Fishing and Hiking on Revillagigedo Island
Originating at Orton Lake in the interior of Revillagigedo Island, the Naha River flows through a chain of small lakes — finally reaching its full size at the outlet of Heckman Lake. This popular river system can be reached from downtown Ketchikan by float plane (15 minutes), car and boat (60 minutes), or solely by boat (90 minutes).
Winding along the water’s edge for 5.4 miles, the Naha River National Recreation Trail provides access to some of the best stream fishing in the Ketchikan area. Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are present year-round, and several species of salmon are in the river from July through September. Spring and fall steelhead provide the fishing for which the Naha is especially famous.
Two Forest Service recreation cabins located along the trail can be reserved at the Forest Service office in Ketchikan. Jordan Lake and Heckman Lake cabins offer a comfortable means of camping while exploring the many opportunities in the Naha River valley.
Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937, the trail varies from a nearly flat boardwalk over the lower 2.5 miles, to a moderately steep grade for the next four miles from the swinging bridge to the trail’s end at Heckman Lake cabin.
When traveling by boat to the Naha River, beware of the tide race or salt chuck at the outlet of Roosevelt Lagoon. This narrow, rocky constriction becomes a frothy, roaring whitewater chute as the tide comes in or goes out. While a small boat could negotiate the passage at a high slack tide, it is wiser to avoid this potentially dangerous area and moor your boat at the float nearby.