Reality

The things that might surprise you about visiting Port Protection

Visiting Port Protection is high on the priority lists of many Port Protection Alaska fans, but several details about the real-life community might surprise visitors.

National Geographic’s Port Protection Alaska (also known as “Lawless Island” in some circles) has now been airing for close to a decade.

And, while this extreme survival docuseries documents both the good and the bad parts of living in this remote Alaskan community, there is just something very appealing about this off-the-grid lifestyle.

Visiting Port Protection: Reality vs. reality television

If you are a longtime Port Protection Alaska fan and visiting this far-off community has always been on your bucket list – you may want to take note, as there are several real-life aspects about visiting Port Protection that the show does not always prepare you for.

This area is certainly just as beautiful (if not more beautiful) than it appears to be on television – and locals frequently spot whales and other wildlife right from the docks.

However, actually getting to Port Protection, and the activities and amenities that will be available to you once you arrive may be very different to what you imagined whilst watching the show.

Port Protection Alaska: What is real and what is not about living in Port Protection

Port Protection quick facts

Although we certainly get our fill of deer-hunting tips, wood-felling tips and even off-the-grid DIY-ideas from new episodes of Port Protection Alaska, there are still many details about this unique and secluded area that are never mentioned.

Some of these details include:

Detail Description
Location Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States (56°19′19″N 133°36′24″W)
Size Port Protection covers about 3.91 square miles in total (of this, about 3.71 square miles is land, while the other 0.20 square miles is covered by water)
Population 36 (as per the latest 2020 Census data)

Port Protection is only accessible by boat or train

Visiting Port Protection may be a bucket list item for longtime fans of the Port Protection Alaska show, but getting to this remote area for a visit may be much more complicated than it seems on television.

You have likely seen Sam, Curly, David and other members of the Port Protection Alaska cast travel on their boats a lot over the years. The reason for this is that Port Protection is only really accessible by boat or plane.

If you are lucky and you made the wise decision to visit this area during the summer (June to September), you may be able to use the old logging road to travel to Port Protection from the larger nearby City of Craig (where Mary now lives).

However, this journey can take up to four hours to complete, so the chilly waters or the air might still be your best bet if you have limited time to  travel.

There is a little more to the area than what we see on television

Admittedly, with less than forty full-time year-round residents, Port Protection is not much bigger in real life than it seems on the show.

But there are a few aspects of this remote, off-the-grid island community that we do not always see on the show.

One of the must-visit Port Protection locations that does not always get much love on the show is the Wooden Wheel Trading Post.

The Wooden Wheel Trading Post is the community’s central business hub and it contains a fish-buying station, a grocery and hardware section, a liquor store, a Laundromat, a fuel dock, showers and more.

Port Protection also has its own K-12 school – which teaches learners a variety of regular school subjects and a special selection of Port Protection-inspired skillsets, like kayaking and archery.

The boardwalk in Port Protection is also much more extensive in real life than it seems to be on television, and it is certainly something to marvel at during your time there.

Port Protection is not as cut off from the rest of the world as it used to be

Living off-the-grid is certainly part of Port Protection’s appeal, but this does not mean that this remote community’s residents are totally cut off from the rest of society.

Real-life Port Protection resident, Gregg Dockweiler, shared in a 2016 article for Realtor.com that the Port Protection residents do have access to the internet.

And, if you have been keeping up with Morgan’s plans to turn her Port Protection home into a self-sustaining haven, you will already know that the Port Protection residents can even have their Amazon packages delivered by seaplane.

But, if you do visit Port Protection in the near future, you will be able to hear all about the community’s quirks and characteristics from the friendly locals who are usually happy to socialize with outsiders stopping by for a visit.

Port Protection Alaska: Who is (and is not) still living in Port Protection