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Getting to Totem Bight without a car

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Getting to Totem Bight without a car

We will be in Ketchikan as one of the stops on our cruise. We are interested in going to Totem Bight. The only options our cruise ship excursion offer are trips to Totem Bight paired with other things we aren't so interested in. Is there a way (Public transportation??) of getting to Totem Bight on our own?


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1. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

There are taxi's or rental car agency is right there close to dock where the airline ferry docks just north of the downtown district.

Olympia, Washington
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2. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

Visiting that was the highlight of my ferry trip when I came up. There also loads of berries to eat in July! We ate and ate! And the beautiful wildflowers cropping against the coastline was just amazing.

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3. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

I am planning on doing exactly this next month when I am in Ketchikan. Here is some info I gleaned from various sources that I have in my file. Note that the return times differ for the two people, so check out the return times before you head into Totem Bight. Also, you can print the totem pole descriptions from their website before you head to AK and just bring it with you.


Walk to the Tunnel on Front St. (about 5 minute walk-you could see the tunnel from the ship dock) and caught the local city bus (Blue Line Bus Northbound). The bus took us all the way out to Totem Bight State Park about 12 miles and stops right in front of the Park office (this is also the same route that stops at Walmart). It returns to Totem Bight every hour. At Totem Bight, we picked up their brochure for an explanation of the totem poles ($1 donation) and took a leisurely self guided walk around the park and saw all the totem poles (we had 1 hour to see everything which worked out perfectly). Then we returned to Ketchikan on the Blue Line Southbound bus (again right in front of park office) and got off by Ketchikan Visitors Center. For all you independent cruisers, I think this was a "best kept secret" and couldn’t have been easier. Time: Caught bus at 7:45 a.m. and returned around 9:50 a.m. Cost: $2 pp/roundtrip or $1 each way. In Ketchikan, we picked up a free Walking tour map at the Ketchikan Visitors center (located at dock) and saw historical Creek St., art galleries and various shops. Total cost: $3 pp + money spent shopping :-)

Totem bight Park. Take the city bus across from the eagle statue (heading north). Times are 8:45, 9:45, 10:45 and so on up until 6:45 pm. You would need to walk a couple hundred yards to the park itself. Coming back you can take it at 9:15, 10:15, 11:15 and so on up until 7:15 pm (these are weekday times). Not sure about the weekend. Cost is 50 cents (senior) each way, or $1.00 regular price each way. Go to www. dnr.state.ak.us/parks/units/totempol.com and print out all sorts of info on what you'll be seeing.

st louis
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4. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

Website for the public transport system is: borough.ketchikan.ak.us/works/bus_info.htm

Check the blue line route. It leaves hourly from several locations in town.

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5. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

I've tried going into the parks link you provided, but it will not go through...any other suggestions to get into this link.

Also any other ideas, that are not costly for Ketchikan?

Thanks so much, GoJustin

Las Vegas, Nevada
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6. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car


Chatham, Ontario
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7. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

Justin, I have no experience at all, just research for my first trip in a few weeks. However, I'm told at the Visitor Center you can buy for $13 a combo ticket to the Totem Heritage Center, the Raptor Center, and the Fish Hatchery.


I'm also told there's a fish ladder as you walk along Creek Street, and if you're there in the right season, you can watch salmon rushing upstream to spawn.

Please take a look at the TripAdvisor review for Burger Queen. Even Frommer's favorably reviews this "burger joint", that apparently is so much more:


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8. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

Be aware that the city bus only goes there on weekdays. We were there on a Saturday so took a tour through the ship (it only went to TB, we had an excellent Tlinget guide, and there were about 30 on the bus (we were the only ones there at the time).

Since your ship doesn't offer this tour, try Northern Tours. It offers the same tour (and at the same price) $39 for about 2 1/2 hrs.

Hoboken, NJ
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9. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

GoJustin - Here is a link for Totem Bight that works...


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10. Re: Getting to Totem Bight without a car

As for other inexpensive, fun things to do in Ketchikan, I think the "Discovery Center" is the bargain at $5 per person for a world class museum like center that has a rainforest room, flora and fauna, Native Culture room, sea life room and lifestyles of Alaska room, not to mention a great bookstore and sparkling clean bathrooms, some great films and a knowledgeable Forest Service staff. The "Discovery Center" is centrally located in the heart of downtown.

Diaz Cafe down Stedman St. serves great local food at good prices. Lots of visitors miss it because it is about a block off the beaten path.

The best hike from the cruise ship docks is to walk up Bawden St., to Pine and then left on Forest, following the cars to the "Bypass" that overlooks the harbor. The entire walk is one mile and a half from cruise ship dock to end of the bypass and on a good day the view are out of this world. More advanced hikers can take the Rainbird Trailhead as seen from the bypass (there is a parking lot on the bypass route and clear stair access, signage etc.) through a rainforest walk.

Take the Borough Bus to Bugge beach and look for beachglass, watch for whales and enjoy the day.