DescriptionNear downtown Sitka on Lincoln Street, this urban park commemorates the Battle of Sitka, fought in 1804 between the Kiksadi Tlingit Indians and the fur hunters and Aleut natives of the Russian-American Co. The battle marked the last major armed resistance by Alaska Natives to European domination. The 113-acre park preserves the Tlingit fort site, the battlefield and the 1842 Russian Bishop's House.
A fine collection of Tlingit (KLINK-it) and Haida (HY-dah) totem poles, some more than a century old, is displayed along a 1-mile trail through the park's temperate rain forest and coastal intertidal area. During August and September visitors may view salmon spawning in the Indian River. Ranger-lead programs and walking tours are offered Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
The visitor center contains exhibits and audiovisual presentations about the area's Tlingit Indian heritage as well as its Russian legacy. A 12-minute video, "Voices of Sitka," also is available. Within the visitor center skilled Alaska Natives artisans demonstrate traditional crafts at the Cultural Center, which is open most weekdays.
Trails open daily 6 a.m.-10 p.m., May-Sept.; 7 a.m.-8 p.m., rest of year. Visitor center open daily 8-5, May-Sept.; Tues.-Sat. 9-3, rest of year. Visitor center closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Park and visitor center free. Address inquiries to the Superintendent, Sitka National Historical Park, 103 Monastery St., Sitka, AK 99835; phone (907) 747-0110.
Things to SeeThe Russian Bishop's House
GEM DescriptionThis 113-acre park commemorating the Tlingit Indian heritage was the site of the 1804 Battle of Sitka as well as the 1842 Russian Bishop's House.