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Named for a fishing boat called "The Pelican" owned by Charles Raatikained, a founder of the town. The corporate name of the town in "Pelican," although it is frequently called "Pelican city." In 1943 there was a cannery, a small sawmill, a school, and a hotel here. A post office was established in 1939 (Ricks, 1965, p. 50). Located on the NE shore of Lisianski Inlet in NW part of Chichgof Island

Touristy Description: Pelican is known for its boardwalk, which connects most of the residences and businesses in this remote fishing village on the northwest coast of Chichagof Island, 80 miles north of Sitka and 70 miles west of Juneau. Pelican was established on Lisianski Inlet in 1938 by a fish packer who bought and transported fish to Sitka. Fishing is still Pelican's main industry as it boasts the closest harbor to the rich Fairweather salmon grounds. Pelican’s population is listed as 113 but during the summer the population grows with the arrival of commercial fishers and the return of seasonal workers. One of the most well known local events is the Pelican Boardwalk Boogie, a music festival held each May that draws many revelers from across the region, including exhausted legislative staffers from nearby Juneau, who are looking to cut loose after the end of the intense legislative session.

During the summer months you can catch the twice-a-month Alaska Marine Highway ferry to Pelican and turn the sailing into an interesting daytrip from Juneau. The cruise through Icy Strait is scenic, with a very good possibility of seeing humpback whales, and two hours in port offer plenty of time to walk the length of town. Salmon Way consists of a mile-long boardwalk built on pilings over tidelands and is a photographer's delight. There are only two miles of rough gravel roads beyond that.

Beyond the boardwalk, Pelican is surrounded by lush forests and watery fjords, making it a beautiful gateway to such uniquely Alaskan experiences as charter salmon and halibut fishing, sea kayaking or an overnight outing to nearby natural hot springs located on the outside coast of the West-Chichagof Yakobi Island Wilderness Area. There are several fishing lodges located in Pelican and in the settlements of Phonograph Cove and Sunnyside.




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