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ENJOY YOUR TRIP MORE BY PLANNING AHEAD

GETTING TO THE ISLAND

Convenient ferries connect our island to the continental road system More and more visitors land on Prince of Wales Island with their own vehicles, prepared to stay a while and enjoy our extensive road system and thousand miles of ocean shore.

Alaska state ferries link the Lower 48 to Ketchikan and a ferry operation based on Prince of Wales Island provides the sea link to our roads. Walk-on ferry riders can rent vehicles on Prince of Wales Island. Ferry service to Ketchikan from the Northwest and British Columbia is provided by the Alaska Marine Highway System. The trip from Bellingham, Wash., on Puget Sound is about 38 hours. State ferries also sail to Ketchikan from Prince Rupert, B.C., on a six-hour passage. Another option from the mainland is provided by B.C. Ferries; the provincial system connects to Prince Rupert from ports in Vancouver, B.C., and on Vancouver Island.

Many visitors bring their vehicles to Hollis on Inter-Island Ferry Authority vessels. Rental vehicles are also available on the island. The roads are a legacy of the timber industry, which pushed principal roads between towns and remote spurs into the forest. The south end of the system is at Hydaburg. North-end roads extend to Labouchere Bay. You can drive a standard car the entire distance. The Chamber of Commerce in Klawock and U.S.F.S. offices in Craig and Thorne Bay have good maps.

Alaska Airlines offers several flights each day year-round to Ketchikan from Seattle-Tacoma. Flight time from Sea-Tac International Airport to Ketchikan is 100 minutes. Delta Airlines flies to Ketchikan from Sea-Tac daily in summer; the two-hour flights run from early June to early September in 2018.
Transportation-Aerial

TRAVELING BY AIR

FROM KETCHIKAN OR JUNEAU

Island Air Express, Pacific Airways and Taquan Air link Ketchikan to Prince of Wales Island with scheduled service daily. Island Air Express & Alaska Seaplanes connects Prince of Wales Island to Juneau and other cities in the Panhandle. Floatplane charters carry visitors and local folks to remote lakes, lodges and outlying ocean shorelines. Private pilots use tarmac or water An airstrip near Klawock is used by local carriers and visitors equipped for IFR transport. Floatplane docks are at Craig, Coffman Cove, Hollis, Hydaburg, Kasaan, Klawock, Naukati Bay and Thorne Bay. Most are maintained by the state.

WATER TRAVEL

INTER-ISLAND FERRY (IFA)

The IFA is a common way to get to Prince of Wales Island from Ketchikan

From Ketchikan, you’re in for a pleasant three-hour sailing on the Inter-Island Ferry Authority. Ships of the IFA provide a daily link between Ketchikan and Hollis—the port on our eastern shore. Passenger facilities include an observation lounge with recliner chairs, a restaurant, a children’s play area, a solarium and a reading room. The vehicle deck carries 30 cars. IFA boasts high ratings for on-time performance and passenger service.

PREPARE FOR

ROAD TRIPPING

More than 1,500 miles of roads tie towns to mountain back-country and slices of the island’s shoreline

The road map for Prince of Wales Island is a broad system with major paved branches dividing into gravel backcountry tracks. Depending on your vehicle, there’s little of this immense island that you can’t explore from roadways. More than 105 miles of paved roads girdle the midsection and connect major communities. Good gravel roads stretching about 150 miles touch shorelines and mountains.

A little planning eases your trip in our mix of mild and wild country. Be sure your spare tire is in good shape. Bring a few basic automotive tools. Watch the gas gauge and mile markers; see the sidebar below for a list of communities where automotive fuel is available. Bring a cell phone car charger. Adjust speed to road surfaces and weather. Roads north of Whale Pass turnoff and gravel roads are one and a half lanes wide; turnouts are provided.

