Stunning views and rainforest a short hike away
Ketchikan lies at the heart of the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States, and it is part of the largest temperate rainforest ecosystem in the world, stretching from Northern California to Prince William Sound.
One of the most amazing things about coming to Ketchikan is realizing that you are entirely surrounded by this immense rainforest wilderness. This tour will include hiking from the cruise ship docks to one of the best rainforest trails in Ketchikan—the Rainbird Trail—which offers unbeatable views of Ketchikan and surrounding islands, as well as an exquisite look at some of the beautiful flora and fauna in our rainforest.
Having grown up in Ketchikan and worked as a tour guide for years, I can talk at length during our hike about rainforest life, traditional indigenous harvesting of plants and animals, current political issues surrounding the forest, and anything else that comes to mind.
Remember to bring your raincoat, just in case!
We will meet at the cruise ship docks and then walk to the base of a steep hill, Schoenbar Road. After climbing Schoenbar, we'll walk past Ketchikan's beautiful, award-winning public library, and we can stop inside to take a look if desired.
We will have to climb some stairs at the start of the Rainbird Trail before reaching some gorgeous views of Ketchikan and surrounding islands. Then we will hike through the rainforest as far along the trail as time allows before returning the way we came.
After the initial climb up Schoenbar Road and the stairs at the beginning of the trail, there are only modest elevation changes along the rest of Rainbird Trail. It is a well-maintained trail (at least by Alaska standards), but there may be some muddy portions depending on the recent weather, as well as slippery logs and rocks. Care should be taken at all times while hiking.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: I will meet you at your cruise ship dock or wherever else is most convenient for you.
End location: I will gladly walk you back to your cruise ship dock, or another nearby location if you prefer.
Duration: 2 hours
The starting point of our tour along the cruise ship docks—depending on which berth we meet at—may alter the amount of time we have for hiking by up to 10-20 minutes. (Berth 4 is closest to the Rainbird Trail, and Berth 1 is farthest away.) If we have more time and walk quickly, we may be able to extend the hike and go further up an additional section of the trail.
We will do everything on foot.
I will bring along some water and snacks for the hike, and there won't be any charges for entry fees.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
10 USD - We will not be passing any stores or businesses along the way, but you may need money if you wish to buy a snack, drink, or souvenir after the hike.
You should come prepared with a raincoat and walking shoes that can get a little muddy, just in case it rains (as so often does in our rainforest). Please also bring water for the hike so we can stay hydrated. We won't be passing any stores on this tour, so there won't be any opportunity to buy snacks or souvenirs unless you'd like me to direct you to the best spots after the hike is over.
I currently only offer walking tours because I do not have a vehicle available. I may be able to arrange a driving tour upon request, if I receive enough notice.