Ketchican lies in what has got to be the world's least likely spots for a city.
A first impression might be that the city is built on stilts, half over the water and half on the steep mountainside. Located on an island, its buildings are jammed against a mountain,thick with trees, and strung along the water front.
There are twenty miles of roads, not counting city streets.
Ketchican has been given many nicknames, "first city of Alaska," "Salmon Capitol of the World,""Birthplace of Alaskan Pulp Industry," and "Totemland."
Nearly all of Southeast Alaska, stretching 500 miles from Ketchican to Yakutat, is in the Tongass National forest. The towns sit in small pockets of private land surrounded by 17 million acres of land controlled by the U.S. Forest Service-an area nearly as large as the state of Maine, and considerably larger than any other national forest or national park in the United States. The vast majority of the land has never been logged and with the decline of the logging industry preserves one of the world's great temperate rainforests in its virgin state. A treasure to be enjoyed by all.