The Guard Island Light is a lighthouse on a small island near the entrance to the Tongass Narrows, in Clarence Strait in southeastern Alaska. The western entrance to the Behm Canal also lies nearby.Before you visit Ketchikan, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.
The lighthouse location was prioritized sixth in a 1901 study of 15 Alaska proposed sites. It would assist shipping along Southeast Alaska's Inside Passage, at the north end of the Tongass Narrows, "one of the more difficult passages along the route" of Klondike Gold Rush-related shipping to Juneau and to Skagway.
Construction of the Guard Island Lighthouse began in the summer of 1903 and was completed by September 1904. The 34ft wooden tower housed a fourth order Fresnel lens that produced a fixed white light. However, the wood used for Guard Island Light Station, as well as for several other Alaskan lighthouses, soon deteriorated in the harsh weather conditions. By the 1920s, all the lighthouses except Eldred Rock were falling apart, and in 1922, Congress authorized the reconstruction of Guard Island Light. In 1924, the dilapidated light tower was replaced with a new single-story rectangular tower of reinforced concrete. The station was automated by the Coast Guard in 1969.
Guard Island Lighthouse Reviews
We saw it while traveling on the Alaska State Ferry. It was pretty as we passed by, and I'm glad I didn't miss it, but am not sure it would be worth the difficulty of chartering a boat to visit it more »
Have you ever been to a lighthouse? Guard Island Lighthouse is a lonely beacon outside of Ketchikan AK. It is one of a few on the inland passage but hugely important to boat/ship travel. You can only ... more »
Plan your trip to Ketchikan
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Hidden gems in Ketchikan
Museums in Ketchikan
Shopping in Ketchikan
Nearby attractions in Ketchikan
Plans to Guard Island Lighthouse by other users
26 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 31 days in Alaska BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 41 days in Alaska BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Ketchikan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 9 days in Alaska BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium