Destinations »

Angoon

Angoon

While in Angoon experience the Danger Point Trail and Cross Admiralty Canoe/Kayak Route; visit the Admiralty Island National Monument and the Kootznoowoo Wilderness National Monument; view wildlife (Admiralty Island has very high densities of bears, eagles, and Sitka black-tailed deer); do beach combing; salt and freshwater kayaking and canoeing; historical and cultural site visits; hiking through spruce-hemlock rainforest, muskeg, alpine-tundra with rock outcrops; and glacier viewing.

Overview

This Tlingit community is the only permanent settlement on Admiralty Island and is home to about 570 residents. It is located on the southwest coast at Kootzanhoo Inlet, about 55 miles southwest of Juneau and 41 miles northeast of Sitka.

Angoon is derived from the Tlingit term Aangˇon, which means "Isthmus Town", a wonderfully descriptive name given Angoon's strategic location on the narrow peninsula that separates Chatham Strait from Kootznahoo Inlet. The original village of Angoon was destroyed in 1882, after Tlingits demanded reparations for a shaman who was killed by an exploding harpoon gun on a Northwest Trading Company vessel. The existing village, rebuilt in the early 1900s has a few attractions including the Old Village Site with its historic forts, summer fishing camps, old garden sites and clan areas, and the Killisnoo graveyard. Angoon is well-known for its 4th of July celebration.

Angoon provides a transportation link and limited services for visitors seeking to explore the Admiralty Island National Monument, and the Kootznoowoo Wilderness National Monument. These parks support abundant wildlife including Sitka black-tailed deer, and the largest brown bear population in the world. Formally named by Captain George Vancouver in 1794, the island was known to the Tlingit Natives as the "Fortress of the Bears".

The largest inlet on the island, Seymour Canal, contains some of the highest densities of nesting bald eagles anywhere in the world. Shoreline bays contain marine mammals such as harbor seals and porpoises, sea lions and occasionally humpback whales. Waterfowl and seabirds overwinter in these bays in abundance and many of the tributary streams have strong runs of salmon in the late summer and fall. A unique feature of Admiralty is the Cross Island Canoe route which connects Mole Harbor in Seymour Canal to Angoon. The route passes through as many as eight lakes connected by maintained portage trails dating back to the l930's.

The majority of Admiralty is spruce-hemlock rainforest interspersed with small areas of muskeg. The timberline is typically 2000 to 2,500 feet. Above the timberline the forest gradually changes to alpine-tundra with rock outcrops and permanent to semi-permanent ice fields.

Transportation

Angoon can be reached using Alaska's Marine Highway System (AMHS). Ferry service is available almost daily in the summer, and several times a week in the winter. The dock is located about 3 miles from town and although there is not a shuttle or cab, local residents might offer visitors a ride into town if they look like they are in need.

Scheduled float plane services are also available; flights arrive into the state-owned seaplane base on Kootznahoo Inlet a quarter mile from town. Most summer seasons there is limited kayak and canoe rental on the island, and the few local lodges may be employed to help with storage of backpacks and equipment while visitors go exploring. Angoon's waterfront facilities include a deep draft dock, and a small boat harbor with 45 berths.

Services

Angoon's services are limited to a general store, a lodge, docks, and lodging. There are no restaurants. There are few amenities for visitors since the local economy is based on fishing, however there are several lodges and bed and breakfasts. Additionally, more than a dozen U.S. Forest Service cabins are available across the island. Wilderness camping is an option, however visitors must pack out all garbage and take precautions given the density of brown bears.

Weather

Angoon's maritime climate is characterized by cool summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures range from 45 to 61; winter temperatures range from 25 to 39. Extremes in temperature have been recorded from -6 to 77. Angoon receives much less precipitation than is typical of Southeast Alaska. Strong north winds during winter months cause rough seas, which may prevent aircraft landings.

Local Contacts

For information about Angoon, contact the City of Angoon, P.O. Box 189, Angoon, AK 99820, or (907) 788-3653. You can also contact Kootznowoo, Inc. at 8585 Old Dairy Road #201, Juneau, AK 99801, (907) 790-2992. For more information about nearby Admiralty Island National Monument and the Kootznoowoo Wilderness National Monument, contact Monument Ranger at 8461 Old Dairy Road, Juneau, AK 99801-8041 or 907-586-8790.
Sources

Community Locator
click graphic for map

Angoon Locator Map