Chichagof Island
Chichagof Island

Chichagof Island

Alaska

The basics

Chichagof Island, the fifth-largest island in the US, is part of the Alexander Archipelago, which lines southeastern Alaska. The island, though known for its nature and status as part of Tongass National Forest, is home to about 1,500 residents, most of whom work in the tourism and fishing industries.

A popular cruise-ship port, it’s a magnet for visitors seeking out the raw beauty of southeastern Alaska, including sightings of brown bears, eagles, and humpback whales. Typical shore excursions include kayaking, fishing, riding the world’s largest ZipRider (like a vertical zipline down to the shore), whale-watching, and wilderness touring.

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Things to know before you go

  • Over 20 different shore excursions are offered at Icy Strait Point, the only private cruise-ship destination in Alaska (all proceeds directly support the Tlingit community).

  • For many, seeing the brown bears is a highlight—take a tour if you can.

  • The Alaska Marine Highway operates reasonably priced ferry rides between Juneau and Hoonah. Trips take 3.5 hours.

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How to get there

If you’re not bound for Chicagof Island via cruise ship, get yourself to nearby Juneau. From there, you can take a ferry or a seaplane to Hoonah, the island's largest town. You can also book a guided tour or charter from Juneau—and other nearby towns—to visit the island.

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When to get there

The vast majority of travelers will experience Chicagof Island from June to August, during Alaska’s high season, when temperatures are warm and days are long. The shoulder seasons (April–May and September–October) can be good for a visit, too, but you’ll risk chillier, rainier weather and some businesses being closed for the season.

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A note on Icy Strait Point

A salmon cannery anchored the community of Hoonah until the 1950s; decades later, the local Alaska Native corporation, Huna Totem Corp., purchased the facility and began construction of Alaska’s only private cruise port. Today, at Icy Strait Point, you can fish, kayak, ride the world’s largest ZipRider, and more, all led by the Indigenous team.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Chichagof Island?
A:
Attractions near Chichagof Island: