About a two hour hike over some very hilly (but treeless) terrain you'll come to the active Akutan volcano. Humans were largely evacuated in March 1996, when it last threatened to erupt. On March 10th there was a 5.1 earthquake and on March 13th there were quakes about every minute for an 18 hour period. This is one of the most active volcanos in Alaska, with at least 27 eruptions since 1790, the most recent of which was 1992. During this visit there were repeated helicopter flights up as the US geological services are replacing all the monitoring equipment. When it erupts the ash is a problem for the village but there is no fear of pyroclastic flow, as the slope would head any lava to the other side of the island. Comforting? Maybe not. This photograph is from the avo.alaska.edu page. It's the 'aerial view of southern half of Akutan caldera. High point is Akutan Peak (1303 m) on the caldera rim. Photo by: Robert McGimsey, USGS 7/24/96.'
The Grab A Dab Cafe was closed, meaning that there is no restaurant in Akutan. They're thinking about opening it later this summer. The Road House is open after 7pm and offers beer. No booze, no wine; just beer. That's what I like: a simple menu. The folks inside are nice - you won't find yourself sitting alone for long. It's a bit difficult to figure out which building is the tavern so I'm offering this picture as a guide.
The Roadhouse and the community center are the only inside evening activities. Fishing is far and away the most common activity - here's a shot of some sockeye being smoked.
The 'Goose' is run by Peninsula Airways, and is the only way to fly in or out of Akutan. It runs from Dutch Harbor to the dock of Akutan. This is perhaps the most beautiful plane flight I've ever been on. It is a seaplane, and thus runs low to the ground, perhaps only 1000-1200 feet up. You carve along the coast between islands, then across Akutan...more
I guess the monthly (during the summer) ferry stops there briefly but the usual ways to get to Akutan are on the goose (a Grumman Goose, circa 1950, is an amphibious plane that can land on wheels on a runway or, as there is no runway in Akutan, can land on it's belly in the water). Here it's wheeling out of the water to it's landing pad in front of...more
Like most of western Alaska there is a strong Russian Orthodox influence. This is a typical set up, where you'd have to walk through the cemetary to go to church. During my visit the grave fences were being removed and the piled up dirt being smoothed out so the replaced fences would look nicer for the Bishop's visit in August, when he'll...more
To get to Akutan, you must take the seaplane. It is a low-flying affair, and thus is very susceptible to weather conditions. Any low clouds or fog and the flight will be cancelled or pushed back. In July I spent 3 days trying to get from Dutch Harbor to Akutan, eventually I had to give up and move on with my work. Even in September, this last trip,...more
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are planning to visit the volcano and hot springs, bring your rain gear and a wind-proof tent.
Being there on business I've never taken the time to visit the hot springs but they're supposed to be pretty nice. This picture is also borrowed from avo pages.