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part ofTongass National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Tue Sep 15 2015   Season Dates


Signal Creek Campground is a year-round facility located in the Ward Lake Recreation Area, 7 miles north of downtown Ketchikan and about 4 miles north of the State ferry terminal. The campground straddles Signal Creek and lies on the banks of Ward Lake, with easy access to fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing.

Natural Features:

The campground is surrounded by an old-growth temperate rainforest comprised primarily of western hemlock and Sitka spruce. Signal Creek flows through the campground, and Ward Lake is adjacent.

At nearly 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest covers most of Southeast Alaska and is the largest forest in the national forest system. The Tongass surrounds the Inside Passage, the network of waterways that buffers the jagged Alaskan Coast and a cluster of coastline islands.

The Tongass offers visitors a chance to view wildlife, including eagles, bears and spawning salmon. Expansive vistas, including fjords, glaciers and mountain peaks abound.


Hiking is a popular option, as the Ward Lake Recreation Area boasts seven trails. The Ward Lake Nature Travel meanders 1.3 miles around the lake.

A large day-use complex with picnic sites and shelters is also available. Freshwater fishing, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife viewing and scenery are favorite draws at Ward Lake.


Signal Creek Campground's sites can accommodate up to 10 people. Each campsite contains a picnic table, a campfire ring with grill and a gravel parking spur.

Three hand pumps for drinking water and three vault toilets are provided. Water is provided during the peak season only. During the winter season, only the outhouse closest to sites 1-5 is open. Firewood may be provided but is not guaranteed.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Campfire Rings
  • Canoeing
  • Creek Access
  • Drinking Water
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Host
  • Kayaking
  • Lake Access
  • Recycling
  • Swimming
  • Trash Collection
Within 10 Miles
  • Bank
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Golf
  • Hospital
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Museum
  • Post Office
  • Restaurant
  • Showers
Know Before You Go
  • Black bears frequent the area, especially during August and September; all food should be stored inside closed vehicles
  • No hookups available
  • Nearest dump station is at the Ketchikan City Public Works department on Tongass Avenue, just north of the ferry terminal
  • Firewood may be available but is not guaranteed
  • Use of the campground or road spurs by commercial operators, outfitters or guides is not permitted
  • Some campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis during the reservation season; all sites are first-come, first-served from Labor Day through March 30
  • Click here to learn more about Tongass National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by purchasing firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
55.40722, -131.69972
55°24'26"N, 131°41'59"W

From the State ferry terminal, take Tongass Highway north 4.8 miles to milepost 7. Turn right onto Revila Road. Go 1.4 miles and turn right at the Ward Lake Road Intersection. Travel 1.1 miles past Ward Lake Day Use Area to the entrance sign for Signal Creek Campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:


Phone Number:

Project Office: (907)225-2148
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