Wrangell, AK – Reliance and Heritage Harbor Marinas
Wrangell has two great marinas – Reliance (near town) and Heritage Harbor (south of town). Both are operated by the city. Most transients will end up at Heritage, but Reliance also has some first-come, first-served linear transient dock. It’s an easy walk to town from Reliance, and from Heritage you can walk to town or dinghy around in good weather.
Mooring Ball: No
Fuel Available: Yes
Potable Water: Yes
Cell Service: Average
Slowboat Tips and Activities
Search for petroglyphs on Petroglyph Beach (see photo gallery).
Take a jetboat tour on the Stikine river – we had a great time with Breakaway Adventures, and other companies are reported to be good as well.
Many charter fishing companies operate out of Wrangell and help guests get salmon, halibut, and other game fish in season.
Visit the Chief Shakes House on Shakes Island and check out the totems that are waiting to be re-carved.
Tlingit people and their ancestors have inhabited this island for thousands of years. According to Naanyaa.aayí clan traditions, Tlingit people migrated down the Stikine River during a time when the river still flowed underneath glaciers. The population slowly moved down the river, settling in different locations such as Tlákw.aan “Ancient Village”, Sʼiknáx̱ “Across from the Grass”, Shaal.aan “Fish Trap Town”, Xakw.aan “Sandbar Village”, and Kayáash“Platform”, Hehl (Xel/Xehl) “Foam People”, Hehl being the senior of house of the village.
Later settlements on the coast included Chʼuxʼáasʼaan “Waterfall Town” (now Mill Creek), Ḵeishangita.aan “Red Alder Head Village” (site of the Wrangell Institute at Shoemaker Bay), Kʼaatsʼḵu Noow “Among the Sharps Fort” (now Anita Bay), An.áan “Village that Rests” (now Anan Bear Viewing Area), and many others. The numerous petroglyphs found at Petroglyph Beach just north of Wrangell, as well as those scattered on the beaches of the many islands in the vicinity, attest to the long Tlingit presence.
19th century – Wrangell was founded by Russians as one of the oldest non-Native settlements in Alaska. They started trading for furs with area Tlingit in 1811 at the site of present-day Wrangell. [Source] Much more history here as well.
Wrangell has large numbers of eagles, seals, and steller sea lions. The Stikine River Delta has the second largest concentration of bald eagles in the world, as well as swans, snow geese, and shorebirds. Nearby Anan Creek hosts large numbers of brown and black bears feeding on salmon in July and August. Black-tailed deer and even moose have been seen on Wrangell Island.
Last update of this page:
Last in-person visit by Slowboat team: July 4, 2018