Thorne Bay is located in P. of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area, on the eastern side of Prince of Wales Island north of Kasaan. The Thorne River provides excellent canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Most jobs are in the timber industry.
Thorne Bay was developed as a result of a long-term timber sales contract between the U.S. Forest Service and the Ketchikan Pulp Company. During the 1960s, Thorne Bay was considered to be the largest logging camp in North America. The town was incorporated in 1982.