Pros and cons of living in Ketchikan Alaska

Ketchikan, Alaska is a small, picturesque city that is nestled in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. It is known for its rich history, abundant natural resources, and charming small-town atmosphere. However, just like any other place, living in Ketchikan has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of living in Ketchikan, Alaska.


1. Breathtaking Scenery: One of the biggest advantages of living in Ketchikan is the stunning natural beauty that surrounds the city. From towering mountains to crystal-clear lakes and streams, Ketchikan is the perfect place for nature lovers. There are many hiking trails and fishing spots that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

2. Small Town Charm: Ketchikan is a close-knit community where everyone knows everybody. Its small size gives it an intimate feeling where you can make meaningful connections with your neighbors. This trait is particularly appealing to people who prefer smaller communities, where the sense of community and sense of belonging are more prominent.

3. Economic Opportunities: Although Ketchikan is a small town, it provides plenty of job opportunities for its residents. The city’s economy is based on tourism, fishing, and forestry. Working in these industries could lead to a stable income and long-term employment.

4. Outdoor Activities: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, then Ketchikan is the perfect place for you. There are numerous opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, and camping. Plus, with the temperate rainforest climate, you can expect a mild climate and ample rainfall allowing for year-round outdoor activities.


1. Isolation: Ketchikan is located in a remote location, which means it’s far from major cities and transportation hubs. If you’re used to living in a bustling metropolis, you may find it tough to adjust to the slower pace of life in Ketchikan.

2. High Cost of Living: Compared to other small towns in the country, Ketchikan has a high cost of living. Its remote location means that some items need to be imported from other areas, contributing to their high cost. Housing prices are high, and utilities are also expensive due to the limited options available.

3. Unpredictable Weather: Ketchikan experiences a temperate rainforest climate, which means it has a lot of rain and unpredictable weather. Residents should expect dense fog, high winds, and heavy rainfall throughout the year. It is important to be prepared with the right clothing and gear when living in Ketchikan.

4. Limited Access: Ketchikan is an isolated community without road access. You need to rely on the ferry or plane to access the outside world. This means that it could be a challenge to access everyday essentials such as food and medical supplies.


Overall, living in Ketchikan can be a unique and rewarding experience. The city’s natural beauty, small-town charm, and economic opportunities make it a desirable place to live. However, residents should be ready to face the challenges of living in such an isolated community, including high living costs and unpredictable weather conditions. Nonetheless, if you are an outdoors enthusiast who loves nature, Ketchikan is a fantastic place to call home.

What are some of the benefits of living in Ketchikan, Alaska?

Ketchikan, Alaska is a unique and breathtaking location that offers many benefits to its residents. One of the biggest benefits of living in Ketchikan is the natural beauty of the area. The town is situated on the water, surrounded by lush forests and snow-capped mountains. This makes for spectacular views and endless outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, and more. Ketchikan is also home to the Tongass National Forest, one of the largest intact temperate rainforests in the world, providing residents with endless opportunities to explore and experience the natural world.

Another major benefit of living in Ketchikan is the strong sense of community. Despite being a small town, Ketchikan is home to a thriving arts scene and cultural events. The town hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including the famous Ketchikan Rainforest Festival, which celebrates the unique wildlife and environment of the area. Additionally, Ketchikan has a vibrant downtown area with locally-owned shops, restaurants, and businesses, promoting a sense of community and local pride.

Finally, living in Ketchikan offers a sense of safety and security. The town has a low crime rate and is known for its friendly, welcoming community. The town also has a strong public school system, providing children with a high-quality education from kindergarten to high school graduation. Overall, Ketchikan offers a unique lifestyle that is hard to find anywhere else. The natural beauty, sense of community, and safety make it a desirable location for anyone looking for a slower pace of life filled with opportunities for exploration and personal growth.

Are there any drawbacks to living in a remote location like Ketchikan?

Ketchikan, Alaska, is a remote location that isn’t well-known outside of Alaska. While the city offers beautiful landscapes and nature scenes, there are also some drawbacks to living in such a remote location. The isolation can be a significant issue. Ketchikan is only accessible by boat or plane, so leaving the city can be expensive and challenging. This also means that access to medical supplies, food, clothing, or other necessities can be difficult and limited. The limited access to resources can also affect the cost of living, making it expensive to live in Ketchikan compared to other cities.

