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Thorne Bay

While in Thorne Bay experience day hikes on our SEAtrails. Go fishing; boating; kayaking; and enjoy our Sandy Beach. Join us for cultural events including the Prince of Wales Fair and Logging Show, community potlucks and a New Years Day running race called the Ultra Nasty.


Thorne Bay is 47 air miles northwest of Ketchikan on the east coast of Prince of Wales Island. On the Island road system, it lies 59 miles from Hollis and 36 miles east of the Klawock Junction. It is located in the Tongass National Forest and is the home of the Thorne Bay Ranger District. The US Forest Service Office for the Thorne Bay Ranger District is located at 1312 Federal Way, Sandy Beach Road.

Thorne Bay was named after Frank Manley Thorn, superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1885 through 1889. Thorne Bay developed as a result of a long-term timber sales contract between the U.S. Forest Service and the Ketchikan Pulp Company. In 1960, a floating logging camp was built in Thorne Bay. In 1962, Ketchikan Pulp moved its main logging camp from Hollis to Thorne Bay. Roads were then constructed to connect Thorne Bay with Hollis, Craig and Klawock. During this time, it was considered the largest logging camp in North America. Thorne Bay evolved from a company-owned logging camp to an incorporated city by 1982, due in part to the land selection program provided for in the Alaska Statehood Act.


Prince of Wales Island is accessible via the Inter-Island Ferry Authority (IFA)’s daily service from Ketchikan. Travelers on Alaska’s Marine Highway System (AMHS) simply need to transfer at the docks in Ketchikan and purchase a separate ticket. The IFA ferry takes passengers to the Island community of Hollis, which is 59 miles from Thorne Bay on the Prince of Wales Island road system. Visitors can bring their own vehicles to Prince of Wales on the ferry, or there are car rental services on the Island. Contact the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce (POWCC), or Thorne Bay for more information.

Currently there is no public transportation system on Prince of Wales, but a private shuttle company meets each ferry and offers transportation to the City of Craig. If you do not have your own transportation, arrangements SHOULD BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME!

Alaska Airlines services the community of Ketchikan and from there it is possible to connect with a small air carrier to Prince of Wales. There are several air carriers that offer services to the island communities. Each community has regular air service, but some communities only have once a week service. The following air taxi companies offer regular or charter float plane service to Thorne Bay:

Additionally LAB Air offers wheeled plane service to the airstrip in Klawock from the Ketchikan Airport.


Thorne Bay is a full service community within the SEAtrails system. Lodging, fuel food, charters and supplies are all available within the Thorne Bay area.


Thorne Bay on Prince of Wales Island is dominated by a cool, moist, maritime climate. Summer temperatures range from 49 to 63; winter temperatures from 32 to 42. Average annual precipitation is 85 inches, including 12 inches of snow.

Local Contacts

For information about Thorne Bay contact the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce at PO Box 490, Klawock, AK 99925-0490, or 907-755-2626

A Guide to Prince of Wales Island is available by emailing . It provides information about all 11 communities on Prince of Wales Island, basic road map, services available, trail info, business directory, lodging & charter charts, harbor info, and more. You can also contact the City of Thorne Bay through the Thorne Bay Business Association () at PO Box 19492, Thorne Bay, Alaska 99919.


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