As part of the island community reachable by primitive highway, all parts accessible by road are proper targets for the Kodiak visitor. The Chiniak area is a small enclave with a few scattered houses, inns, restaurants and schooling places. The area is also highly forested with Sitka spruce, which very roughly marks this place as the southernmost extension of the true forest on the island. Watch for the several creeks in this area which offer excellent fishing and possible wildlife viewing.
Pasagshak represents the ultimate extent of Kodiak's highway system. Comprising an area of about two dozen acres, this bayfront activity zone is ideal for camping and fishing, but especially the latter, provided you watch for the migrating buffaloes. The Pasagshak River flows into the bay not far from the road, so incoming salmon must all press the narrow mouth in order to reach their spawning grounds. Some locals however still view the area with misgivings. Being the farthest point away from town and still accessible by road, the people you hoped to escape will often wind up here, though traffic is seldom a problem this far from town (forty miles).
You can watch videos and get some great information that you might need for entering into the refuge. The building itself is in a nice setting. Most people that visit always ask about the Bears! The spots on the photo were rain drops on my lense as the day I chose to go was quite rainy.
There is a sow and 2 cubs on display at the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge Headquarters building. The Sow was killed and the cubs had to be euthenized becuase they were still too young to survive on their own. For those of you that are against killing animals for just stuffing. I'll get more information about the bears the next time I'm out there and post it here.
Anton Larsen Bay terminates the unpaved highway essentially emanating northwest from the town of Kodiak. Dotted here and there with small communities, the road passes through some excellent scenery before opening upon the bay, a typically gorgeous inlet for this beautiful island. Watch for bears along small creeks and rivers that culminate into a single channel that empties into the southern edge of the bay, and look for small sailing craft in its numerous coves.
Beyond the Pasagshak Recreation Area at the limit of the road is the so-called Fossil Beach, where old shells can often be found in the crumbling cliffs surrounding the area. This is a rugged zone, facing directly into the Gulf of Alaska, so the beach will blaze by day in the summer, but often sift under relentless gales by night. Whitecap waves in the sea and purple waves of lupine to the rear frame this isolated retreat, just another of hundreds of such beaches on this incredible island.
Mission Beach is one of the most charming of the Kodiak area beaches and is not too far from town. Fine houses, private craft of all sizes, and the occasional sea lion are familiar scenes on Mission Beach. Fishing is permitted but snagging is prohibited. The tides here appear to be among the smoothest on the island. Perhaps the one negative aspect of the beach is that the local highway forms its immediate rear perimeter.
Kodiak Island is mountainous country for the most part, but many of the peaks overlooking the main town of Kodiak are accessible by footpath or primitive road. Those who wish to climb to the crests will normally face stiff challenges such as uncertain footings, wind and weather conditions, but nowhere else -- except from a bush plane -- will the island provide the eagle's eye view of St Paul's Harbor or the Gulf of Alaska. Barometer Mountain and Pyramid Mountain are a few of the most-frequented peaks for these pursuits.
Fort Abercrombie historically was one of several Alaskan military posts set up by the Navy to provide against a possible Japanese invasion during the 1940s. Since that time the area has become one of Kodiak's more popular retreats, offering tent and RV camping, ocean and lake swimming, and the solitude of the spruce forests and rugged cape at Mill Bay. The dismounted 8-in caliber gun emplacements and the still extant bunkers recall the original military purpose, while wildlife lovers can watch for seagulls and puffins in the local waters.
You will have to drive to the end of the road on the Monashka Bay road. You will know that it is the end of the road as there isn't any more road! The trail head is about 11.5 miles from downtown Kodiak. The hike isn't that hard to do and it's a very enjoyable hike through spruce forests.
The hike can be done several ways. The way we did it was taking the coastal route until we arrived at Termination Point and then we took the interior route back to the trail head. We haven't had rain in a while so the hike was quite dry. But if there has been alot of recent rain it would definately be a wet hike in places. Here in the picture you can see Vt member Kaloz with my son and Duke the dog.
There aren't any markers on the trail and there are a few parts of the trail that extend off the main trail but if you follow the most heavy beaten path you won't have any troubles. Or you could carry a GPS. There are maps of the local hikes available from either the local Audobon Society with also sponsors hikes each weekend all through the summer for a small donation. or you could get a map at the visitor center.
The Olds River lies roughly adjacent to the American River but farther east. The average adult can wade across it almost throughout its course, but spots near its mouth are eight or nine feet deep. A preferred spawning ground for Kodiak's salmon, the area is consequently favored by Kodiak's fishermen. Note the riverbed if you venture away from the road. The trees are a natural screen for brown bears coming to feed or drink.
The Buskin River is one of Kodiak's key waterways. Even though situated by the island's main airport, the river and state park enjoy settings in a primitive wilderness. Brown bears are not infrequent to the park, and with the Buskin full of summer salmon for both bushwhacker and bruin, the area is pregnant with activity and the expectation of imminent sightings. The headquarters for the Kodiak Island National Wildlife Refuge lie near the park's entrance.
The American River heads in the island's interior near Center Mountain, but empties into Middle Bay along Rezanof Drive West. Due to this fact, the river's mouth is often choked with fishermen, but the American River has the rare privilege of following the old Saltery Cove Road into the interior, an old navy thoroughfare suited only to 4x4 vehicles. This detail makes the American River suitable for both fishermen and hikers looking for an excellent insertion route into the interior.