Point Baker is a community of fourteen year-around households, eighteen residents, and three fishing and hunting lodges with accommodations for up to forty-five people. It is very distinctly a recreation destination, and with great reason.
Located on the very northwest tip of Prince of Wales Island, Point Baker is situated at a key point beside Sumner Strait. The strait runs between the mouth of the mighty Stikine River, home to huge runs of all five species of Pacific salmon, and the Pacific Ocean. Halfway to the ocean Sumner Strait makes a right angle bend, right by Point Baker. Tides move tremendous volumes of water back and forth through the strait, so that right at that corner there is a stirring and sweeping that attracts a great variety of sea life. When the salmon are returning from the ocean to the Stikine then that gathering of wildlife reaches a crescendo.
Whales, seals, sea lions, and sea otters are right by the entrance to Point Baker. Sea birds wheel and bob. Thick schools of tiny feed fish tickle the water's surface, or spray into the air as they are chased from below. And the fishing? Amazing. Just amazing! Salmon, halibut, yelloweye rockfish, ling cod and more.
Access to Point Baker is by plane or boat. Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry service) serves Ketchikan, Wrangell, and Sitka, and seaplanes depart from those communities to Point Baker. From Wrangell you can also charter a jet boat water taxi to Point Baker.
We go to Point Baker in our boat, and tie up to the 440-foot-long State of Alaska dock. That dock is also the equivalent of downtown Point Baker.
There is a small store, a laundromat, showers, and a fuel dock in floating buildings at the State dock. If you come at the right time then you can enjoy a cocktail at the Liar's Club floating saloon. There are also vacation rental rooms right there at the dock, and boat rentals, too. Check with Herb and Judy at PointBaker.com.
The floating Community Building is also at the State dock.
At one end is the Point Baker post office - zip code 99927. At the other end is the Point Baker fire house. With no roads for a fire truck, Point Baker has a fire boat! In the middle of the community building is a great space for meetings and social events.
Calder Mountain Lodge and WOXOF Lodge provide seasonal employment for Point Baker residents, and also provide guided and self-guided fishing and sightseeing trips for visitors.
These guys are around because there is plenty to eat. There's plenty left over for fishermen, too.
So from Point Baker you just beebop less than a quarter mile in your boat and you are into fishing and marine mammal viewing central.
Now here's the part that I think is best about Point Baker. I was walking along the dock and met Kristina. She has a friendly smile and easy manner that made me feel like I was a part of the community. Kristina grew up in Point Baker, and talked about it being more of an extended family than a town. She said that they all take care of each other, and when she was a child she felt like she had lots of parents, as everyone looked out for her.
The whole community gets together for holiday dinners - the whole community. Wow!
Since Point Baker is a remote community, the residents are not only self-reliant, they are also looking out for each other. The people here are connected to the land and water, and connected to each other.
For all of you who love to watch humpback whales, here are some whales at Point Baker.
Orcas spend time in the Point Baker area, also.
Are you a birder?
Bird watchers may enjoy watching murres and murrelets, eagles and seagulls, petrels, cormorants, puffins, and a variety of ducks near Point Baker, depending on the season.