Chapter 20 - Southeast Alaska

Cruising the Inside Passage into Southeast Alaska is definitely one for the “bucket list” of any boater. Lush rainforests, snow capped mountain peaks, majestic glaciers, small, friendly towns and native villages, wildlife at every turn, and legendary sport fishing are just part of the allure. Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau and Haines are the largest cities. All have harbor facilities and local attractions uniquely their own. Ketchikan has the world’s largest collection of totems and is the gateway to Misty Fjords National Monument. Should you arrive in this southern most port of call in need of marine gear or hardware, boating or safety supplies, a stop at Tongass Trading Marine & Outdoors should fill the bill.  From Wrangell, visit Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory or view ancient Native rock carvings at Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park. Petersburg, known as “Little Norway” displays its unique cultural heritage each May with a Norwegian Constitution Day celebration (occurring the third weekend).  Most all of the festivities are convenient to moorage at Petersburg Harbor.  Sitka, on the other hand, reflects its history as the oldest Russian established city in Alaska. Juneau, Alaska’s capital is full of attractions – capital tours, the Mt. Roberts Tramway, fine museums and the Medenhall Glacier. Haines hosts a number of fun and unique annual events like the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival featuring the world's largest concentration of American Eagles, the Southeast Alaska State Fair, and the Great Alaska Craft Beer and Home Brew Festival.  While cruising, don’t rule out the smaller ports of call. Hoonah is a great supply and fuel stop before exploring Icy Straits into magnificent Glacier Bay National Park. Kake Ports & Harbor, located on the northwest corner of Kupreanof Island offers two areas to moor. Walk downtown to view one of the world's largest totem poles. Point Baker, on the north end of Prince of Wales Island, is a lovely sheltered stop – and a good place to come for homemade pie or to give you bragging rights that you’ve been to the last floating saloon in SE Alaska. Point Baker is also near El Capitan Cave, the longest mapped cave in Alaska. On the east side of the Island, Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay both have logging pedigrees. In fact, Thorne Bay was once the largest logging camp in the U.S. Hike, fish, and kayak around the area or rent a car and explore a few of the 1,000 miles of Island road.  In August, Coffman Cove hosts the annual "By The Sea" Arts & Seafood Festival, a wonderful celebration with music and dance performances, lip sync contest, fish poem slam, raffle, foo, fireworks and more.  

Petersburg Port & HarborWrangell Ports & HarborsCity of Coffman CoveCity of Thorne Bay

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Kake Ports & Harbor

Now in its 43rd year, Northwest Boat Travel is a unique cruising guide containing twenty geographically arranged chapters presenting descriptions and useful information about the ports-of-call, anchorages, bays, inlets, waterways, marine parks, marina and resort facilities, fuel docks, services, and things to see and do along coasts and islands of Washington, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska.