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Sitka City and Borough is a city-borough located on the west side of Baranof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean (part of the Alaska Panhandle), in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the largest city in area in the United States. The borough seat is Sitka, the only incorporated section.
Sitka, the "First City of Alaska," is the state's fourth-largest in terms of population.
The name Sitka (derived from Sheet'ka, a contraction of the Tlingit name Shee At'ika) means "People on the Outside of Shee," Sheet-ka X'aat'l (often expressed simply as Shee) being the Tlingit name for Baranof Island. The town is often referred to as "Sitka-by-the-Sea."
The dormant volcano Mount Edgecumbe is also a popular mountain to summit and features a seven-mile trail up to the top. Guided day-trips are available, but the trip does not require much knowledge to undertake.
The officially unnamed, but informally named Peak 5390 (the name is derived from its height in feet) is the highest point on Baranof Island, a demanding but rewarding excursion. Few people undertake this hike; those interested should consult with one who has "summitted" previously.
Kayaking is a popular activity and small guided day excursions are offered locally. For longer trips, popular destinations include the Baranof Island-located outposts of Goddard hot springs, Baranof Warm Springs, Port Alexander, Port Armstrong, or Port Walter. White Sulphur Hot Springs (on the western side of Chichagof Island) is also a destination for ocean kayakers. For locations closer to Sitka, Forest Service cabins are popular.
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