The Stikine River has been kept wild. Stikine means “great river” in Tlingit, and it is. It travels 400 miles from its headquarters in British Columbia to the Inside Passage just north of the town of Wrangell. It travels through glacial valleys and delta flats. Its delta is a haven for about 120 species of migrating birds. Its upper reaches flow through a huge canyon. Many see this river via jet boat tour. We only saw it from Petroglyph Beach.
Some call the Stikine the fastest flowing navigable river remaining in North America. Its delta is just a few miles northwest of Wrangell. One of its major features is a 55 mile long canyon upstream from this town. When it crosses into Alaska, the Stikine still has 30 miles to go. Few have seen its wildlife, forests, and glaciers.
Gold was discovered on the Stikine River in 1861. This was 3 years after the gold rush on the Fraser River and almost 40 years before the Klondike Gold Rush, so Wrangell became a gold rush destination and boom town as the first of its lives. This turned out to be a minor gold rush that lasted for only a few years, but it influenced the later gold rushes in important ways.