Saxman Village Totem Park in Ketchikan, Alaska

Called “Alaska’s First City,” perhaps because it is the first port cruise ships visit on their way up the Inside Passage, Ketchikan is the southernmost city in Alaska. Located 700 miles north of Seattle and 235 miles south of Juneau, Ketchikan is known for its rainy skies, lush island setting, and abundance of totem poles.

Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, totem poles, First City, Images by RJM

On the day we visited (Sunday, May 22nd) the shore excursion guides exclaimed about our good fortune – we enjoyed clear skies and no rain while we were there.

Carrieanna and I were also fortunate to have our own private driver and guide through the Saxman Village Totem Park.

Our accessible van with hydraulic lift, to transport Carrieanna in her scooter.

Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, totem poles, First City, Tlingit, wheelchair accessible van, hydraulic lift, mobility scooter, Images by RJM

Our driver, Austin, secured the scooter inside the van

Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, totem poles, First City, wheelchair accessible van, hydraulic lift, mobility scooter, Images by RJM

He then drove us through Ketchikan, sharing a little of the city’s history and pointing out interesting landmarks as we traveled the 2.5 miles to Saxman Village Totem Park.

Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, totem poles, First City, Tlingit, wheelchair accessible, Images by RJM

Gravel pathways, with a slight incline, were easy for Carrieanna to navigate.

Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, totem poles, First City, wheelchair accessible, Images by RJM

Austin explained the significance of the Beaver Clan House …

Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, totem poles, First City, wheelchair accessible, Images by RJM

… and then relayed the story told by the two smaller totem poles in the foreground.

Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, Beaver Clan House, totem poles, First City, wheelchair accessible, Images by RJM

As noted on the Alaska.org website, “The 25 totems here are authentic replicas of original poles that were left in abandoned villages as Native Alaskans moved into more populated cities.”

Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, totem poles, First City, wheelchair accessible, Images by RJM Saxman Village Totem Park, Ketchikan, Alaska, eagle, totem poles, First City, wheelchair accessible, Images by RJM Saxman Village Totem Park - Totem pole eating man's hand

Accessibility

The entire park was accessible by wheelchair or mobility scooter, allowing Carrieanna to see all of the totem poles. The gift shop (not shown) was also easy for her to navigate.

And we were very impressed by our guide, Austin, who was helpful, knowledgeable,  gracious and attentive.

All photos: ©2016 ImagesByRJM

 

 

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