Things to do in Ketchikan Alaska with a Baby
Ketchikan Alaska is all about outdoor activities. Hiking trails, fishing, boating, and kayaking galore. My husband and I visited Ketchikan during our 7-day Alaskan Cruise aboard the Eurodam. We also happened to have our 7-month-old son along for the ride. Gasp! I know.
According to Trip Advisor, a boat ride or plane ride out to Misty Fjords was the #1 thing to do in Ketchikan Alaska. And, of course, the cruise charged a hefty price for that excursion. With a baby in tow, we felt the hiking trails were our best option. We arrived at the port around 7am and unfortunately had only about 4 ½ hours to squeeze in as much as possible.
So, here are 5 fun things to do in Ketchikan Alaska (all which are baby friendly activities):
Add this to your top thing to do in Ketchikan Alaska! This trail has beautiful views with a thick, plush, rain-forest-feel. You can walk to the trailhead, although be aware that it is about a 15-25 minute hike, straight UP the steep city street hills. If you decide to walk, make sure you set aside time for breaks or breathers. We had the baby asleep in the stroller, and pushing him uphill took us closer to the 25 minute mark. If you’re short on time, it may be best to take a taxi straight to the trailhead.
Tip for cruisers with kids in strollers: I DID know that the Rainbird trail is not stroller friendly. But I decided to bring it off the ship anyways for all the other activities we had planned. So we hid the stroller in the bushes at the trailhead, and did the hike with the baby in the carrier (I recommend this carrier – it was a life saver on our trip). Then we took a taxi from the end of the trail back to the trailhead (where we ditched the stroller).
This worked perfectly and I would recommend this for any cruisers with babies. The cab was only $7, and after we picked up the stroller he drove us over to Creek Street and gave us lots of great tips and info about Ketchikan along the way.
Ketchikan’s Creek Street
Yes this is a bit of a tourist trap, but beautiful nonetheless. Sometimes it felt a little crowded, but after a while, the crowds let up and you could feel the quaintness of the little town. Creek Street was Ketchikan’s old red light district. During the roaring 20s there were a plethora of lewd houses men would visit for the company of prostitutes and liquor. Today it’s an active salmon spawning creek with restaurants, shopping, and great people watching.
I do recommend going up to the Cape Cod Lodge for lunch with an amazing view. There is a tram that takes you up from Creek Street ($3pp), plenty big to fit us, the baby and stroller plus a few other people. At the Lodge, we had a nice lunch, coffee, and were able to get some hot water to make baby James a new bottle of formula.
Married Man’s Trail
On our way back down to Creek Street, we decided to take the Married Man’s Trail (instead of the return Tram service). The trail gets its name from back in the day when men would sneak through the backwoods to get to the whore-houses instead of getting caught walking in the front doors. Today it’s a wooden boardwalk with a few sets of stairs that go through the woods and over the creek with lots of salmon. Towards the end of the trail, you’ll find the Salmon Ladder that the salmon use to bypass the rocky waterfall and continue upstream for spawning.
Tip for kids in strollers: Coming from Cape Cod Lodge, the Married Man Trail is all downhill. My husband had James in the carrier and I just grabbed one end of the stroller while Will grabbed the other for the stair portions. Our stroller is super light. And I probably wouldn’t recommend if you have a heavy jogging stroller.
Salmon Fish Hatchery
Unfortunately it was closed when we were in Ketchikan Alaska in May. But we could see the outdoor section from the trail we were on. And it seemed like a great place for learning about salmon spawning and I know kids would love it. There are many tourist street signs leading the way to the hatchery. It was only about a 10 minute leisurely stroll from the Married Man’s Trailhead.
Ketchikan’s Great Alaskan LumberJack Show
If you still have time (and depending on baby’s mood), you might consider paying the $40 pp to see the LumberJack Show. Babies are free. The Show is just steps from where the cruises dock and it seemed like a fun family-friendly activity.
It’s important to check the times of each show right when you get off the boat. Because by the time we showed up to see the show, it had already been going on for about 30 minutes and the next showing wasn’t for another hour after that. So we chose to cozy up by the fire at the Alaska Fish House and drink a beer while James had a nap. A great alternative if you ask me!
We absolutely loved Ketchikan Alaska and we definitely plan on coming back on our next cruise. Ideally we’ll have more time in the port. Have you been to Ketchikan? I know having baby James limited us on what we could see, but I would love to hear about other must-see sites in and near Ketchikan! Comment below!
Happy & Safe travels,