Before you drive into remote backcountry, check with U.S. Forest Service rangers in Craig (907-826-3271) and Thorne Bay (907-828-3304). Retail sales of gasoline are limited around the island, so be sure to plan ahead as you explore. Fuel is available in Craig, Coffman Cove, Klawock, Naukati Bay, Thorne Bay and Whale Pass.

Climate /Seasons

PREPARE FOR ALL CONDITIONS

Go casual & comfortable

We’re in a temperate rain forest and conditions aren’t extreme, but pack for conditions that vary from day to day and from shoreline to alpine. Waterproof, breathable shells repel mist and rain and block breezes on the water. Polartec-type fleece is good for outerwear on cool days and makes a warming layer under shells.

Light, waterproof hiking boots or trail runners are good on trails and in boats. Local folks favor rubber boots such as Xtratufs. Stores in Craig, Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay stock apparel. Summer high temperatures range from 49° to 82° F (9 to 28 C), winter lows from 15° to 50° F (-9 to 10 C). Annual precipitation is about 120 inches (305 cm).

Tech / Communications

KNOW HOW TO STAY CONNECTED

Cell links vary by area; Public Wi-Fi is available

AT&T and ACS provide mobile phone service near Craig, Klawock and Hydaburg; service is good in Kasaan. Thorne Bay has ACS service. Verizon is available in some areas. Service is spotty up north. But coverage changes over time: providers may extend service before your visit.

Libraries in Craig, Coffman Cove and Hollis offer computers with free public access to the internet; these libraries also have free Wi-Fi for patrons and visitors using mobile devices. Papa’s Pizza and the Hill Bar in Craig offer Wi-Fi for customers. Wi-Fi is available by credit card at Annie-Betty’s Cafe in Craig.

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local Travel & Rental companies

Work with a local company to assist you 

Alaska Seaplanes

Based in Juneau, Alaska Seaplanes is the premier commuter airline of Southeast Alaska, providing scheduled service from Klawock to Sitka and...

Samson Tug and Barge

Alaskans serving Alaskans. Barge service between Seattle, Southwestern, and Southeast Alaska, call for pricing and information.

Arrowhead Transfer Inc.

Local and long-distance hauling. Agent for Alaska Marine Lines weekly barge. Heated mini-storage. Packing cartons for sale.

Alaska Marine Lines

Weekly barge service to and from Prince of Wales Island from Seattle with connections to all points north and south. EZ...

Inter-Island Ferry Authority

Year-round daily, reliable passenger and vehicle ferry transportation between Hollis, on Prince of Wales Island, and Ketchikan. Food service on-board.

Prince of Wales Excursion Outfitter, LLC

POW Excursion Outfitter rents ocean fishing boats and many other types of rugged outdoor equipment for the Do-It-Yourself Island resident or...

Rainforest Auto Rentals

Full-service auto rentals, newer vehicles, competitive rates. Great service!

Hollis Adventure Rentals

Car rental with kayak, boat, and camping gear packages. We also offer skiffs, vans, trucks, and fishing gear rentals at affordable...

Taquan Air

Schedules year-round between Ketchikan and POW communities of Craig, Klawock, Thorne Bay, Hollis, Hydaburg, Long Island, Cholmondeley, Coffman Cove, Naukati Bay,...

Island Air Express

Based on Prince of Wales Island, Island Air Express safely operates modern jet-prop aircraft. Fully FAA certified for day & night...

Welcome Inn Bed and Breakfast

Clean, quiet, and comfortable Alaskan hospitality. Open year-round. Vehicle rental available. Pets upon approval.

Misty Sea Charters & Lodging, LLC

Cabin, cottage, boat, & car rentals. Economy & luxury accommodations available. Nightly, weekly, & monthly rates available.

Log Cabin Resort & R.V. Park

Guided and non-guided fishing packages, Eco-tours, waterside condo and beach cabin rentals, boat and canoe rentals.

Adventure Alaska Southeast, LLC

Packages including: cottages, boats, vehicles, saltwater charters, or guided stream fishing. Our facilities include: tackle store, hot tub, freezers, canoes, laundry,...
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