Wrangell & Mitkoff Islands
The only two towns on the chart below are Wrangell at the north tip of Wrangell Island and Petersburg at the north tip of Mitkof Island. The hamlet of Myers Chuck is on Lemesurier Point at the west end of the Cleveland Peninsula, and just across Clarence Strait on Prince of Wales Island is Thorne Bay, once the largest logging camp in the world, now a friendly village of about 500 people.
Wrangell (2010 population of 2,369) is a friendly, vibrant community with two harbors. It boasts one of the two best restaurants in Southeast Alaska, the Stikine Inn (also a hotel). The town has daily air service from Seattle via Alaska Airlines 737s and the City operates
View of Wrangell Harbor and Zimovia Strait
a boat storage/work yard with a 150 ton travel-lift supported by a large community of highly skilled craftsmen, mechanics, electricians, etc. Sea Lion was hauled in Wrangell in 2011 for rudder repairs and we still marvel about the experience. Wrangell is also the gateway to the StikineRiver (not navigable by Sea Lion). A jet boat tour up the Stikine is a not-to-be-missed Alaska experience and the jet boat will come right to Sea Lion's swim platform for pick-up and drop-off.
Up the Stikine to Shakes Bay
Petersburg (2010 population of 2,842) is a thriving, old Southeastern fishing town of proud Norwegian heritage. It, too, has daily air service from Seattle via Alaska Airlines 737s. It, too, has an expert boat service community. It does not, however, have a 150 ton lift.
Looking South on Nordic Drive, Petersburg, Alaska.
A short soak in Mosman Inlet on Etolin Island yields just enough for a prawn salad for lunch.
After passing Myers Chuck and turning up Ernest Sound, the route to Wrangell can go on either side of Wrangell Island: Zimovia Strait on the west side and Eastern Passage on the east side. Both routes are beautiful although Blake Channel and the The Narrows in Eastern Passage is exceptional.
It's 32 miles from Ketchikan to Myers Chuck, and then via Eastern Passage another 60 miles to Wrangell. From Myers Chuck to Wrangell via Zimovia Strait, it is ten miles shorter.
From Wrangell to the south end of Wrangell Narrows it is 20 miles, and through Wrangell Narrows to Petersburg it is another 20 miles.
From Ketchikan to Petersburg via Clarence Strait, Snow Passage and Wrangell Narrows, it is 110 miles.
Etolin Island is noted for its hunting (especially elk). The 2000 U.S. Census only found 15 residents on Etolin. Much of it is a designated Wilderness Area. There are numerous remote anchorages along the island's shoreline, most in long, narrow inlets full of halibut and shrimp. Canoe Passage, a narrow, shallow channel between Etolin and Brownson Island on Ernest Sound offers spectacular kayaking.
Zarembo Island, just to the north of Etolin, has no permanent population. It also has virtually no hospitable anchorages.