|Bald Eagle at Ward Lake in Alaska
Ketchikan Alaska is the quintessential Alaskan fishing village, like most of the major cities in Alaska. It is also one of the most southern cities in all of Alaska. Our cruise ship was only docked for a half day, so for our time on land we tried to do as much as possible in a few hours.
We started off by renting a Jeep. Renting a vehicle is a great way to see a lot of area in a short amount of time and not be confined to the schedule of a tour. If you plan to rent a vehicle in Alaska we’d recommend doing so a few months in advance. Most of the cities only have one or two businesses that rent vehicles and they go quick.
Our first stop on our morning journey was a 10 mile drive from our port to Ward Lake. This was a small lake that took under an hour to walk around but offered a great glimpse into the Alaskan wildlife. There is a clean path that leads around the whole lake. On our walk we saw bald eagles, hundreds of salmon swimming in the creeks feeding the lake, and fantastic landscape views.
|Tree Stump at Ward Lake
Next up, we continued our trip down the road to Brown Mountain. While we typically hike mountains on foot, due to our shortage of time we decided to cheat a little bit. Brown Mountain features a dirt road that winds around the mountain and gets you very close to the top by vehicle. The drive was exhilarating and the views were incredible. The dirt road was also well maintained.
|Dirt Road up Brown Mountain
From Brown Mountain we cruised over to Totem Bight State Historical Park. This beautiful park is situated on the edge of the water and has many totem poles, some over 30 feet tall. The park has a loop trail that takes about a half hour to an hour to walk depending on how long you stop to check out the totem poles along the way.