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Reviewed September 29, 2012

Salmon Falls Resort is the best place to stay when in Ketchikan. You’re away from downtown and all the tourist trappings, especially the cruise ships and gift shops. Not that those things are bad, but I prefer to feel like I’m in the ‘last frontier’ and closer to nature.

The resort itself is almost at the end of the road and is hidden between the massive trees and the inside passage in Ketchikan. The lodge was built in 1987 and is rustic yet elegant…very comfortable for the discerning fisherman. When you book through the lodge, they’ll meet you at the airport when you arrive. If you plan on checking out the area, you might consider renting a car so that you have all the freedom you desire.

I was up there at the end of their season (September) and most of the salmon runs were pretty much done, but that didn’t hamper the fishing. We still caught salmon on the afternoon we went out and I was able to come home with 28 lbs of salmon and halibut. They expertly filet your fish and vac-pack it in meal sized portions and freeze (or you can give them your request for processing, if you want something different). So easy to transfer to your home freezer once you get home. I believe in catch and release, so only kept the amount of fish we will eat … but a couple of fish released themselves … fishermen error!

The accommodations can host 80 guests at one time and the rooms all have either two double beds or two queen beds and are large and comfortable. I think they also have some triple rooms and some adjoining rooms. Any configuration you want. The only thing I found lacking in the room was a hairdryer and thankfully my travel buddy had one ... I assume they have some you can check out if you didn't bring yours.

If you need a large conference room, they have that too! There was a billiard table in that room, but I just peaked in, so not sure what all it offers … but the view was spectacular. Don’t know how I’d stop day dreaming if I was at a conference here.

If you need a fishing license, they can get you set up with one, and their gift shop has all sorts of gifts and clothing to help you remember your good time at the resort.

Finally, the view from the restaurant (which seats 180) is a panoramic view of Behm Canal, Clover Passage, and the cascading Salmon Falls waterfall. At breakfast, I sat and watched a bald eagle fish below the Salmon Falls. The sea lions were at the mouth of where the falls enters the ocean. Watching their bobbing heads had me laughing.

All in all a great place to stay when in Ketchikan Alaska.

Room Tip: The main lodge has two double beds in the rooms and is 'log cabin' style. The newer 'upper lodge' has two queen beds in each room and is more spacious. Either one is great!
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank PALTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

I had went to this resort first in 2009 with some friends and had the time of my life. The people running the resort bent over backward to make sure everything was top notch.

I decided to make the trip again in July 2012 and it was completely different. Some of the same boat captains were there, but the attitude was completely different and I am sure it was because of the older couple running the resort. The restaurant that was once packed with people was now almost a ghost town. The food had taken a huge step down from what we experienced from our first trip. The service was slow and the wait staff looked like they would rather be somewhere else.

The fishing was great and I would go back to Ketchikan, but I would stay at a different place.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Bob K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2012

This restaurant had been highly recommended by a local, so I expect the food is good, and I also expect the service must sometimes be better. However, our experience was poor. Four of us were there on a Tuesday night in mid July. We were seated fairly quickly, and then apparently forgotten. After about 15 minutes we asked for menus and someone brought us menus and water. After another half hour, no one had taken our order or even drink orders. We finally decided to leave and no one seemed to notice or care.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
4  Thank ZorroCat2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2012

Salmon Falls Lodge, located on the inside passage in Ketchikan, Alaska, is a beautiful, incredible, insanely majestic place to vacation. Specializing in guided Salmon and Halibut fishing, they also offer freshwater options. And, you don’t have to be a fisherman to stay here and have a fabulous time!

The fishing grounds are close, the wildlife is spectacular, and the scenery will take your breath away. And all those salmon! Five species of Pacific Salmon is the reason that the area is recognized as the "Salmon Capital of the World."

We go up in September and usually fish for Silver’s (Coho), but have also caught Halibut, Cod, and put crab pots out! Hopefully I’ll be going again in September of 2012.

The lodge is beautiful and the rooms are clean and spacious. The resort is a first class facility with rustic elegance. Your room will have either two double beds or two queens, plus a private bath. The newer section also includes wireless internet with a few adjoining rooms. After you get settled in, head over to the lodge for a drink at their very fun bar. It’s a great place to exchange fish tales.

The restaurant will stun you with the panoramic views out over the water and tree studded mountains and spectacular sunsets. I don’t remember their menu, but every meal we had was excellent with several options to choose from. What I do remember is the salads were fresh, yet small in size. The main courses I remember were HUGE! One night we had prime rib that was cooked to perfection and another trip we ended up having lobster. Their beef and seafood are prepared flawlessly. But, beware, the entrées are very large, so you might want to share if you don’t have a large appetite.

Finally, one of the elements I use to judge a fishing lodge is the cleanliness and condition of their gear … from the rain gear to the docks, to the boats and the fishing equipment. Even the ‘processing’ areas get looked at. Finally, the guides themselves are a critical part of the equation.

The boats and all the gear is chosen for their suitability to the area, and everything was clean and put it its place. The rain gear was dry and not moldy, the boats were in good condition and the processing areas (cleaning stations and packaging/freezer area) were all kept clean and the only smell was that of the ocean brine, carried on the wind. Having fished here three different times, I’ve found that all the guides are seasoned fishermen and they know the water like the back of their hand. They work hard and tirelessly to get you to the best spots and put you onto fish. You can tell they all love to fish!

If you don’t fish, Ketchikan is a fun, funky town to visit with lots of shops offering eye candy—and don’t forget to walk the famous Creek Street. If you like the outdoors, Deer Mountain is a great half-day hike. There are also two zipline options (I haven't does these yet, but hopefully will my next time I'm at Salmon Falls Resort). Totem Bight State Park and Totem Heritage Center are inspirational. Plus there are a lot of museums which cover various topics pertinent to the area.

But, you don’t even need to leave the resort for entertainment. Just sitting and watching the Salmon Falls is mesmerizing. You can usually spot eagles, sometimes a bear feeding on a fish carcass, and almost always the every playful sea lion.

Room Tip: Although the new section (set back up the hillside) isn't done in the 'log cabin' style, the rooms are larger with two queen beds.
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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8  Thank PALTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2010

I had to cancel my trip because the owner quoted me a price and then sent me a bill for $1000 more than she said it would be over the phone. When I called to correct the bill, I had assumed the price was so much more because the bill was showing for full-guided when I had chosen self-guided. She corrected the error in guide-type, but would not change the price and it took a while to get her to even listen to me. She immediately launched into how she would never ever ever charge that price and how she could never ever ever make a mistake.

I wrote the price down on a piece of paper when she quoted it to me, then said the price back to her on the phone twice, so I assumed it was okay to purchase a non-refundable plane ticket.

I tried to see if there was some way to reduce the cost on her end so I wouldn't have to end up eating the place ticket cost. I suggested that I fly fish only and throw all the fish back so she wouldn't have to pay for cleaning/shipping the fish. I also suggested that I bring a tent and sleep in the woods so she wouldn't have to pay for my room. I also suggested that I bring my own food so she wouldn't have to pay to feed me. All of these suggestions were rejected without thought.

Oh well. I guess I don't want to stay at her place anyway. She was very rude to me. There are many other places to fish and many lodges with friendly owners. This just isn't one of them. Take your business elsewhere.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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6  Thank pUnknown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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