Population: 530

Thorne Bay is located on the east coast of Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska, 57 miles from the Clark Bay ferry terminal, and 34 miles from Klawock.

Thorne Bay began as a floating logging camp for Ketchikan Pulp Co. (KPC) in 1962. Float homes were moved onto land forming a community that incorporated in 1982, making it one of Alaska’s newer cities. It was connected to the island road system in 1974.

When timber was big in the 1960s and 1970s, Thorne Bay was the largest logging camp in North America, with more than 600 residents, mostly men, living under a camp boss. When Ketchikan Pulp Co. completed its final timber sales in 2001 and closed down operations, Thorne Bay’s population dropped by half.

Visitor Information

City of Thorne Bay, P.O. Box 19110, Thorne Bay, AK 99919; 907-828-3380, [email protected]; website: www.thornebay-ak.gov.

To contact the U.S. Forest Service office in Thorne Bay, phone 907-828-3304. Or contact the Prince of Wales Island Chamber of Commerce by phone 907-755-2626, email [email protected], or online at www.princeofwalescoc.org.

Lodging and services

Thorne Bay is home to hunting and fishing lodges, Southeast Island School District offices, the Thorne Bay Ranger District Headquarters, several local specialty lumber mills, Southeast Road Builders and the barge terminal that serves all of Prince of Wales Island.

Thorne Bay has a grocery store, liquor store and hardware store; general merchandise, boat fuel, convenience store, gas/diesel and post office at The Port.

AK-49 Cafe is a great stop for lunch or dinner (eat-in or takeout). The Tackle Shack and Floatel offers fishing and hunting licenses. Lodging is available lodges and B&Bs. The Thorne Bay RV Park offers nightly and weekly RV sites with hookups.

Public restrooms and showers and moorage are available at the Harbor Facility. Sandy Beach Road (gravel) winds north along the east coast of Prince of Wales Island from Thorne Bay to Coffman Cove, a total driving distance of 37 miles.

There are a number of ocean views along the way to the beautiful Sandy Beach USFS Day-Use Site at Mile 7. Sandy Beach, a popular spot, is named for its long stretch of fine, soft sand.