Welcome to Whittier, Alaska.

Whittier boat harbor

There are several pictures on this page to show you a little of what Whittier looks like, so it may take a couple minutes to finish loading. Enjoy.

Whittier sits surrounded by mountains and is accessible only by boat, plane or by passing through two tunnels in either a car (or motorcycle, bus, truck, etc.) or a train, but not bicycles or pedestrians. The larger of the two tunnels is about two and a half miles long (about 4km). It allows one way traffic only, which means that every half hour it changes direction for 15 minutes. In other words, it is open for 15 minutes in one direction then closed for 15 minutes, then open for 15 minutes in the other direction and then closed for 15 minutes. It was not until the last couple years that the tunnel was paved and modified to allow vehicles to drive though. Before that, vehicles would drive up a ramp onto the train and the drivers and passengers would remain in their vehicles while the train carried them to Portage where they drove off the train. There, people going into Whittier would do the same. There were also passenger coaches and a cargo car so that people without vehicles or on bicycles could bring their stuff through without the need for a car. This was a very good thing for tourists who often do not have a car, because they are not from Alaska.

The town was originally started by the US Army in 1941 when in a mere 3 months, they blasted 2 tunnels and laid rail track through them to give access to Passage canal, which remains ice free all year round. Passage canal is really a deep water bay that large ships can enter and leave with ease.

In the summer people come from all over the world to go on the local cruises to see the glaciers, to go sport fishing for halibut and salmon, diving (in dry suits of course - the water is very cold), and kayaking and camping in Prince William Sound. Some of the more local people of Alaska keep their boats here and come in the summer to go boating and fishing.

Passage Canal is home to several waterfalls (which freeze in the winter), 3 - 4 glaciers, and a Bird Rookery which has about 10,000

Whittier mist and rain

Waterfall on Passage Canal

Bird rookery (Black Legged Kittiwakes)

Bird rookery (Black Legged Kittiwakes)

This is a Black Legged Kittiwake from the Bird Rookery

Black Legged Kittiwakes lifting off

This is not an official website of the City of Whittier.