Kasaan

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For those looking for roads less traveled and the warmth that comes from a small, close-knit community, look no further than Kasaan, the northernmost Haida village. The town, with a population of only 60, can be found on the east side of Prince of Wales Island on Kasaan Bay. Originally Tlingit territory, Kasaan gets its name from the Tlingit word meaning “pretty town. Although tiny in size, the old cannery town features a deep heritage with the Haida people and is surrounding by beautiful beaches, a bayside vista of fantastic wildlife, and outstanding hiking trails.

For those looking for roads less traveled and the warmth that comes from a small, close-knit community, look no further than Kasaan, the northernmost Haida village. The town, with a population of only 60, can be found on the east side of Prince of Wales Island on Kasaan Bay. Originally Tlingit territory, Kasaan gets its name from the Tlingit word meaning “pretty town. Although tiny in size, the old cannery town features a deep heritage with the Haida people and is surrounding by beautiful beaches, a bayside vista of fantastic wildlife, and outstanding hiking trails.

What to See and Do  

The annual Kasaan Community Harvest is a weekend event that brings community members and guests together to prepare food, learn safe processing techniques and exchange family recipes of the Haida community. Participants smoke and process salmon, make jam, jar venison, produce devils club salve from harvested bark and turn elderberries into jelly. Join the community harvesting to help pass on and continue Haida traditions that have lasted for thousands of years.

Don’t forget to take a guided tour of Kasaan Totem Park and the Totems Historic District. The outdoor park is located alongside pristine beaches and features original house posts of the Haida people, including a house built in the late 1800s. One of the wealthiest Haida chiefs, Chief Son-i-hat, built the Whale House, a traditional log house that used to provide shelter to over 30 people.

 

Eating and Drinking

The Totem Trail Café is a full service restaurant that serves breakfast all day and is open for lunch. The seasonal cafe has a gift shop located inside the Kasaan Community Tribal Hall, adjacent to the vacationing rentals. This water front cafe features unmatched ocean views and fantastic dining.

Where to Live

Rentals are about $765 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Median home value is $159,400.

How to Get Around

Air:

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. Kasaan has daily flights by Pacific Air from Ketchikan.

Road:

Kasaan is located on the eastside of Prince of Wales Island and is accessible by Thorne Bay Road. The Inter Island Ferry makes daily trips to Prince of Wales Island from Ketchikan. Other towns Klawock and Hollis are accessible by state highways 929 and 924. Due to limited options of road public transportation on the island, it is recommended you have your own vehicle.

Water: 

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 nearly 67 miles from Kasaan on the Prince of Wales Island road system.