Wrangell

Population: 2,448
Wrangell is located at northwest tip of Wrangell Island on Zimovia Strait, 3 hours by ferry or 32 air miles southeast of Petersburg, and 6 hours by ferry or 85 air miles north of Ketchikan.
Visitor Information: Wrangell Visitor Information, phone 1-800-367-9745.

Wrangell is the only Alaska city to have existed under 4 nations and 3 flags—the Stikine Tlingits, the Russians, Great Britain and the United States. Its strategic location near the mouth of the Stikine River made Wrangell an important supply point for fur traders and also for gold seekers following the river route to the goldfields. Today, fishing is one of Wrangell’s largest industries, with salmon the major catch.

Accommodations and dining at the Stikine Inn and other locations. The Nolan Center serves as the local movie theater, showing current feature films on most weekends.

Local tour operators offer scheduled and custom-designed trips to the Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory as well as to the Stikine River. Stop by the visitor information desk at the Nolan Center or visit wrangell.com. Camping at the City of Wrangell Parks & Recreation Department’s campground at Shoemaker Bay RV Park & Campground.

Tent camping only at City Park, located at Milepost 1.7 Zimovia Highway. There are restrooms, tables and firepits. Tent camping is restricted to 48 hours; no tents in picnic shelters. Because overnight parking is prohibited at the city park, tent sites are restricted to bicyclists or walk-ins. Nice views during the day off of this park’s loop for travelers.

Attractions:

  • Wrangell Museum, 907-874-3770 exhibits highlights Wrangell’s diverse history, from the fur trade to the timber industry; Email.
  • Nemo Point USFS Recreation Area, 14 miles south of town, has 4 campsites with dramatic views of Zimovia Strait.
  • Muskeg Meadows Golf Course is a USGA regulation 9-hole golf course with a 250-yard driving range.
  • Anan Wildlife Observatory, accessible by boat or plane, is the place to watch black and brown bears catch pink salmon. Check with local tour operators. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Explore the Stikine River or LeConte Glacier in the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness. Air and boat charters for both sightseeing and drop-offs at put-in sites for river runners are available in Wrangell.
  • Chief Shakes Island and Tribal House, on the National Register of Historic Places, is a replica tribal house containing Indian working tools, an original Chilkat blanket design carved on a house panel and other cultural items.
  • Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park has some 40 Tlingit and Tsimshian petroglyphs.
  • St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Alaska, founded May 2, 1879. Wrangell’s First Presbyterian Church (founded in 1877 and built in 1879) has a red neon cross that is 1 of 2 in the world that serve as navigational aids.