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Our most recommended things to do in Ketchikan

Ketchikan: Totem Pole, Wildlife & City Trolley Tour

1. Ketchikan: Totem Pole, Wildlife & City Trolley Tour

Relax aboard a San Francisco cable car trolley and take in the sights and sounds of this bustling fishing and logging community, once known as the salmon capital of the world. On this 2.25-hour tour, explore the native village of Saxman with its 29 authentic hand-carved totem poles, a master carving center, and village store. Watch master crafters at work and learn the history and traditions behind this practice. Next, head south to Herring Cove for wildlife viewing. In the summer during salmon spawning season, hungry bears, bald eagles, blue herring, and harbor seals can often be spotted in this beautiful riverside cove. On the way back to town, see Fish Ladder and City Park before ending the tour at either historic Creek Street or the downtown dock minutes from the cruise ship pier.  

Ketchikan: Tongass Forest Alaska Bigfoot ATV Ride and Hike

2. Ketchikan: Tongass Forest Alaska Bigfoot ATV Ride and Hike

Alaska Bigfoot Adventures is an experience for the Bigfoot enthusiast, environmentalist or the casually curious. ABA has prepared an exciting and informative back-woods wilderness adventure for you in the heartland of Alaska’s Rain Forest near the port of Ward Cove/Ketchikan. Meet your Alaskan tour guide and leave the civilized world behind as you join an intimate group of adventurers going into this lush forests setting. Read more about Alaska Bigfoot Adventures - your tour at the cruise ship port and hop into a comfortable air-conditioned van for the first leg of your Alaskan adventure. Enjoy a brief tour of Ketchikan as you drive through the town en route to the ATV site. Then, travel by shared ATV as you make your way into the forest to reach the Alaskan wild woods base camp close to the trailhead. From here, your short hiking experience begins. Explore the moss-covered forest as you wander through prime bigfoot habitat. Learn about the area from your guide and stop to read informative kiosks placed along the trail to identify the abundant plant and animal species living here. Take a short break during your forest trek, to learn about the surrounding legend of the Bigfoot and enjoy a warming cup of hot chocolate or coffee served with a gourmet cookie. Keep an eye out for the sasquatch throughout your tour. And if you don't spot the real thing, don't worry, you'll still get the chance to capture a full-sized, motion-active replica of bigfoot. At the end of your experience, enjoy a comfortable return journey to the cruise ship port in Ketchikan by air-conditioned van. 

Ketchikan: Marine Wildlife and Whale Watching Boat Tour

3. Ketchikan: Marine Wildlife and Whale Watching Boat Tour

Discover the beauty of Ketchikan on this sightseeing boat tour. Stay cozy with the boat's blankets and get a closer look at wildlife like eagles and seals with the use of onboard binoculars. Search for humpback and killer whales in the Tongass Narrows and Nichols Passage. Check-in with staff and board the comfortable boat that has an onboard restroom. Once you depart the dock, begin to see eagles, seals, sealions and many species of wild birds that Alaksa showcases during the summer months.  Get help from the crew who will keep a look out for wildlife and tell you fun facts about these creatures. Have the chance to see the magnificent humpback whales that frequent the waters of Tongass Narrows, Nichols Passage, and other nearby water ways during the spring and summer months.  Enjoy photo opportunities with sights like a humpback whale breaching or bubble feeding. Search the waters for killer whales, which can reach a length up to 30 feet and have a dorsal fins that span up to 7 feet. Help yourself to complimentary drinks like coffee, tea, hot chocolate, flavored soda water, and bottled water and snacks like fresh pastries, crackers, and assorted chips. Stay outside and enjoy more of the scenery while wrapped in a blanket. 

