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Things to do in Ketchikan

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.  

From Ketchikan: Mahoney Lake Off-Road UTV Tour with Lunch

2. From Ketchikan: Mahoney Lake Off-Road UTV Tour with Lunch

Get well off the beaten path and speed along muddy trails to the remote Lake Mahoney on this guided UTV tour. Follow off-road trails along the George Inlet Fjord and through the Tongass National Forest to reach a tranquil lake. Start your adventure in downtown Ketchican, where you will meet the guide and travel out to the White River base camp where you'll enjoy a nice lunch. Learn about the history of Ketchikan as you pass sites like the Ward Cove Pulp Mill. After a short UTV training session at base camp, gear up and head out onto the trails. Be prepared to get muddy as you tear along 5 miles of off-road paths, through a beautiful wilderness of fjordland and temperate rainforest. Reach the peaceful shores of Mahoney Lake, where a hearty campfire lunch will await you. Enjoy a well-deserved meal and a hot drink looking out over the peaceful water, far away from tourist crowds. Return to base camp along the trails and get dropped back in Ketchikan to end the tour. This tour lasts 3 hours, 45 minutes dock to dock including transportation time.

Ketchikan: Tongass Forest Alaska Bigfoot ATV Ride & Hike

3. Ketchikan: Tongass Forest Alaska Bigfoot ATV Ride & Hike

Leave the civilized world of Ketchikan behind and go on an exhilarating guided trek and ATV adventure in the lush surroundings of the Tongass National Forest. Ride along an off-road trail to reach the forest base camp before going on a guided hike along a scenic trail. Start 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 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, resting near a creek filled with trout to 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. 

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.

Ketchikan: Potlatch Park, City and Wildlife Private Van Tour

5. Ketchikan: Potlatch Park, City and Wildlife Private Van Tour

You will meet your private guide at the cruise ship dock to begin your private excursion. From here you can sit back and relax in a new 15-passenger Ford Transit van, complete with captain chairs. You can enjoy the beautiful 10-mile coastal drive north to Potlatch Park. Once there you will discover a wonderful collection of historical exhibits and totem poles, which showcase the work of the native tribes. Your guide will narrate the stories and legends of the totems, and you'll get to experience what an 1800's native fishing village would have been like. Next, check out the carving shed, where master carvers created new poles, antique rifles, and vintage cars, at the nearby museums. On the way back towards town you will observe canneries, ruminants of a floating logging camp, and boat harbors. Once at Herring Cove, your guide will lead you to wildlife viewing areas, where black bears, bald eagles, herons and salmon are often spotted. As you head back to Ketchikan, keep an eye out for whales, seals and eagles. Your guide will point out Creek Street's "Red Light District", explaining the history of bootlegging and the story of "Dolly's House". At the end of your tour, you may choose to end at Creek Street to do some shopping (where transportation to your next destination will be on your own), or your driver/guide will take you directly back to the cruise dock from where you started. 

Ketchikan: Self-Guided Audio Tour

6. 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.

From Ketchikan: Crab Feast Lunch at World Famous Lodge

7. 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: Lumberjack Show, Driving Tour, and Crab Feast

8. Ketchikan: Lumberjack Show, Driving Tour, and Crab Feast

See Alaska’s frontier lumberjacks battle British Columbia’s premier woodsmen during a lumberjack show at Ketchikan’s Lumberjack Sports Arena. Learn about the area and take photos on a guided drive, then arrive at the rustic George Inlet Lodge for a hearty meal and drinks paired with local stories. Start your trip at the Lumberjack Sports Arena, where all of Ketchikan would, once a year, celebrate their logging heritage at the annual Timber Carnival. Join in this celebration of a bygone era and experience first-hand a rip-roaring good time filled with quality entertainment for all ages. The show reflects upon Southeast Alaska’s rich logging history and comes to life with thrilling displays of strength and agility. See a no-holds-barred competition for the title “Bull of the Woods.” To complement the action, listen to stories of lumberjack history and lore from your host. Meet the jacks after the show for pictures, then loosen your belt and grab your camera as you sightsee your way to the George Inlet Lodge for a meal featuring fresh Dungeness crab and romaine salad with homemade Asian-style dressing, followed by a cheesecake with blueberry topping for dessert. This feast tends to be a very robust gathering and has been called a “rowdy good time.” Your hosts lead you through a panorama of local tall tales, then demonstrate the easiest way to crack your crabs. As you feast, get to know more about this historic building that is now the George Inlet Lodge. There’s no doubt that the pristine coastal setting and the staff at the George Inlet Lodge will deliver an unforgettable Alaskan experience. Before the end of your visit, choose to check out the gift shop to grab a special souvenir (cost not included). 

Ketchikan: Marine Wildlife and Whale Watching Boat Tour

9. 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. 

Ketchikan: Wilderness Boat Cruise and Crab Feast Lunch

10. Ketchikan: Wilderness Boat Cruise and Crab Feast Lunch

Journey into the heart of Southeast Alaska and the Tongass National Forest on a boat cruise through the wilderness. Watch as crab pots are pulled up from the waters surrounding Revillagigedo Island, then head to the George Inlet Lodge for a feast centered around Dungeness crab. Meet your host in Ketchikan near the cruise ship docks and hop into an air-conditioned van that will take you to the starting point for your cruise. Once aboard your sightseeing cruise, travel through the Tongass National Forest and Gorge Inlet. Breathe in the fresh air and spectacular scenery as your crew shares stories and the history of this magnificent waterway. If you're feeling adventurous, make sure to volunteer to pull up crab pots from the abundant waters surrounding Revillagigedo Island, overflowing with delicious Dungeness crab. Your cruise brings you to a remote location, where a crab feast awaits at the rustic yet elegant George Inlet Lodge. Sit down to a meal featuring fresh Dungeness crab served with a Romaine salad with homemade dressing. And don't worry, your hosts will be on hand to demonstrate the easiest way to crack your crabs. Sip a complimentary glass of wine or beer along with your meal and round out your feast with a scrumptious cheesecake with blueberry topping for dessert. Your Alaskan wilderness experience comes to an end with a return journey back to the meeting point in Ketchikan. 

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What people are saying about Ketchikan

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 24 reviews

Excellent tour on a trolley bus. We saw eagles, a black bear and seals. Guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Good stories of the history of the totem poles.

The guide answer all of our questions, he also told us this magnificent poem that we enjoy. He knew history and that’s what my family liked the most.

The escort was very knowledgeable. We went to a stream with salmon & saw a bear in its habitat catching & eating his meal(fish)

Thanks in particular to the getyourguide resource person on site. And, also, to the driver who loves what he does.

Cant control the animals and would have loved to see a bear but it was nice.