Ketchikan is a city in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, the southeasternmost sizable city in Alaska. With an estimated population of 14,070 in 2010 within the city limits, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state. Ketchikan's economy is based upon tourism and fishing, and the city is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World." The Misty Fjords National Monument is one of the area's major attractions. For most of the latter half of the 20th century, a large portion of Ketchikan's economy and life centered around the Ketchikan Pulp Company pulp mill in nearby Ward Cove. Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town. Ketchikan comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean "the river belonging to Kitschk"; other accounts claim it means "Thundering Wings of an Eagle." Ketchikan's secondary post office box ZIP code, 99928, is one of the highest ZIP codes ever assigned in the United States, although most residents use the ZIP code 99901. Ketchikan also has the world's largest collection of standing totem poles, found at three major locations: the City of Saxman, Totem Bight State Park, and the Totem Heritage Center. Many of the totems are replicas of older poles, carved during the Roosevelt Administration through the CCC, or reproduced in more recent decades.
Ketchikan serves as both an air and marine transportation hub for southern Southeast Alaska.
The Ketchikan International Airport serves as both a gateway for Alaska Airlines jet service to and from Seattle, Juneau and Anchorage, and as a bush carrier and charter aircraft hub for destinations such as Hyder, Metlakatla and Prince of Wales Island communities. Ketchikan receives service to two separate ferry lines. Ketchikan sits on the Alaska Marine Highway's Inside Passage route and sees a large number of ships northbound (to the rest of Alaska) and southbound (to Prince Rupert, British Columbia — where a six hour connection can be made to the BC Ferries system — and Bellingham, Washington). Ketchikan also sees regular day service from the Alaska Marine Highway vessel M/V Lituya, a day boat that shuttles between Ketchikan and Metlakatla, its homeport. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority serves Ketchikan daily (and, in the summer, twice daily) with the dayboat M/V Prince of Wales from its homeport in Hollis on Prince of Wales Island. Ketchikan often serves as a connection between the Prince of Wales and mainline Alaska Marine Highway vessels that run to the rest of Southeast Alaska.
Colleges and universities:
The former Ketchikan Community College became the Ketchikan campus of the University of Alaska Southeast during the late 1980s restructuring of the University of Alaska System. The campus is located on the uphill side of Ketchikan's West End neighborhood and consists of two buildings, the Paul Building and the Ziegler Building. Both are named for prominent Ketchikan residents of the early and mid 20th century, William Lewis Paul and Adolph Holton Ziegler, respectively.
- Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District
- Ketchikan High School
- Revilla Junior/Senior High School
- Schoenbar Middle School