Another drawback of living in Ketchikan is the lack of employment opportunities. The economy of Ketchikan is heavily reliant on the fishing industry and tourism, making it difficult to find other types of employment. The job market is highly competitive, and wages may not be as high as in other cities. Additionally, living in a remote location like Ketchikan means that there are limited options for entertainment and activities. The absence of cinemas, theaters, or other indoor activities can leave some folks feeling bored or isolated.

Overall, while living in a remote location like Ketchikan can be peaceful and breathtaking, it’s essential to consider the drawbacks of living in a remote location and ensure that you are prepared for the isolation and limited resources that come with it.

How does the cost of living in Ketchikan compare to other cities in Alaska?

Ketchikan is a small coastal city situated in the southern region of Alaska. The city’s cost of living is moderately high, but it is relatively lower than the cost of living in many other cities in Alaska. Although it is more expensive than the national average, the cost of living in Ketchikan is less expensive than the overall cost of living in Alaska. It is also considered to be one of the more affordable cities in southeastern Alaska.

Generally, housing and transportation costs in Ketchikan are lower than in other Alaskan cities and regions, but the cost of goods and services, such as groceries and healthcare, may be higher. Housing expenses may vary depending on the size of the property and its location, as waterfront properties and those located within the downtown area may be more expensive. However, the average rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Ketchikan is about $1,200, while a single-family house may cost around $250,000.

Overall, Ketchikan’s cost of living is reasonable, especially compared to other cities in Alaska. The city provides a high quality of life with stunning scenery, and a range of attractions and activities that make living there worthwhile. With moderate living expenses, Ketchikan has become a popular destination for those looking for a good balance between affordability and quality of life.

What is the climate and weather in Ketchikan like, and how does that impact day-to-day life?

Ketchikan, located in southeastern Alaska, is known for its mild and rainy climate. The city’s location in the Tongass National Forest and proximity to the ocean creates a humid, maritime climate that is characterized by moderate temperatures and copious amounts of precipitation. Throughout the year, temperatures range from the mid-30s to mid-60s Fahrenheit, with the warmest and driest months being June through August.

The high level of rainfall in Ketchikan can impact day-to-day life in a variety of ways. Residents and visitors alike must be prepared for rainy conditions, with waterproof gear and proper footwear being essential. The wet weather also leads to lush vegetation and a thriving ecosystem, making Ketchikan a popular destination for tourists interested in wildlife and nature. Additionally, the rain affects transportation options, as ferries and planes may be delayed or cancelled due to inclement weather. However, the mild climate also enables outdoor activities year-round, and the beauty of the surrounding rainforest and ocean ensure that Ketchikan remains a charming and vibrant city despite the challenges posed by the weather.

In summary, Ketchikan’s climate is generally mild and has a high level of rainfall, which can affect daily life by impacting transportation and requiring waterproof gear. However, the rain also sustains a thriving ecosystem and enables outdoor activities year-round, making the city a popular destination for tourists and a pleasant home for residents.

What job opportunities and industries are available in Ketchikan?

Ketchikan is a city in southern Alaska that offers many job opportunities to its residents. One of the major industries in Ketchikan is tourism. With its breathtaking scenery, outdoor recreation opportunities, and rich cultural history, Ketchikan attracts thousands of visitors each year. This creates a variety of job opportunities in the tourism industry, such as tour guides, hotel staff, and restaurant workers.

Another industry that plays a significant role in Ketchikan is the fishing industry. The city is located near the Tongass National Forest, which is known for its abundant salmon and other seafood. Many local businesses in Ketchikan, such as fish processing plants and fishing charters, depend on the fishing industry for their livelihood. This creates a demand for jobs in fields such as fishing, fish processing, shipping and logistics, and other related fields.

In addition to tourism and fishing, Ketchikan also has job opportunities in healthcare, education, and government. The city has a hospital, several primary and secondary schools, and various government agencies that provide job opportunities in fields such as nursing, teaching, and public administration. Overall, Ketchikan offers a diverse range of job opportunities, making it an attractive place to live and work.