The Port of Wrangell offers opportunities for outdoor adventures, Native culture, and regional history. The Port of Wrangell is the Gateway to the Stikine River and a great base from which to visit glaciers, observe wildlife, catch lots of fish, and learn about the Tlingit people. The Port of Wrangell is home to one of the only regulation USGA-rated golf courses in southeast Alaska.
The Port of Wrangell has a maritime climate with cool summers, mild winters, and rain throughout the year. Temperatures range from 5.5°C (42°F) to 17.7°C (64°F) in the summer and from -6.1°C (21°F) to 6.6°C (44°F) in the winter. The Port of Wrangell gets less rainfall that much of Southeast Alaska, about 80 inches, and fog is frequent from September through December.
Visitors to the Port of Wrangell will not want to miss a visit to Chief Shakes Island and the Tribal House Historic Monument. Reached by a pile-supported walkway, Chief Shakes Island is located in the middle of the Port of Wrangell Harbor. Open to visitors at all times, visitors will enjoy the peaceful surroundings and the intricate totems that surround the community house.
Restored in 1939, the public can visit the community house scheduled times during the summer. A replica of the original Shakes Tribal House, the architecture and decorations reflect the lives of high-caste Tlingits, with intricate carvings of faces and eyes that lent special powers to the residents. While the houseposts within the house are replicas, the original houseposts are on loan to the Port of Wrangell Museum.
Petroglyph Beach in the Port of Wrangell has the greatest concentration of petroglyphs in Southeast Asia. Located about 1.6 kilometers (one mile) from the Port of Wrangell Ferry Terminal, Petroglyph Beach State Park has a boardwalk leading to a deck that overlooks the beach, the Stikine River, and Zimovia Straits. Replicas of some of the designs are available for making rubbings. Over 40 petroglyphs can be found on the beach, and visitors are admonished to refrain from touching them so that they can be preserved for the future.
Many tour and guide services are available in the Port of Wrangell. Visitors can go on adventures to the glaciers and to view wildlife that includes brown and black bears, sea lions and harbor seals, eagles, whales, salmon, and halibut. Inland and ocean kayaking is a popular activity in the Port of Wrangell area, and wildlife charter tours are popular. Fishermen find great catches of halibut and all five species of salmon. With more than 160 kilometers (100 miles) of forest roads and trails on Wrangell Island, there are almost unlimited opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, RV'ing, and exploring the remote areas.
The US Forest Service operates the Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory on the Anan Creek. A favorite place to see brown and black bears and a rich salmon spawning run, the Anan Creek was the focus of Tlingit summer fish camps in the past. Reached from the Anan Trailhead by a 0.8 kilometer (half-mile) partially surfaced trail, the Observatory has a covered viewing shelter, photo blind, decks, and an outhouse. During the peak viewing season in July and August, on-site interpreters give information on bear safety and activity and on trail conditions. From June to September, close encounters with bears are common, and visitors are encouraged to be well-educated on bear safety and know the Observatory rules.
The Stikine River is a bird-watchers and photographer's paradise. More than 120 species of migrating birds crowd the river delta in the spring and fall. One of the world's biggest concentrations of eagles arrives at the Port of Wrangell in April as the raptors come to feast at the annual hooligan run. Later in April, up to ten thousand snow geese stop near the Port of Wrangell on their migration to the north. Visitors can take jet boat charters or air tours to see glaciers, lakes, and sidewaters of the Stikine and the beautiful coastal mountains.
Visitors who want to visit the Port of Wrangell by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.