Alaska Bear Viewing Tours departing from Anchorage, Brown bear viewing trips from 1 to 7 days to Katmai Brooks Falls, Lake Clark, Savonoski Loop, and Bear Viewing and Giant Icebergs. Outdoor Photography Alaska Brown Bears, Grizzly Bears and Black Bears in Alaska.

killer whale fin
Seward Sea Kayaking tours Alaska tour packagesWeb Special Alaska toursNational Geographic Adventure TravelAlaska Certified travel expert ATIA Seward Sea Kayaking tours
Alaska Cruises Petersburg, Alaska (PETERS-burg)
Recommended Activities and Tours  •  Lodging  •  Recommend Reading

Current Population: 2,948 (2010)
Borough Located In: Unorganized
Taxes: 6% Sales, Bed 4%

Location and Climate
Petersburg is located on the northwest end of Mitkof Island, where the Wrangell Narrows meet Frederick Sound. It lies midway between Juneau and Ketchikan, about 120 miles from either community. The community lies at approximately 56.812500° North Latitude and 132.955560° West Longitude (Sec. 27, T058S, R079E, Copper River Meridian). Petersburg is located in the Petersburg Recording District. The area encompasses 43.9 sq. miles of land and 2.2 sq. miles of water.

Petersburg's climate is characterized by mild winters, cool summers and year-round rainfall. Average summer temperatures range from 40 to 56; winters average from 27 to 43. Annual precipitation averages 106.3 inches, including 97 inches of snow.

History, Culture and Demographics
Tlingit Indians from Kake utilized the north end of Mitkof Island as a summer fish camp. Some reportedly began living year-round at the site, including John Lot. Petersburg was named after Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian immigrant and a pioneer in the cannery business, who arrived in the late 1890s. He built the Icy Strait Packing Company cannery, a sawmill, and a dock by 1900. His family's homesteads grew into this community, populated largely by people of Scandinavian origin. In 1910, a City was formed, and by 1920, 600 people lived in Petersburg year-round. During this time, fresh salmon and halibut were packed in glacier ice for shipment. Alaska's first shrimp processor, Alaska Glacier Seafoods, was founded in 1916. A cold storage plant was built in 1926. The cannery has operated continuously, and is now known as Petersburg Fisheries, a subsidiary of Icicle Seafoods, Inc. Across the narrows is the town of Kupreanof, which was once busy with fur farms, a boat repair yard and a sawmill. Petersburg has developed into one of Alaska's major fishing communities.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Petersburg Indian Association. The community maintains a mixture of Tlingit and Scandinavian history. It is known as "Little Norway" for its history and annual Little Norway Festival during May.

According to Census 2010, there were 1,356 housing units in the community and 1,252 were occupied. Its population was 7 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 80 percent white; 0.4 percent black; 3.2 percent Asian; 0.2 percent Pacific Islander; 7.9 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds. Additionally, 3.7 percent of the population was of Hispanic decent.

Economy and Transportation
Since its beginning, Petersburg's economy has been based on commercial fishing and timber harvests. Petersburg currently is one of the top-ranking ports in the U.S. for the quality and value of fish landed. 469 residents hold commercial fishing permits. Several processors operate cold storage, canneries and custom packing services. The state runs the Crystal Lake Hatchery which contributes to the local salmon resource. Residents include salmon, halibut, shrimp and crab in their diet. Petersburg is the supply and service center for many area logging camps. Independent sportsmen and tourists utilize the local charter boats and lodges, but there is no deep water dock suitable for cruise ships.

Petersburg is accessed by air and water. It is on the mainline state ferry route. The The state-owned James A. Johnson Airport and Lloyd R. Roundtree Seaplane Base (on the Wrangell Narrows) allow for scheduled jet and float plane services. The runway is 6,000' long by 150' wide asphalt. Harbor facilities include three docks, two petroleum wharves, two barge terminals, three boat harbors with moorage for 700 boats, a boat launch and boat haul-out. Freight arrives by barge, ferry or cargo plane. There is no deep water dock for large ships such as cruise ships; passengers are lightered to shore.

Girdwood Visitor Information and Recommend Activities


Girdwood Lodging, Hotels and Bed & Breakfast


Recommend Reading


Alaska Travel hotline

Backcountry Safaris
P.O. Box 1397 Seward, Alaska USA 99664
1-907-222-1632 or toll-free 1-877-812-2159
Alaska Cruise Expert

Alaska travel package
Sea Kayaking Related Links
Kenai Fjords Related Links
Kenai Fjords Wildlife
Kenai Fjords Birds
Suggested Alaska Reading
Kenai Fjords Historic Resource Study (online book) by Linda Cook and Frank Norris
Exploring Alaska's Kenai Fjords by David Miller
Kenai Fjords Park - Trails Illustrated Map
Alaska: A Novel by James A. Michener
Alaska: A History of the 49th State by Claus-M Naske and Herman E. Slotnick
Guide to the Birds of Alaska by Robert H. Armstrong
Wild Flowers of the Yukon, Alaska by John G. S. Trelawny
Coming into the Country by John McPhee
Travels in Alaska by John Muir
Kenai Fjords Weather
Current Seward, AK Weather
Click for Seward, Alaska Forecast

Did You Know?
City Of Anchorage. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing was selected as the headquarters of this effort. A Tent City sprang up in the wilderness at the mouth of Ship Creek, and soon swelled to a population of over 2,000. On July 9, 1915, the Anchorage townsite auction was held, and over 600 lots were sold. Although the area had been known by various names, in this same year the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name Anchorage, and despite some protests the name stuck.
Copyright 2011 Backcountry Safaris, All Rights Reserved