From Ketchikan: Potlatch Totem Park and Herring Cove Tour

4. From Ketchikan: Potlatch Totem Park and Herring Cove Tour

Experience the beauty and charm of Alaska with a guided tour of some authentic local attractions. Depart from Ketchikan to explore the colorful totems of Potlatch Park and learn about this ancient craft. Surround yourself with nature at Herring Cove and keep an eye out for exotic wildlife. Begin your adventure in Ketchikan and travel north on a picturesque ten-mile coastal drive to Potlatch Park. Learn about the town's fishing and logging past while passing by the old pulp mill, Ward Cove Cannery, and other iconic landmarks. Step into Potlatch Park to see what a native fishing village would have looked like back in the 1800s. Wander through the majestic totem poles as you listen to a fascinating narration of the site's history. Tour the tribal house and the carving center, where you'll see this art in action. Before you leave, stop by the Alaska Totem Trading Shop and view a display of rare antique firearms and other curiosities. Continue on to the beautiful Herring Cove, a small inlet that provides unique sights and sounds of local species. Join your guide on a wildlife-watching adventure and, if you're lucky to visit during salmon season, enjoy the opportunity to spot black bears, eagles, herons, and seals. From June through September, view the salmon as they fight their way upstream. End your journey with a ride back to Ketchikan.

From Ketchikan: Crab Feast Lunch at World Famous Lodge

5. From Ketchikan: Crab Feast Lunch at World Famous Lodge

Delight in a hearty Alaskan three-course lunch at the rustic yet elegant George Inlet Lodge. Relax and savor delicious Dungeness crab in the warmth of the lodge while hearing local tales from your informative host. Meet your host in Ketchikan and travel south to the Lodge which sits on the scenic shores of the George Inlet Waterway. Learn all about the history of the building which was formerly an old cannery bunkhouse built in the 1940s.  Be entertained with stories about the area while you relish your delicious food offerings: Salad with an Asian-style dressing, steaming hot Dungeness crab and mouth-watering cheesecake complete with blueberry toppings! Be ready to enjoy a lively lunching experience which has been described as a "rowdy good time!"

Ketchikan: Husky Walking Tour

6. Ketchikan: Husky Walking Tour

There are many things that constitute a quintessential Alaskan life…rugged individualism, self reliance, survival instincts, and resourcefulness, just to name a few. Throughout time, Ketchikan has been home to various and sundry Alaskans that fit this profile and prove, without a doubt, that Alaskans are made from tougher stuff. A walking tour with Ketchikan On Foot takes you into the lives and times of these Alaskans. As we walk through town, your human and canine guides will regale you with stories and demonstrations of the Alaskan life as we know it through our experiences, and as we’ve learned it from other Alaskans. We will introduce you to local food, artists, and businesses who can offer the most authentic Ketchikan experiences and mementos. With luck, you will witness the same wildlife as have been spotted on our beaches and in our forests for thousands of years. You will have a conversation with huskies who have Alaskan experiences just as interesting and exciting as the human ones. Best of all, you’ll leave our shores with greater appreciation for the uniqueness of this amazing Alaskan life.

Ketchikan: Private Scenic Drive & George Inlet Fjords Cruise

7. Ketchikan: Private Scenic Drive & George Inlet Fjords Cruise

On this private, guided, half-day tour, embark on an adventure from Ketchikan through the Tongass Narrows as you travel to the George Inlet Fjords. Discover hidden gems of Alaskan culture on the drive through Saxman, then cruise through the rich scenery of the coastal fjords. Begin your tour in Ketchikan, where you'll meet your guide and explore the historic downtown area by van. Then, venture onwards to Saxman, which pays homage to Tlingit culture with its extensive totem pole park. Admire the breathtaking scenery of the Tongass Narrows coastline as you drive. Continue your adventure at the Beaver Falls Salmon Cannery. After visiting the historic cannery, relish the fresh air as you hike the rainforest trail to the Zodiac boat. Along the way, pause for Mahoney Falls Glacial Cirque's stunning views of snow-capped mountains and a 2000-foot waterfall. Next, your guide will provide a brief safety orientation of the Zodiac motorboats. Bundle up in rain gear, rubber boots, and a life jacket, then step into the four- or six-seater vessel. Follow your guide out to the George Inlet Fjords and marvel at the pristine scenery. As you cruise, keep watch for wildlife, including Sitka deer and black bears. Bald eagles may swoop to water for hunting, and in the water, you may be able to observe the salmon streams. After your cruise, return to the cannery for snacks and refreshments before heading back to Ketchikan.

