Kodiak Island Travel Guide

  • seal
    by grandmaR
  • bird nesting rocks
    bird nesting rocks
    by grandmaR
  • Sea Lions
    Sea Lions
    by grandmaR

Kodiak Island Things to Do

  • Visiting the Coast Guard Base

    Kodiak is home to the country's largest USCG Base, home to several cutters, a buoy tender and an aviation/search and rescue base. Over 5000 folks are based out of Kodiak USCG.I've been on the USCG base here in Kodiak many times times but I just called there to make sure nothing had changed (487-5555). At the gate they will direct you to the...

  • museum

    its teeny tiny but seeing it is a must!!! im sure im not spelling this correctly but go to the aleutiq museum!!! its a great place to get a quick history of the island and they always have alot going on there! my sister has been going to kodiak every summer for years and is always a part of the museum archeiological dig, unearthing homes from the...

  • Eagle's Eye Views

    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...

  • American River area

    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...

  • Buskin River and State Recreation Area

    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...

  • Olds River area

    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...

  • Lake Miam

    Lake Miam is another typical example of Kodiak lakes, but with a slight difference. Lying a few miles north of Portage Bay, the lake is a crossroads for rivers and feeder streams draining in and out. Hence the bear activity around the lake is heightened during the summer months. Marshy areas and forbidding vegetation help to reduce the level of...

  • Thumbs Up

    Whether you're into fishing or boating or general hiking, the Chiniak area offers some of the prettiest scenery and opportunities for outdoor activities within a short drive of Kodiak township. The island's winery, some of its lodges and several capes and beaches merely ask the visitor to make a hard selection from so many excellent alternatives.

  • Summit Lake

    Summit Lake is typical of Kodiak lakes in its elevation and dimensions. Wedged midway between Kalsin and Ugak Bays, Summit Lake is about 2,500 feet in length north and south and about 500 feet wide. Connected by feeder streams to both bays, the lake is subject to infiltration by spawning salmon, which means that the lake and its network of creeks...

  • Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park

    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...

  • