The Port of Pelican is nested in a 35.4-kilometer (22-mile) fjord surrounded by 914-meter (3,000-foot) mountains. The Port of Pelican's road system consists of a 3-meter (10-foot) wide boardwalk with homes and businesses on pilings lining the boardwalk. The Port of Pelican is popular with sports fishermen in search of King Salmon or halibut. Photographers and writers come in increasing numbers, drawn by the scenery and rural lifestyle.
The Port of Pelican has a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Temperatures range from an average high of 22.8°C (73.1°F) in July to an average low of 0.7°C (33.2°F) in December and January. Precipitation averages 3.2 meters (127 inches), with about three meters (120 inches) of snow. In the winter, high seas, strong winds, and fog can limit access to the Port of Pelican.
The Port of Pelican is the starting point for visitors to the Chicagof & Yakobi Island Wilderness Area. Designated by the US Congress as a wilderness area in 1980, the 107-hectare area is managed by the US Forest Service. Both Chicagof and Yakobi islands were named for Russian military officers. To the west, the wave-pounded cliffs Pacific Ocean make for dramatic scenery, yet there are also sheltered bays that offer safe harbors. The Tlingit peoples used the area for its rich resources long before the Russians arrived at the Port of Pelican. On Chichagof Island, visitors can find evidence of old mining operations that, in their heyday, produced almost a million ounces of gold. Four rental cabins (run by the Forest Service) are available in the wilderness area, and camping is also allowed.
The Port of Pelican is also very close (40 kilometers or 24 miles) to the famous Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, a marine wilderness and living laboratory for the life of glaciers. With mountain ranges rising some 4.5 thousand meters (15 thousand feet), the Park and Preserve also offers coves, fjords, estuaries, freshwater lakes, and tidewater glaciers that create diverse habitats and support a wide range of marine and terrestrial wildlife.
Visitors to the Port of Pelican can find a number of opportunities for sports fishing and charters. Chicobi Charters has a four-bedroom townhouse that overlooks the harbor. Highliner Lodge and Charters is the Port of Pelican's only complete halibut and salmon sport fishing lodge with packages that include air fare, meals, accommodations with many guest amenities, and fishing trips.
Lisianski Inlet Café and Charters specializes in serving fishing and touring groups led by experienced commercial fisherman Vic Stepanenko. Lisianski Inlet Wilderness Lodge and Charters, some 3.2-kilometers (two miles) west of the Port of Pelican, can house as many as eight guests and offers chartered custom fishing for salmon, trout, halibut, rockfish, and lingcod as well as sightseeing trips in the local wilderness and in Glacier Bay National Park.
Operated by retired Alaska State Trooper Commander and commercial fisherman Norm Carson, Pelican Charters offers fishing trips and guided tours laced with tales of Alaska law enforcement adventures. Port of Pelican Charters specializes in small groups for fishing, water taxi, and outdoor photography.