Klawock is on the central western shore of Prince of Wales Island. Because of its location, Klawock is the “Crossroads” of the island. The paved Scenic Byways intersect here, leading south to Craig, east to Hollis and the ferry terminal and north to communities on the northern half of the Island. Many services are available in the community, as indicated by the icons. Klawock can lay claim to a pair of distinctions: the community has the largest employee-owned sawmill and only airport runway on the Island. Klawock also has a deepwater port suitable for loading large ships.
The townsite was a summer fishing camp until Tlingit chief Kloo-wah permanently moved his clan here from a village in Moira Sound. Klawock is known historically as the site of the first salmon cannery in Alaska. Klawock is a significant center of Tlingit culture, with an annual celebration of Elizabeth Peratrovich’s pioneering civil rights
work on behalf of Alaska Natives.
The totem park has 21 poles that are masterfully carved replicas of the original totem poles that stood in Tuxekan, the original winter village of the Heenya Kwaan people. In recent years, the raising of new totem poles in the traditional manner has prompted grand celebrations. A heritage center with a longhouse and a carving shed are near the edge of town. Visitors are welcome to see the carving activity and visit with the carvers when they are working.
One of two Haida villages in Alaska, Kasaan is on the east side of Prince of Wales Island on Kasaan Bay off Clarence Strait. It is accessible via a 17- mile gravel road that begins near the Goose Creek Bridge on Thorne Bay Highway. The road is one of the island’s Scenic Byways and offers unique views and a turnout at Tolstoi Bay.
Kasaan gets its name from the Tlingit word “Gasa’aan,” meaning “pretty town” or “pretty village.” Haida people migrated north from Haida Gwaii (in present-day British Columbia) and established the village now known as “Old Kasaan” seven miles from today’s Kasaan. In 1892, the Copper Queen mine camp, sawmill, post office and store were built on Kasaan Bay. Haida people relocated to the new village from Old Kasaan. In 1902, a salmon cannery was built in Kasaan and operated off and on until 1953.
A two-third-mile walk on a forest trail leads to Kasaan Totem Historic District and Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House. The Whale House or Naay I’waans, “The Great House,” built around 1880, is the only traditional Haida longhouse standing in the U.S. In the 1930s, totems from the old village were moved to the totem park. Between 1938 and 1940, Civilian Conservation Corps carvers restored the longhouse. Visitors may enjoy the remote setting but should remain mindful of the sacredness of the site. Kavilco Inc. and the Organized Village of Kasaan (OVK) joined to restore Naay I’waans and re-dedicated the site in 2016. Guided tours are available by contacting OVK at 907-542-2230. Kavilco Inc. and OVK have an exclusive agreement for all tours.
The City of Kasaan and the Organized Village of Kasaan offer lodging by reservation; call 907-542-2212. OVK has two 2-bedroom cabins that sleep as many as six; call 907-542-2230. Kasaan sells fuel on a limited basis; call 907-542-2212 for scheduled times. Espresso drinks and food are available at the Totem Trail Cafe. For the safety of our residents, visitors are asked not to shoot firearms within the city limits—a large area around the main town site.
Hydaburg, on the southwest coast of Prince of Wales Island, is accessible by floatplane, boat or by driving the Hydaburg Highway. The blacktop road to Hydaburg is off the Hollis Highway and contains turnoffs that lead to Forest Service trails, picnic areas and points of interest.
During the early 1700s, a group of Haida people crossed from Haida Gwaii (formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands) to Prince of Wales Island. The first migration landed in Kasaan; others later established major settlements at Howkan, Hlinkwaan, K’ay, K’aanii, Sukwaan and Kuy Gandlaas. In 1911, these villages consolidated in Hydaburg.
Hydaburg is the most populous community of Haidas in the U.S. The community is rooted in tribal values and relies on historical and cultural relationships to the land and sea; residents take great pride in their ability to harvest resources in a traditional manner. A totem park was built in Hydaburg during the 1930s. New poles have been raised in the park in recent years due to a growing interest in preserving traditions of the Haida people.
An excellent time to visit is during the annual Hydaburg Culture camp. The community comes together to teach Haida language, song, dance, carving, weaving, beading, and traditional food gathering and preparation. The camp is followed by Haida Festival. These events are usually in the last week of July.
Hydaburg hosts a large number of Haida artists, carvers and weavers. Please feel free to contact the HCA office with questions at 907-285-3665 or [email protected]
You can feel the charming history in the beautiful town of Craig, Alaska. They have excellent walking trails. The old cannery is an "out and back" type walk that showcases historical artifacts from the Japan Tsunami and at the end is a beautiful hand carved memorial to those lost at sea. The ballpark/graveyard trail is also an "out and back" type that highlights a veterans memorial with a fascinating canopy of trees and many picture friendly sites. The enjoyable 1-mile is low impact, yet slightly challenging is pet-friendly and one you will remember. You can walk "the loop" around Hamilton for a perfect 3 mile walk about. Our Healing Heart Totem Pole is a sacred spot which thousands have visited to share its meaning. We have local artist shops and stores that will ensure you leave with a memorable gift from your trip. Many local restaurants and taverns and over 25 local B&B's and hotels to choose from, they know you will find a place that makes you feel at home.
Craig also hosts The Island Grind monthly which provides music and entertainment to all followed by a light dessert. Monthly swap meet and events are listed on craigak.com. There's not a month that goes by that doesn't have a special event. The 4th of July is a special time of year with more than 3 days of packed events. This year Craig is hosting the Island Art Extravaganza in September! They offer free site seeing trips through city hall, and you can even volunteer for a day and ride with their local EMS squad or the fight the fire you've always dreamed of!
Tlingit and Haida peoples traditionally used this area for its rich seafood resources, and still do. Craig is the most populous community on Prince of Wales Island and the leading business center.
In the early 1900s, a fish saltery was established on nearby Fish Egg Island and a salmon cannery was built in Craig. Beginning in the 1950s, Craig’s major industry was logging, but with changes in demand and less available timber for sale, the town has diversified into many other economic sectors.
Craig is the retail, service and transportation hub of the Island. Fishing, fish processing, timber operations, government and commercial services provide employment and goods for the community. Tourism and recreational opportunities also abound in Craig and surrounding areas. Among the recreational facilities are a community swimming pool, a city gym and numerous parks. A number of fishing charters and wildlife-watching options are available.