Thorne Bay, Alaska

According to growtheology, Thorne Bay is a small city located on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. It is part of the larger Ketchikan Gateway Borough, which encompasses the northern portion of the island.

The town has a population of about 600 people and is located on the eastern side of Thorne Bay, a large and deep bay that stretches for about three miles. The town is nestled in between mountains and ocean, giving it a picturesque view.

The main economic activities are fishing and timber harvesting, with some tourism as well. The local economy also benefits from being close to Ketchikan, Alaska’s second largest city, which allows for easy access to services not available in Thorne Bay itself.

Thorne Bay is known for its stunning natural beauty. The area has an abundance of wildlife including deer, eagles, bears and whales that can be seen from shore or by boat during certain times of year. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation such as kayaking, fishing and hiking along trails that lead to nearby lakes or into the surrounding forests.

According to, Thorne Bay has a rich cultural history too; it was once home to the Tlingit tribe who were displaced by the arrival of European settlers in the late 19th century. Today there are still many reminders of this history throughout town including totem poles erected by local Tlingit artists and several traditional longhouses still standing near the waterfront.

In addition to its natural beauty and cultural heritage, Thorne Bay offers visitors plenty to do in terms of entertainment as well as shopping and dining options. There are several restaurants serving up fresh seafood dishes while local stores offer everything from specialty items like handmade jewelry to everyday necessities like groceries or hardware supplies.

Overall Thorne Bay is an incredibly charming place that offers visitors breathtaking views while providing plenty of ways to enjoy them through outdoor activities or exploring its rich cultural heritage. It’s a great place for those looking for an escape from urban life without sacrificing modern amenities or comforts during their stay.

Population: 557. Estimated population in July 2020: 503 (-9.7% change)
Males: 299 (53.7%), Females: 258 (46.3%)

Zip code: 99919

Median resident age: 38.8 years
Median household income: $45,625
Median house value: $148,800

Races in Thorne Bay:

  • White Non-Hispanic (91.7%)
  • American Indian (4.8%)
  • Two or more races (3.9%)
  • Hispanic (1.3%)
  • Other race (0.5%)

Ancestries: German (17.6%), Irish (9.5%), English (8.1%), Norwegian (8.1%), United States (7.5%), French (6.3%).

Elevation: 200 feet

Land area: 25.5 square miles

Thorne Bay, Alaska


For population 25 years and over in Thorne Bay

  • High school or higher: 88.9%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 23.7%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 9.5%
  • Unemployed: 14.6%
  • Mean travel time to work: 12.3 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Thorne Bay city

  • Never married: 22.3%
  • Now married: 67.0%
  • Separated: 0.9%
  • Widowed: 1.7%
  • Divorced: 8.1%

4.7% Foreign born (1.3% Africa, 1.3% North America, 1.1% Latin America, 0.7% Asia).

Population change in the 1990s: -25 (-4.3%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Thorne Bay:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Thorne Bay:

  • WRANGELL (about 57 miles; WRANGELL, AK; Abbreviation: WRG)
  • KETCHIKAN INTL (about 64 miles; KETCHIKAN, AK; Abbreviation: KTN)
  • PETERSBURG JAMES A JOHNSON (about 82 miles; PETERSBURG, AK; Abbreviation: PSG)

Other public-use airports nearest to Thorne Bay:

  • THORNE BAY (about 2 miles; THORNE BAY, AK; Abbreviation: KTB)
  • HOLLIS (about 16 miles; HOLLIS, AK; Abbreviation: HYL)
  • KASAAN (about 16 miles; KASAAN, AK; Abbreviation: KXA)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Thorne Bay:

  • PENINSULA COLLEGE (about 820 miles; PORT ANGELES, WA; Full-time enrollment: 2,374)
  • WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY (about 844 miles; BELLINGHAM, WA; Full-time enrollment: 11,889)
  • WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 847 miles; BELLINGHAM, WA; Full-time enrollment: 2,656)
  • SKAGIT VALLEY COLLEGE (about 865 miles; MT VERNON, WA; Full-time enrollment: 3,420)
  • OLYMPIC COLLEGE (about 884 miles; BREMERTON, WA; Full-time enrollment: 3,889)
  • EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE (about 889 miles; OLYMPIA, WA; Full-time enrollment: 3,749)
  • EVERETT COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 890 miles; EVERETT, WA; Full-time enrollment: 3,970)

Public primary/middle schools in Thorne Bay:

  • THORNE BAY SCHOOL (Students: 85; Location: 1010 SANDY BEACH ROAD; Grades: KG – 12)
  • SE ISLAND CORRESP. (Students: 10; Location: THORNE BAY; Grades: KG – 12)