Alaska Canopy Adventures. Often associated with rain forests of the tropical sort, canopy tours are Ketchikan's fastest-growing outdoor activity. Featuring a series of zip-lines, aerial boardwalks, and suspension bridges, canopy tours provide an up-close view of the coastal forests. At Alaska Canopy Adventures—a course at the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, 8.4 miles south of town—the longest of the tour's eight zip-lines stretches more than 800 feet, and whisks you along some 130 feet off the ground. Book online or with your cruise line. 116 Wood Rd., Ketchikan, AK, 99901. 907/225–5503. www.alaskacanopy.com.
Southeast Exposure. A rain-forest zip-line and ropes course is offered through Southeast Exposure, a well-known kayaking outfit in the area. 37 Potter Rd., Ketchikan, AK, 99901. 907/225–8829. www.southeastexposure.com.
Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. The show consists of a 60-minute lumberjack competition providing a Disneyesque taste of old-time woodsman skills, including ax throwing, bucksawing, springboard chopping, log-rolling duels, and a 50-foot speed climb. It's a little hokey, but it's good fun (and kids will love it). Shows take place in a covered, heated grandstand directly behind the Salmon Landing Marketplace and are presented rain or shine all summer. 420 Spruce Mill Way, Ketchikan, AK, 99901. 907/225–9050 or 888/320–9049. www.lumberjacksports.com. $35. May–Sept., 2–4 times daily; hrs vary.
Ketchikan's Totem Pole Parks
For the most part, the totem poles in Ketchikan's two biggest totem pole parks are replicas of those brought in from outlying villages as part of a federal project during the late 1930s.
Totem Bight State Historical Park. Totem Bight State Historical Park has many totem poles and a hand-hewn Native tribal house; it sits on a scenic spit of land facing the waters of Tongass Narrows. The clan house is open daily in summer. About a quarter of the Ketchikan bus tours include Totem Bight. N. Tongass Hwy., approx. 10 mi north of town, Ketchikan, AK, 99901. 907/247–8574. Free. Dawn–dusk.
Saxman Totem Park. A 2.5-mile paved walking path–bike trail parallels the road from Ketchikan to Saxman Native Village, named for a missionary who helped Native Alaskans settle here before 1900. A totem park dominates the center of Saxman, with poles that represent a wide range of human and animal-inspired figures, including bears, ravens, whales, and eagles. There is a $5 charge to enter.Saxman's Beaver Clan tribal house is said to be the largest in Alaska. Carvers create totem poles and totemic art objects in the adjacent carver's shed. You can get to the park on foot or by taxi, bicycle, or city bus. You can visit the totem park on your own, but to visit the tribal house and theater you must take a tour. Tickets are sold at the gift shop across from the totems. Call ahead for tour schedules. S. Tongass Hwy., 2 miles south of town, Ketchikan, AK, 99901. 907/225–4421.