive.
As Marie321 mentioned, you can see Creek Street, the Salmon Ladder, walk to City Park and if you're interested, can go inside the Totem Heritage Center
($5/ea) or the Fish Hatchery & Eagle Rehabilitation Center
($12/ea) or there is a combo ticket for $15 for both of them.
There are a couple great hiking opportunities, within a mile or two from downtown. The Deer Mountain Trail begins from near City Park, though up a fairly steep road that will definitely get your blood pumping. The trail is a medium difficult one, with a large elevation gain before you get stunning panoramic views at the 1 mile mark. But it's so worth it!!! You're walking through the rainforest which is also gorgeous. The road to get to the trailhead is steep & long, I would suggest a cab ride to the trailhead.
The 2nd is my personal favorite - Carlanna Lake Road Trail, located in the main section of town more, definitely a cab ride required. But you start out on a short (5-10 minutes) steep logging road and then crest to a gorgeous lake that is surrounded by rainforest & mountains. It's absolutely gorgeous.
Or, if you wish to rent a car
, like Assateague Island Princes suggested, your options open wide up to get out of town & really experience the town. I would highly suggest going to Ward Lake Trail, an easy, level path that walks around a lake about 6 miles outside of town.
I think if you're in Ketchikan, you MUST see at least one of the Totem Pole Parks in town (there are 3!) Totem Bight State Historic Park
& Potlatch Park
are located on the North End of town, accessible by the public transit system (bus) for $2/person round trip. The NEW bus schedule just came out this weekend. Click here...
Both parks are free of charge and you are welcome inside Carving Shed & Clan Houses. If you're going to Totem Bight, be sure & download & print the map & descriptions on the Totem Poles, located here
Saxman Native Village
is on the South end of town and is also accessible by the bus. While the totem pole viewing is free, as Orlando Vic said, you cannot access any of the buildings or Carving shed without paying admission, which is less than $5. If you're going there, be sure & download & print the map & descriptions on the Totem Poles, located here
Oh! And if you're not into jumping on a bus to go to the Totem Poles, you can also see a great showing of poles in the downtown area
, or also up at Cape Fox Lodge
(which also has some great native artifacts). All of those are free too!
Since you're coming in July, you'll be able to see the hordes of Salmon swimming up Ketchikan Creek, and jumping around in Thomas Basin Marina, a very picturesque area in town.