From fishing trips to walking tours to whale watching excursions, there is something for everyone in the small seaside town of Sitka. With so many great ways to spend your time in Sitka, you may be wondering where to start and how to get the most out of your vacation. If walking tours or hiking are something you enjoy, start here with this list of popular walking tours and hiking trails.
Walking Tours – Sitka National Historic Park
The Riverview Trail is an easy walking trail that follows the Indian River through Sitka National Historic Park. The hike is not quite half a mile and takes less than an hour.
This walking trail offers a great opportunity to see the totem pole collection housed in the park. The totem pole collection was originally donated by the leaders of native Alaskan groups to be displayed during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Most of the original totem poles have been moved from their outdoor home in the park to Totem Hall in the visitor center for preservation. Replicas of these totem poles have been erected in their place for visitors to admire. The collection also includes other totem poles added over the years. This is an easy 1 mile hike that takes less than an hour.
This 1.5 mile walking tour will take you to some of the best tourist spots in Sitka including the Russian Bishop’s House, the Radiance Art Gallery, St. Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church, the Sheldon Jackson Museum, and through the National Historic Park to the Raptor Center.
This 1.6 mile family-friendly walk will take you to the Russian Memorial which memorializes the Russian soldiers and sailors and Aleut people killed during the last battle in 1804. When you get to the Sawmill Creek Road Parking Lot, look for the Sitka National Historic Park Sign. Once you have located the sign, walk directly across the parking lot to the wooded area and look for Methuselah, a giant Sitka Spruce that is the biggest tree in the entire park.
If you are looking for a bit more than an easy walk geared towards seeing the sights, there are also a wide variety of hiking trails available in and around Sitka. For more details on hiking trails and safety, visit the park services website.
The Mosquito Cove Trail is one of the most popular trails in Sitka since it’s through never logged rainforest plus follows the shoreline. 45 minute hike of breathtaking wilderness beauty.
This 7 mile hike will take you up to the crater rim of Mount Edgecumbe. The first half of the hike is primarily forest and there is a small three-sided shelter around the 4 mile mark. Once past this point, the climb becomes steeper, leading up from 700 feet. You will cross the timberline at 2,000 feet and the final stage of the hike is red volcanic ash.
This is one of the trails found in the Starrigavan Recreation Area about 7 miles north of Sitka. This trail is a quarter mile long and can easily be combined with other trails for a longer hike. It is comprised of a raised boardwalk which allows visitors to learn about the estuary at a series of interpretive stations. The trail leads to the Starrigavan Bird Viewing Shelter and can be accessed from Halibut Point Road.