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Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District

Tongass National Forest
(Ketchikan, Alaska)

Volunteer Campground Host Program

Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District
Tongass National Forest
3031 Tongass Ave.
Ketchikan, AK 99901

Tongass National Forest
Phone: 907-225-2148
Fax: 225-8738

Clark Simpson
Phone: 907-228-4149

Dates: mid-May – early-September

General Information About the Campgrounds

There are two campgrounds and a group use camping area on the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District. All are located seven miles north of downtown Ketchikan, in the Ward Lake Recreation Area.


The Ward Lake Rec. Area is a large complex containing two campgrounds, a group use camping area, several trails, and a large day use area. Signal Creek Campground is located along the southern shore of Ward Lake and has 24 sites. Last Chance Campground, with 18 units, is two miles north and situated along Ward Creek. 3C’s group use camping area is nearby and is used as a group site or even a day use area. All campgrounds in the Ward Lake Area have picnic tables, fire rings, hand water pumps, pit toilets, and garbage cans.

The campgrounds are open mid May through Labor Day. We like our host(s) to begin sometime during the first two weeks of May. The host must be available for the duration of the season.

About Ketchikan

Ketchikan is a town of approximately 14,000, located on Revillagigedo Island in southeast Alaska. There are many restaurants, a public recreation center, public library, a mall, and a large arts community. There is no road access into Ketchikan -- one must get here by ferry or plane -- and there are about 30 miles of accessible road once here. It is a 6-hour ferry ride from Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

The Tongass National Forest is a temperate rainforest. Ketchikan receives an average rainfall of 162” (13 feet!), much of which falls during the summer months. Information about Ketchikan and southeast Alaska can be found in The Milepost, published by Alaska Northwest Publishing Co., or online at and


• Hosts must be on duty 5 days a week which includes weekends and holidays. Eight hours minimum a day will be required. Hosts may have to deal with late night disturbances at the campgrounds; schedules will be changed to reflect those hours worked off-duty.

• Clean campground outhouses on a daily basis. Specific duties include cleaning toilet riser, restocking toilet paper, and sweeping the floor.

• Pick up litter during daily walk-through of campground. Emphasize units recently vacated by campers.

• Clean out fire rings as needed.

• Assist the fee compliance officer by recording compliance-related information every morning and evening.

• Report all major maintenance needs, vandalism, and other problems. Radio will be provided by Forest Service. Cell phone may be provided, but coverage is minimal.

• Work with other Forest Service volunteers and staff as assigned.


• Round trip ferry expenses from Prince Rupert, B.C. or Bellingham, WA to Ketchikan. Includes fares for two people (for couples) and one vehicle (including trailer).

• $28.00 per day subsistence. Hosts may work as couples or individually.

• Free use of the Host campsite (located at Signal Creek Campground).

• $300 for propane supply. Forest Service personnel will handle refilling tanks as needed.

• A government vehicle is not provided. Selected candidate will have to supply their own transportation to and from campgrounds and the Forest Service will provide a mileage reimbursement for miles traveled during work (8 mi. /day at a rate of $.505 per mile, price subject to change depending on gas prices).

• Use of shower, laundry, and internet facilities at Forest Service bunkhouse (approx. 4 miles from Ward Lake). Forest Service will provide host with 100 gallon water tank and fresh water throughout the season. Water is also available at the District Office.

Important Notes!

Our campgrounds do not have electricity, running water, or RV hookups. The City of Ketchikan operates a free dump station, located approximately 3.5 miles from Ward Lake, which hosts may use. As summers in southeast Alaska tend to be cool and wet, the Forest Service requires that our hosts have an RV, trailer, or camper (no tents).

Please note on your application whether you have received hepatitis vaccinations and when. Not having the vaccinations will not exclude an applicant from consideration, but preference will be given to qualified candidates already vaccinated.

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