How Long to Spend
The small community of Port Protection, recently featured the National Geographic series of the same name, is located on the northern end of Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, in Wooden Wheel Cove.
It is set on the shore of Sumner Strait, almost hidden among the trees. As you approach, you’ll see a handful of homes, with Calder Mountain in the background.
Port Protection’s remote location insulates it from the larger world and provides a true get-away for the intrepid traveler who wants to be fully immersed in a quaint Alaskan community. The few dozen residents who survive here year-round offer insight into the independent lifestyle responsible for developing much of Alaska – and they’re super friendly to boot!
Stay a week and you’ll know everybody in town.
Things to do in Port Protection:
- Chat with locals about living such a small, remote place in Alaska, with all its challenges and joys. You’ll likely meet some of the folks featured on National Geographic’s popular show.
- Walk along the quaint boardwalk.
- Ask about upcoming activities at the community building. There are regular potlucks and ping-pong tournaments.
- Local artists sell paintings and carved wooden boxes. Just ask around.
- Climb the “Stairway to Heaven,” steps leading up to a ridge overlooking the town.
- Take a guided fishing charter in search of King salmon, silver salmon and bottom feeders like halibut, rockfish and lingcod.
- Boat over to nearby Kuiu Island, an even wilder place, host to black bear and wolves.
Know before you go
- Port Protection has limited services, only in season. You can buy some groceries and fuel up your boat at the local trading post, which also operates a hardware store, liquor store, mail drop, showers, and laundry.
- The trading post also rents cabins, and there’s also one lodge available through a charter fishing package.
- The main attraction is fishing (salmon and halibut), so plan to throw in a line while you’re here.
- Cell service is spotty at best. Local lodges offer wi-fi.
- There are no medical services.
Port Protection is only accessible by plane or boat.
- Regular plane service is infrequent, so you most visitors take a charter floatplane, usually from Ketchikan.
By ferry / car / boat
- The Inter-Island Ferry runs daily year-round between Ketchikan and Hollis, on the eastern shore of Prince of Wales Island. The trip takes about 3 hours.
- You can bring your own car on the ferry or rent one in Hollis. Drive about 100 adventurous miles north, where you’ll be a short boat ride away from Port Protection. Many residents leave a vehicle at the gravel boat launch at Labouchere Bay, a little more than a mile from the community.