The last frontier is filled with tiny town treasures and rural areas that have a magical way of stealing your heart and never letting go. The happy and sprightful community of Hoonah is no exception to that rule. Packed with wonderful people, prominent Tlingit culture, awesome saltwater fishing, adrenaline packed ziplining, lush rainforest perfect for hiking, local brews and delicious restaurants, Hoonah is undoubtedly a place that everyone in Alaska should add to their bucket list, STAT!
Located on Chichagof Island on Alaska’s panhandle, Hoonah has a population of year-round residents that sits somewhere around 850 people.
The summer season in Hoonah brings the population up to roughly 1,300 people with increased daily visitors that come to visit off of the cruise ships.
Being that Chichagof Island is the 5th largest island in the United States, it is only natural that there are an endless amount of activities for visitors to soak up when visiting Hoonah.
So why Hoonah? Well, let us tell you. Hoonah has a little bit of something for everyone. From fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing, catching a good adrenaline rush, drinking delicious Alaskan beer, eating fresh wild Alaska seafood to absorbing the fascinating Alaska Native Tlingit culture.
Located about 30 miles west of the Alaska state capital of Juneau, Hoonah is easily accessible from southeast Alaska view float plane or boat.
Established in 1901 with the first post office, the long withstanding history of Hoonah as a fishing community is still very apparent throughout the town. Old “high and dry” boats can be found pulled away from the docks but still close enough to enjoy the salty air that they are accustomed to. They also make for a stunning photograph filled with history and wonder.
The Tlingit culture is very prominent in Hoonah and can be found all throughout the town in the form of stunningly tall totems.
For a more in-depth cultural experience, visitors can enjoy beautiful dances and various performing arts put on by the locals.
Visitors to Hoonah can step right off the docks and onto Icy Strait Point. This old cannery is now filled with great gift shops, art, history, eateries and amazing local residents that ooze with phenomenal hospitality. While still keeping elements of the old cannery intact with the current theme, walking around and just taking in the sights can really give you the most amazing blast from the past.
In town you can find great food with delicious wild, natural, sustainable Alaska seafood influences. Incredible local chefs that truly care about their ingredients and staff that exudes top-quality customer service make dining experiences in Hoonah incredibly memorable.
And great local Alaskan brew is another excellent example of how the residents in Hoonah are dedicated to providing quality Alaska-made products to their friends, neighbors and visitors.
The feeling you get in Hoonah is warm, welcoming and almost as if you are instantly at home. The local residents (i.e. the super cute dogs) that love to greet visitors walking by are just a part of the equation that makes Hoonah a happy home for so many.
One of the coolest things about Hoonah is the amount of wildlife that can been seen throughout town. Yes this is a deer walking down the sidewalk. Totally normal when you are in Hoonah!
And the marine life is as equally as enchanting as well. There is nothing quite like going out to catch some salmon and halibut and being greeted by a pod of orca whales on the way back. Now THAT is fascinating!
One of the most epic attractions in Hoonah is the world’s largest zipline which offers six 5330' ziplines that drop 1330’ feet down the 1550’ Hoonah Mountain. If you want your cheeks to hurt from smiling so much and your breath to utterly be taken away, this is a bucket list MUST for anyone traveling to Alaska.
If exploring the great outdoors in more your cup of tea and you wish to get away from the crowds, Hoonah offers the most amazing playground in the temperate rainforest of the Tongass National Forest. If great views, fresh air and potential 'up close and personal' encounters with wildlife is what you're after... you can find it in Hoonah!
The tall and mighty Sitka Spruce trees are enchanting, to say the least. On a warm summer day, they offer the perfect amount of shade to cool off and get in a great outdoor workout. The size and stature of these massive trees has the ability to mesmerize just about anyone and everyone that experiences them up close.
At the end of the day, Hoonah is a land made for those with a wanderlust for Alaska. With endless outdoor activity, delightful residents, warm hospitality, unlimited access to natural resources and a strong sense of pride in the Alaska Native culture - it's impossible not to fall in love with Hoonah.
Have you ever been to this incredible tiny town in Alaska? If so, what is your favorite thing to do here?