Ketchikan Wildlife Viewing
Ward Lake Area

photo of Ward Lakek Area wildlife The Ward Lake Recreation area encompasses a network of trails that offer a variety of wildlife watching experiences. The flat and easy 1.3-mile Ward Lake Trail circles Ward Lake through spruce-hemlock forest. Look and listen for red-breasted sapsuckers, winter wrens and Townsend's warblers in the summer, and Barrow's Goldeneyes and hooded mergansers on the lake in the winter. Barred, northern saw-whet and northern pygmy-owls have been spotted here, and western screech-owls reside at the area's Signal Creek Campground. Owls are more often heard than seen, and are most active at night than during the day. Fall and early winter the best time to look for owls at Ward Lake. The Ward Creek, Perseverance, and Salvage trails start at or near the lake and plunge deeper into the Tongass National Forest, where the chance to see Sitka black-tailed deer or black bears increases. Stand on one of the viewing platforms on the Ward Creek Trail to watch pink and chum salmon spawn from late July through mid-September.


  • Black Bear
  • Sitka black-tailed deer
  • Woodpeckers


Ward Lake is a great spot for birding. Visit to learn more about Fish and Game's birding program.


  • Hiking Trails
  • Interpretive Signs
  • Picnic Facilities
  • Restrooms


Check with the Visitor's Bureau or the Forest Service about what parts of the Ward Lake area are wheelchair accessible.

Plan to spend at least: 2 hours - full day

Best Months

█ Best Month

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • Best Month May
  • Best Month June
  • Best Month July
  • Best Month August
  • Best Month September
  • October
  • November
  • December


Ward Lake is found on Revilla Road. Follow the North Tongass Highway out of downtown and watch for the Revilla Road sign at mile 4.3 of the Tongass Highway.


USDA Forest Service, Ketchikan-Misty Fjords Ranger District - (907) 225-2148

Additional Information

Living with Bears