Ketchikan is a city in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, the southeasternmost sizable city in that state. It has an estimated population of 7,368 in 2010 within the city limits, making it the fifth most populous city in the state.
Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town. Ketchikan comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is undetermined. It is located on Revillagigedo Island, 90 miles north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia and 235 miles south of Juneau, Alaska.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles, 3.4 square miles of which is land and 0.8 square miles (18.60%) is water.
The Alaska Marine Highway System has its headquarters in Ketchikan. The economy is based upon tourism and fishing, and the city is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World." The Misty Fjords National Monument is one of the area's major tourist attractions. For most of the latter half of the 20th century, a large portion of Ketchikan's economy and life centered around the Ketchikan Pulp Company pulp mill in nearby Ward Cove till it was shut down. Ketchikan serves as both an air and marine transportation hub for southern Southeast Alaska.
The Ketchikan International Airport serves as both a gateway for Alaska Airlines jet service to and from Seattle, Juneau and Anchorage, and as a bush carrier and charter aircraft hub for destinations such as Hyder, Metlakatla and Prince of Wales Island communities.
Ketchikan receives service to two separate ferry lines. Its location on the Alaska Marine Highway's Inside Passage route causes large number of ships northbound (to the rest of Alaska) and southbound (to Prince Rupert, British Columbia — where a six hour connection can be made to the BC Ferries system — and Bellingham, Washington) to pass through. Ketchikan also sees regular day service from the Alaska Marine Highway vessel M/V Lituya, a day boat that shuttles between Ketchikan and Metlakatla, its homeport.
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