Cariloha’s Inside Scoop on Ketchikan, Alaska

Cariloha’s Inside Scoop on Ketchikan, Alaska

Welcome to Ketchikan! Alaska’s first city and the Salmon Capital of the World. This quaint, fishing town is full of wildlife and adventure. It’s no surprise that Cariloha’s interns take advantage of the beautiful scenery and make the most of their few months up here. Ketchikan is one of the rainiest cities in America with over 155 inches of annual rainfall. These Cariloha Ketchikan interns appreciate the sunny days but love the rainy ones, too. Whether you’re on a luxurious cruise, or a raw-and-wriggling fishing trip, here are five sights you have to check out when in Ketchikan:

1. Deer Mountain

Deer Mountain sits at the bench of Ketchikan. If you’re lucky enough to experience Ketchikan on a clear day, you’ll be able to see the peak from the waterfront. The views atop Deer Mountain are breathtaking. With its 360° views of Ketchikan and neighboring islands, this hike won’t disappoint. The trail head is just south of town and is in walking distance of downtown. You can follow Stedman Street to Creek Street until you reach Ketchikan Lakes Road. There are signs downtown that can guide you directly to the trail. This trail has a steep incline for 2.75 miles until you reach the peak. You’ll have several breathtaking lookouts while engulfed in rich green foliage. Stop and rest along the way to take in this incredible experience. This hike will take 4-6 hours depending on speed.


2. Ward Lake

You might want to take the Silver Line Bus directly north of town to get to this beauty. The trail itself is only 1.3 miles long, but the trail starts 6 miles north of Ketchikan. This attraction is easily accessible year round and highlights Alaska ecology and wildlife. Bring a lunch and take a swim, or listen to the hundreds of birds. This family friendly trail is a must-see.

3. Kayaking Trip

If you’re lucky enough to experience Ketchikan on a clear, sunny day, then you have to go kayaking. Southeast Exposure will take care of you. You can do a guided tour to experience the Northwest, or you can take the kayaks out by yourself. Salmon won’t be the only wildlife you’ll be surrounded by. Place yourself in the heart of Alaska by encountering bald eagles, seals, bears, and deer. This perspective of Ketchikan is unlike any other. Be sure to head north and stop by Salmon Falls. Later in the summers, the salmon are jumping up stream to spawn. It’s a sight to see.


4. Carlanna Lake

Words can’t describe the sights you’ll see at Carlanna Lake. Comparable to Oregon and California’s Redwood National Forest, these Sitka Spruce trees stretch toward the sky while protecting this flourishing lake. The trailhead is about 4 miles north of Ketchikan, so take the Silver Bus to Carlanna Lakes Road. The trail is an easy, flat 1.5 miles that passes the damn to take you along the shoreline. Choose from three fishing platforms along the lake – each provides excellent trout fishing. Keep an eye out for mountain goats on the rocky slope above the lake.

5. Herring Cove

Ever dreamed of observing bears in their natural habitat? Here’s your chance. Just 15 miles south of Ketchikan, you can park on Powerhouse Rd. Grab your binoculars and walk towards the power plant. While the salmon are running upstream, the bears feed at the mouth of the waterfall. You don’t have to wait too long to witness a black bear catching and eating its lunch. There’s nothing like it. If you want to fish, too, head downstream where the stream meets the ocean. You’ll be sure to catch a variety of salmon.


With so much to see and do in Ketchikan, you’re bound to love it. This beautiful, fishing city awaits you. Have a question or suggestion? Don’t hesitate to stop by the Cariloha Ketchikan store at 328 Mission Street and talk to a member of our friendly staff. They’ll be glad to answer questions and guide you to points of interest. Or, e-mail us at