Totem Pole Walking Tour

A man looking at a totem pole while listening to his cell phone.

The Totem Pole Walking Tour can be experienced both in the park and at home. Download the NPS App and select Sitka National Historical Park. Under Self-Guided Tours, choose the Totem Trail.

Each carving you will see on this self-guided walking tour tells a story: recounting an event, retelling a legend, commemorating an important person, or declaring the ancestry of a particular clan.

Some stories we know. Other explanations we pieced together from extant knowledge. Still, there are many stories that will forever remain locked in the towering poles on this trail.

Collectively, these objects tell the story of the native people of Southeast Alaska. Displayed on the ancestral land of the Kiks.adi clan, these poles represent the rich, living culture of the Tlingit and Haida.

On this tour, we share the stories we know, and identify the heraldic emblems and symbols present on the poles.

The waysides offer a broader perspective about how and why the poles were made, and the visitor center houses the original carvings alongside exhibits about the collection’s history and arrival to Sitka.

The numbers associated with these descriptions are on the support posts on the rear of the poles, and also correspond to the cell phone walking tour.


Last updated: November 6, 2021

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103 Monastery St.
Sitka, AK 99835


907 747-0110

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