) is a city in Ketchikan Gateway Borough
, United States
, and the southeasternmost sizable city in that state. With an estimated population of 7,368 in 2007, it is the fifth most populous city in the state.
Ketchikan's economy is based upon tourism and fishing, and the city is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World."
The Misty Fjords National Monument
is one of the area's major attractions.
Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town. Ketchikan comes from the Tlingit name for the creek
, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean "the river belonging to Kitschk"; other accounts claim it means "Thundering Wings of an Eagle."
Ketchikan also has the world's largest collection of standing totem poles
, located at three major locations: Saxman Village
, Totem Bight, and the Totem Heritage Center.
Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island
, 90 miles (145 km) north of Prince Rupert
, British Columbia
and 235 miles (378 km) south of Juneau
, Alaska. Average annual rainfall is 152 inches
(3,900 mm); annual average snowfall is 37 inches (94 cm).
The average high temperature in July is 65 °F
), and the average high temperature in January is 39 °F (4 °C).
The ½-mile-wide channel called the Tongass Narrows
separates Ketchikan from Gravina Island
, where Ketchikan International Airport
is located. In August 2005 the 2005 Highway Bill
provided for $223m to build the Gravina Island Bridge
(nicknamed "the Bridge to Nowhere"
by its critics) between Ketchikan and Gravina Island. The bridge would have connected the island of Ketchikan to Gravina island where the airport is located so you can drive to the airport rather than taking the ferry across the waters. After years of national and international ridicule over the expense of this project, the Alaska government ultimately chose not to build the bridge, and will spend the appropriated funds elsewhere.
Ketchikan serves as both an air and marine transportation hub for southern Southeast Alaska.
The Ketchikan International Airport
serves as both a gateway for Alaska Airlines
jet service from Seattle
and a bush carrier and charter aircraft hub for destinations like Hyder
, Metlakatla, Alaska
, and Prince of Wales Island
Ketchikan receives service to two separate ferry lines. Ketchikan sits on the Alaska Marine Highway
's Inside Passage
route and sees a large number of ships northbound (to the rest of Alaska) and southbound (to Prince Rupert, British Columbia
— where a six hour connection can be made to the BC Ferries
system — and Bellingham, Washington
). Ketchikan also sees regular day service from the Alaska Marine Highway vessel M/V Lituya
, a day boat that shuttles between Ketchikan and Metlakatla, its homeport. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority
serves Ketchikan daily (and, in the summer, twice daily) with the dayboat M/V Prince of Wales
from its homeport in Hollis
on Prince of Wales Island. Ketchikan often serves as a connection between the Prince of Wales and mainline Alaska Marine Highway vessels that run to the rest of Southeast Alaska.Ketchikan is a wonderful community to visit and to live.
The sense of community is what makes it special, along with its beauty.