Ketchikan is located on the southwestern coast of isolated Revillagigedo Island (known locally as Revilla) in the southeastern part of Alaska in a region known as the Inside Passage, the Alaskan Panhandle and the Alexander Archipelago. Revillagigedo Island is separated from the Alaskan mainland to the northeast by Behm Canal and opposite uninhabited Gravina and sparsely-populated Pennock Islands to the southwest. Ketchikan itself is approximately fifty miles from the Canadian border.
With no bridges off the island (minus the controversial “Bridge to Nowhere” attempt), literally the only ways to come and go are by boat. However, Ketchikan International Airport (KTN) is located on Gravina Island, which is only accessible by a $5/ride ferry that crosses the ½ mile Tongass Narrows channel.
The island’s only borough, Ketchikan Gateway Borough is home to the city seat of Ketchikan, census-designated place Loring on Revilla’s western shore, former Alaskan Native village Saxman to the south and unincorporated community Ward Cove to the north of Ketchikan.
Despite its latitude and longitude, Ketchikan’s mild oceanic climate (average summer highs of 63°F, average winter lows of 33°F) is akin to Scotland. Part of the southern extremity of the 17 million-acre government-protected temperate rainforest called the Tongass National Forest, Ketchikan is lush with flora and fauna fed by heavy precipitation, earning the region’s nickname of “Rain Country.”
With an average annual rainfall of a staggering 153″ (compare to Seattle’s annual average of 37″), an average annual snowfall of a measly 37″ (compared to Anchorage’s annual average of 75″) and an average of 229 days of precipitation (or raining almost 63% of the year), Ketchikan is one of the wettest places in North America.