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Wrangell

Wrangell

While in Wrangell experience Rainbow Falls Trails, Nemo Loop Road Bike Route, Mt. Dewey Trail, High Country Trail, Nemo Pt. Saltwater Trail and Wrangell Island Paddling Circuit SEAtrails. Go hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, flight-seeing, camping, scuba diving (locals harvest sea urchins, sea cucumbers and geoducks).

Enjoy world-class wildlife viewing at the Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory, a favorite spot to view Alaska brown and black bears up close as they feast on one of the largest pink salmon spawning runs in Southeast Alaska. Explore the diverse ecosystems of the area including riverine, sub-alpine, coastal/shoreline, muskeg, forest, and lake environments.

The Stikine River is a popular destination for a true wilderness experience in a spectacular glacial valley that John Muir described as "a Yosemite 100 miles long". The Stikine has been a major trade and transportation route between interior British Columbia natives and the coastal Tlingit as well as the route of thousands of prospectors during 3 different gold rushes in British Columbia and the Klondike.

Other historic and cultural attractions include Chief Shakes Island and Tribal House and Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park. For golf enthusiasts, Wrangell, Alaska is proud to be the home of Muskeg Meadows, the only regulation USGA rated golf course in Southeast Alaska, which has tournaments almost every weekend.

Overview

The City of Wrangell is located on the northwest tip of Wrangell Island, 155 miles south of Juneau and 89 miles northwest of Ketchikan. It is near the mouth of the Stikine River, a historic trade route to the Canadian Interior.

Wrangell is one of the oldest Russian-era settlements in Alaska. In 1811, the Russians began fur trading with area Tlingits, and built a stockade named Redoubt Saint Dionysius in 1834. The Island was named for Ferdinand Von Wrangell, manager of the Russian-American Co. around 1830. The British of Hudson's Bay Co. leased the fort in 1840, and named the stockade Fort Stikine. A large Stikine Indian village known as Kotzlitzna was located 13 miles south of the fort.

The Tlingits claimed their own ancient trade rights to the Stikine River, and protested when the Hudson Bay Company began to use their trade routes. Two epidemics of smallpox, in 1836 and 1840, reduced the Tlingit population by half. The fort was abandoned in 1849 when furs were depleted. The fort remained under the British flag until Alaska's purchase by the U.S. in 1867. In 1868, a U.S. military post called Fort Wrangell was established, named for the Island. The community continued to grow as an outfitter for gold prospectors in 1861, 1874-77, and in 1897. Riotous activity filled gambling halls, dance halls, and the streets.

Thousands of miners traveled up the Stikine River into the Cassiar District of British Columbia during 1874, and again to the Klondike in 1897. Glacier Packing Company began operating in Wrangell in 1889. The Wilson & Sylvester Sawmill provided packing boxes for canneries, and lumber for construction.

The City was incorporated in 1903. By 1916, fishing and forest products had become the primary industries -- four canneries and a cold storage plant were constructed by the late 1920s. In the 1930s, cold packing of crab and shrimp was occurring. Abundant spruce and hemlock resources have helped to expand the lumber and wood products industry. The Alaska Pulp Corporation sawmill, Wrangell's largest employer, closed in late 1994.

Transportation

Wrangell can be accessed by jet directly from Seattle. You can also get to Wrangell via Alaska's Marine Highway System. Wrangell has harbor facilities and moorage for private yachts and sailboats. Kayak, canoe, and skiff rentals and charter flights can also be arranged. Private planes can land at the municipal airport.

Services

Wrangell has major visitor amenities and services. Accommodations range from hotels and bed and breakfasts to Forest Service cabins. Cafes, eateries and grocery stores are also available along with outdoor equipment rentals including kayaks, canoes, and bicycles. Wrangell has its own hospital and clinic facilities. Accommodations range from hotels and bed and breakfasts to Forest Service cabins and three-sided public use shelters.

Weather

Wrangell is in the maritime climatic zone and experiences cool summers, mild winters, and year-round rainfall. Summer temperatures typically range from 42 to 64; winter temperatures range from 21 to 44. Average annual precipitation is 82 inches, including 64 inches of snowfall. Fog is common from September through December.

Local Contacts

For more information on Wrangell, you can contact the City of Wrangell at P.O. Box 531, Wrangell, AK, 99929, (907) 874-2381, , http://www.wrangell.com, or the Parks and Recreation Office at 907-874-2444. You can also contact Wrangell's Chamber of Commerce at P.O. Box 49, Wrangell, AK 99929, (907) 874-3901, or www.wrangellchamber.org.

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