In southeastern Alaska, you’ll find the beautiful Settlers Cove State Recreation Site. Located in the Ketchikan region, this 275-acre campground and recreational area are nestled on Clover Passage. Popular for canoeing and kayaking, Clover Passage also boasts excellent fishing opportunities.
The hiking trails at this recreational area are attractive to visitors. The thickly forested Lunch Falls Loop takes visitors passed a scenic waterfall. Hikers can then head down to the beach or continue on another interconnecting trail that leads to Emery Tobin Lakes. Tall trees loom overhead and many different types of wildlife and vegetation can be observed from the trails.
The campground at Settlers Cove is small with just thirteen campsites. These sites are available on a first-come, first served basis. While the campsites are not water facing, you’ll be tucked in the forest under towering old-growth trees which include Red Cedar and Western Hemlock. Keep an eye out for eagles that may be perched high in a tree or circling the skies.
Open year-round, Settlers Cove Recreation Site has activities for visitors to enjoy no matter the season or the weather. During the winter months, daytime temperatures are right around or just below freezing. In the spring and summer, the average temperatures will creep into the mid-60s with an occasional day in the 70s. On those warm days, take a swim in Clover Passage. No matter the time of year plan to bring a sweatshirt as nights can become cool.
Settlers Cove State Recreation Site is located in the Ketchikan region of Alaska, just 18 miles outside of the city of Ketchikan. Off of the North Tongass Highway, you’ll find the recreation site at mile marker 18. You’ll pass forests of tall trees as well as many coves and other bodies of water during the drive to the park. If coming from the airport you’ll need to take the ferry to cross the Tongass Narrows.
Plan to bring what you’ll need for your stay, though the drive to the city isn’t too far if in need of supplies. Firewood can be purchased from the camp host in the park.
There is quite a bit of parking within the recreation site at the day use area. Also, a short-term lot is located near the beach for canoe and kayak launching. Trails and other amenities can easily be accessed from the camping area by walking or driving.
Settlers Cove State Recreation Site has thirteen campsites that are available on a first come, first served basis. The maximum length of RVs and trailers that can be accommodated is 35 feet. This recreation site has a seven-night camping limit. There are no hookups available at any of the sites.
The campsites do have campfire rings, so you can plan to relax or cook over a fire under the forest of tall trees. Food should not be left unattended or within reach of bears. Bears are known to the region.
Settlers Cove does have restrooms with vault toilets. Additionally, visitors have access to water seasonally through hand pump water spigots. The park is pet-friendly, but remember that your dog must be kept on a leash.
The beach, picnic areas, and hiking trails are easily accessed from the campground. Wildlife viewing can be enjoyed all around the recreation area, even from the comfort of your campsite.
You won’t want to miss out on paddle boating during your stay. Kayaking and canoeing are much-enjoyed activities in the calm water of Clover Passage. The short-term parking area allows quick and easy canoe and kayak launching. Head out onto the water to enjoy the scenery and wildlife during your stay.
Unique to the region, Settlers Cove State Recreation Site has a sandy beach. Enjoy beach-combing during your stay, especially during low tide. Beachcombers will find all sorts of wildlife from starfish to shellfish in the tide pools. On a warmer day, lounge on the beach and even take a swim in the cool water.
Picnic sites, as well as picnic shelters, are available for day-use. The picnic shelters are reservable in advance online. These picnic areas are perfect for small to large gatherings of any kind. The beach picnic shelter can be easily accessed from both the campground as well as the day-use parking lot.
Settlers Cove has miles of interconnecting trails filled with thick forest, wildlife, and stunning views. Trek down the Lunch Falls Loop Trail for access to Lunch Creek. From there, you can continue onto a one-mile trail that loops through the woods or you can head down the beach access trail. The Lunch Creek Trail connects with a three and a half-mile trail that leads visitors to the Emery Tobin Lakes.
Fishing is popular along Clover Passage. Head out in a kayak or canoe for the opportunity to reel in king salmon, halibut, or sockeye. Don’t have a canoe or kayak? No problem. Fishing is allowed from the shore at the Settlers Cove. Don’t forget to bring or pick up a fishing license if you plan to fish during your stay.
There is an abundance of wildlife common to the recreation site and surrounding region. Birding is popular and one can expect to see eagles along with many other types of birds. Bears do live in the region and though not often spotted, make sure you follow bear safety tips like not leaving any food out. The area is also filled with old-growth trees including Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce, and Western Hemlock.