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Wrangell, Alaska

Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska, established when Russians began a fur trade with the Tlingit in 1811. Naturalist John Muir discovered Wrangell in 1879. He was awed by the glaciers along the Stikine River, calling the river region "a Yosemite a hundred miles long."

Hike half-mile Mount Dewey Trail from downtown to the hilltop over Wrangell to look out at the river and sea. Go kayaking in the summertime indigo blue ocean, where humpback whales surface and dive - they might splash you with seawater. Explore Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory 30 miles southeast of Wrangell, where eagles, seals, and bears feed at one of the largest salmon runs in Alaska.

Thousand year old rock carvings of birds, whales, and faces tell stories of the Tlingit at Petroglyph Beach. Venture to the restored home of Tlingit Chief Shakes, filled with carvings and wooden whale oil lamps. His great-great-granddaughter shares old family stories, as she leads you through the house. Start your day with a good breakfast at Diamond C Restaurant on Front Street. Later, try the Stikine Inn restaurant's locally fished halibut, fried in a delicious batter made with Alaskan Brewery's Draft beer.