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Ketchikan's Totem Pole Parks

For the most part, the totem poles in Ketchikan's two biggest totem pole parks are replicas of those brought in from outlying villages as part of a federal project during the late 1930s.

Totem Bight State Historical Park. Totem Bight State Historical Park has many totem poles and a hand-hewn Native tribal house; it sits on a scenic spit of land facing the waters of Tongass Narrows. The clan house is open daily in summer. About a quarter of the Ketchikan bus tours include Totem Bight. N. Tongass Hwy., approx. 10 mi north of town, Ketchikan, AK, 99901. 907/247–8574. Free. Dawn–dusk.

Saxman Totem Park. A 2.5-mile paved walking path–bike trail parallels the road from Ketchikan to Saxman Native Village, named for a missionary who helped Native Alaskans settle here before 1900. A totem park dominates the center of Saxman, with poles that represent a wide range of human and animal-inspired figures, including bears, ravens, whales, and eagles. There is a $5 charge to enter. Saxman's Beaver Clan tribal house is said to be the largest in Alaska. Carvers create totem poles and totemic art objects in the adjacent carver's shed. You can get to the park on foot or by taxi, bicycle, or city bus. You can visit the totem park on your own, but to visit the tribal house and theater you must take a tour. Tickets are sold at the gift shop across from the totems. Call ahead for tour schedules. S. Tongass Hwy., 2 miles south of town, Ketchikan, AK, 99901. 907/225–4421.

Updated: 2014-01-22

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