Ketchikan and Totem Bight State Park

When visiting Alaska recently by cruising up the Inside Passage, we made several side trips that were all worthwhile. There was so much natural beauty there that there was no “favorite” place because they were all breathtaking. One moment in time was the visit to Ketchikan and the Totem Bight State Park.

Ketchikan is a neat little town, extremely popular during the salmon runs. We were just a couple of weeks ahead of the salmon run, so did not see them this year. Creek Street is a historical part of town, highlighting the district’s origins providing nefarious services in their red-light district. This is also where the salmon initially show up, and there are several great views of the turbulent creek. Creek Street itself is built on wooden boardwalks over the creek. 



Totem Bight State Historical Park contains both salvaged totem poles, and also new totems created by current day master carvers, including a Tlingit woman. The totem poles hold stories and events that were important to the people who carved them. In this area, the two main groups of Tlingit and Haida are represented by the Raven and the Eagle in the the totem art. There is a marvelous Clan House authentic reproduction there, to illustrate how the house members would have lived together.

Aside from the main Clan House, there were several beautifully carved outbuildings, also illustrated, including images such as the sitting woman, who does not seem to match the rest of the style.


Visit the Ketchikan Gallery here.