Ketchikan: Alaska Native Cultural Immersion Experience

8. Ketchikan: Alaska Native Cultural Immersion Experience

Broaden your horizons with a small-group tour of Ketchikan, Alaska, led by a local guide. Learn about the stories and lives of the Haida and Tlingit people, and see wildlife in their natural habitat. Meet your guide and set off on a tour of Ketchikan. Spot wildlife at 3 stops, including looking out for bears, salmon, and eagles. Learn about the meanings and stories behind the iconic totem poles of Alaska as you visit the Totem Heritage Center. Hear legendary stories that have been passed down since the beginning of time. Travel through the rainforest in a comfortable van and learn about the medicinal plants and berries that are edible.

Ketchikan: Self-Guided Audio Tour

9. Ketchikan: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Submerge yourself into Ketchikan, the Salmon Capital of the World. Located far south in Alaska, Ketchikan is a beautiful area surrounded by the Tongass Narrows and Deer Mountain in the background. On this audio tour, you will learn about the history and legends of the local aboriginal tribes at the Totem Heritage Center and Stedman Thomas Historic District.  You will also see the Chief Kyan Totem Museum, the Tongass Historical Museum, learn about the Legend of Raven Stealing the Sun, see the Ketchikan Creek with Salmon Ladder, the Thomas Basin Harbor, Dolly's House with the Red Light District, and learn about the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. Benefit from a self-guided tour and explore this amazing city at your own pace, without being hurried along.

Ketchikan: Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary & Totem Park

10. Ketchikan: Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary & Totem Park

This eco-exploration includes a guided nature hike, bald eagles, an on-site totem park and a historic sawmill at an exclusive reserve in the forested mountains at rustic Herring Cove. A pristine natural environment, it is home to bald eagles, black bear, seals and a variety of birds and other species attracted by the major salmon runs in the abundant marine estuary. A naturalist will guide you along an improved trail through the heart of the dense forest, among tall stands of hemlock, spruce and cedar, stopping at strategically located viewing areas. At a protected, open estuary, you'll follow Eagle Creek along an elevated wooden boardwalk overlooking grassy wetlands. Major runs of salmon return to spawn here. Listen to the symphony of bird activity in this spectacular setting. Seasonal ecosystem changes result in varying levels of wildlife activity. A .75-mile trail walk brings you to the historic Herring Bay Lumber Company sawmill. Spend time in the carving center learning about Native culture and traditions before heading out to view the amazing collection of Tsimshian totems. Shopping opportunities await you in the General Store before the scenic drive back to the ship. Notes: Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. Tour operates rain or shine but may be canceled by the operator in the event of extremely bad weather or unsuitable conditions. Dress warmly in layers. Wear a hat or beanie; bring gloves and a scarf. Rain ponchos are available for purchase. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

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What people are saying about Ketchikan

Overall rating

(24 reviews)

We had a great time! We were picked up at a convenient location, right off our cruise ship. We took a short ride to the venue., with history and a short stop for our guide to pick up a light snack. We drove ATV mules for a short distance through the forest and took an easy hike with breaks through the woods. We learned about the history of the area, flora and fauna, in addition to the Big Foot lore. There were “Big Foot” sightings and photo opportunities! Our guide was awesome! He was knowledgeable and proceeded at our pace.

It was a great experience! We were able to watch several humpback whales up close as they fetched their food! Thanks to the boat captain, he always managed to follow the humpback whales! Meanwhile, his assistant explained in detail the feeding behavior of the humpback whales! We also saw sea lions and an eyrie with young sea eagles! We had a very good team and THANK YOU to them

This was the highlight of our Alaska trip by far! Beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife, and so peaceful. We opted to not drive our own skiff so the operator could take care of it while we enjoyed the views. This also let us see all the good spots and even some that hadn't been visited before. Make sure to bundle up because it gets chilly with the wind.

Delicious. Salad could be better, but the crab was fantastic and never ending. I was the last to leave and didn't want to go.

The driver and also guide was fantastic. He took all the time . And we got a lot of information