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“Excellent Totem park”

Totem Bight State Historical Park
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Totem Bight and Ketchikan City Tour
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Totem Bight and Potlatch Park plus Ketchikan City Tour
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All Ketchikan Excursion
Ranked #5 of 60 things to do in Ketchikan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 14, 2013

It is a ways out of town but the public bus system runs there and is cheap (one dollar I think). Set among a lovely spruce & cedar forest are a collection of re-carved totems. A ranger leads a tour, explaining the significance of those totems for which they know something about the symbolism. This lovely park is worth a visit.

1  Thank crossdrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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660 - 664 of 794 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2013

The trails were short and well marked, the signs were helpful, and everything was well maintained.

We liked wandering down to the tide pools.

We eavesdropped on guided tours, but didn't enjoy the busloads of people that kept arriving. It was easy to leave the crowds by wandering over to Potlatch Totem Park, just next door (toward town).

Thank Jana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Definitely take the city bus out here at $2 round trip. There is a new bus schedule as of July 3, the one on their website as of July 11 was still the old one. Take the Silver route which leaves at 26 after the hour from the corner of Front and Dock street right in front of the cruise ships and the bus returns from the park at 13 after the hour. Yellow cab quoted $70 round trip. It takes about 25 minutes to get there. You could rush through in 20 minutes and make return bus or more recommended take a leisurely stroll, spend an hour and 20 minutes soaking up the tranquility and information. Get out there early and you'll have park all to yourself before excursions get there. No admission fee.

6  Thank empjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

My husband and I loved Totem Bight. The fact that there is no admission charge is great! Hard paths lead through the forest where totem poles are displayed. The poles and longhouse are reproductions, done by CCC workers and Natives in the 1930s, of much older totem poles. The poles are only meant to last in the weather for 70 years or so, but these still felt authentic, even though they were techincally reproductions.
There is a nice beach area near the paths, and berry bushes for berry picking.
The totem poles are very interesting -- they represent stories told by the Native Alaskans. They are beautifully carved and painted.
This entire park and exhibit was very interesting and a pleasure to visit, especially for free!

2  Thank JoyMcG84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Word is out that you don't need to buy the expensive tour your cruise ship offers to get to Totem Bight State Park. You can buy a day pass on the local bus for $2 which will take you all over Ketchikan.

Our cruise ship docked in Berth 4, and the directions I had for the bus from Tripadvisor were from Berth 1, so we walked along the harbor to Berth 1 and asked where the bus stop was at the visitor's center. We took the blue line bus from the eagle statue near Berth 1. There is also a bus stop at Berth 4, but we did not see it when we got off our ship, so you'd need to ask someone where the bus stop is at Berth 4.

The bus runs only once an hour, so it is absolutely packed, and I mean PACKED. Every seat was filled, and people were standing on both sides of the aisles, crowding all the way up to and around the driver and the front door. It did not feel safe to have that many people on one bus, but the driver did not want to leave anyone behind. So, you might be better off spending more money for a cab out to the park. It is a significant way out of town, so get a price quote from the driver before you take the cab.

Totem Bight State Park was lovely, though--a very green forest right next to the ocean (where I saw flukes of a whale) with beautiful totem poles and a clan house. Wonderful photo opportunities.Get the free map of the park which tells the stories of the totem poles and read as you go.

The park takes about an hour to see, and that is all you will have if you want to go back on the next public bus. Otherwise, you'd need to spend 2 hours there until the second bus comes, which is probably a little long.

The public bus dropped us off at Creek Street, and we looked at the lovely creek, the historic brothels, and the gift shops. From Creek Street we walked back to the cruise ship.

7  Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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