Peterson Creek starts on Auke Mountain and flows northwest for 7 miles (11.3 km) to Salt Lake, about 19 miles (31 km) northwest of Juneau and 0.3 miles (0.5 km) northwest of Dotsons Landing, Alaska. The creek was named for John G. Peterson, who was a Juneau businessman and miner. In 1899, he staked a claim on the creek which he called Cheechako Creek, but later it became known as Peterson Creek. Salt Lake drains into Eagle Harbor, a cove about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) across on the eastern shore of Favorite Channel.
Salt Lake is now part of Ernest Gruening State Park. Ernest Henry Gruening was a journalist and politician who became the governor of the Alaska Territory from 1939 until 1953, and a United States Senator from Alaska from 1959 until 1969. Gruening had a cabin here where he wrote much of the manifesto for statehood called “The State of Alaska” in 1953. The cabin was called “Eagle Rock” and Gruening entertained national and foreign leaders here, including Adlai Stevenson, Governor Earl Warren, and numerous U.S. Senators.
The park is managed by Alaska State Parks and is used for an artist in residence program. The program celebrates the lives of two Alaskan artists, Dorothy Gruening and Rie Muñoz. Dorothy Gruening was an ardent supporter of the arts community during her lifetime and hosted a variety of artists, writers, and musicians at the Eagle Rock cabin. Rie Muñoz was known for her bright watercolor paintings depicting everyday life in Alaska, particularly the people in Alaskan Native villages and of Southeast Alaska. Read more here and here. Explore more of Peterson Creek Salt Lake here: