The Spirit of Saxman -- Ketchikan and Saxman Totem Pole Park -- a Private Tour

Tour Number

Activity Level



Shore Excursion, Religious Heritage, Museums / Culture, Local Experience


Kid Friendly: Yes.

Friendly: Yes.
Must be able to climb into and out of an SUV (with help and a step). Some of the trails are a bit bumpy, but with some huffing and puffing, we can manage it.

Maximum travelers: 5



French (basic), English (fluent)

Tlinget, Haida, and Tsimsian art, carving, symbols, myths and stories, with an Expert Local Guide

There is an ancient tradition of totem pole carving in Southeast Alaska. The tradition still lives and thrives. There are a number of poles in town. Saxman has a large collection of unique poles, arranged in a circle and walkway. There is also a reproduction of a clan house, and a carving shed, and a couple of ancient carved stones, which were here before the Tlingit came. We have master carvers, who reproduce and maintain old poles or work traditional form-line design into some unique and beautiful modern designs.

I would like to show these poles to you, explain how they are carved, and tell you some of the stories behind them. I am an amateur carver myself, and can show you my self-forged tools. I know and am familiar with the work of many of the best modern carvers. Some, I can recognize from the distinctive adzing, the cut-marks of their tools. I have been a story-teller all my life, and I will delight in telling you some of the stories that lie behind the figures in the wood.


• First, downtown Ketchikan. Some totem poles, historic Creek Street, salmon falls
• (optional) - Tongass Historical Museum - a small exquisite display of native art
• (optional) - Totem Heritage Center - some really old poles
• A drive through southern Ketchikan, passing the Coast Guard Base
• A couple of eagle's nests
• Saxman Native Village and Totem Park - I shall describe the poles and stories
• (optional) If time allowing, Herring Cove (occasionally bears here)
• (optional) If time allowing, Pretty Waterfall up George Inlet

On this tour we will visit both downtown and Saxman Totem Park. Within a 3 hour tour, we should have time for at least one or two of the optional destinations. We might adjust this itinerary for rain. Whatever we do, we shall commit to have fun.

Meeting Location + Tour Duration

Meeting location: I will meet you at the exit ramp of the ship. I will have a sign with your name, or I will be wearing distinctive clothes (I often wear a kilt).

End location: I will take you back to the ship, or, if you prefer, leave you at a good shopping or eating area near the ship.

Duration: 3 hours

Could be done in 2.5 hours, but it would be tight, and we would drop most of the optional stops.


2003 Dodge Durango R/T. Leather seats, Air-conditioned &individual climate control. Tinted windows. Seats 5 in comfort.

PLEASE NOTE: In the second row center ia a skinny wee jump-seat (with seat belt), so we could take 6 people if two are skinny, and willing to sit close together.

Room in back for bags and stuff, or even a wheelchair -- if the person in the wheelchair can get into and out of an SUV seat.

I can arrange for a larger vehicle, but that will significantly increase the price of the tour.

What’s Included

Transportation. All access fees and local fees. Bottled water.

Estimated Local Cash Needed

5 USD - If you want to get a snack along the way.

What’s Extra

Nothing -- unless you want to bring $5 for a snack.


I speak some French (Quebecois),
and Scottish Gaelic.
Driving tours max of 5 or 6 travelers (although I can charter larger vehicles for custom tours).
Walking tours max of 25 people, or even more - contact me for walking tours with more than 10.

Contact this Guide

Questions about the tour? Not seeing exactly what you’re looking for? Contact this guide with questions, or to create a custom itinerary for you and your travel companions.

Message Cruin M.

Web address (URL) of this page:

Tours by Cruin M.

See more of the tours offered by this guide.

Ketchikan - A wee place between the sea,...

Totem Poles, Mountains, Forests, and Wildlife -- a custom tour with,...

245 USD per tour

(max 5 people)

2 hours 30 min.

learn more

A Walk into Southeast Alaska History,...

Salmon, totem poles, shady forest trails, Creek Street, Ketchikan's,...

245 USD per tour

(max 10 people)

2 hours 30 min.

learn more

The Spirit in the Wood -- a Private Tour,...

Understanding totem poles, native art, carving, symbols, myths and,...

245 USD per tour

(max 5 people)

2 hours 30 min.

learn more

The Spirit of Saxman -- Ketchikan and,...


Tlinget, Haida, and Tsimsian art, carving, symbols, myths and stories,,...

325 USD per tour

(max 5 people)

3 hours

learn more

The Spirit of Totem Bight -- Ketchikan,...


Tlinget, Haida, and Tsimsian art, carving, symbols, myths and stories,,...

400 USD per tour

(max 5 people)

3 hours 30 min.

learn more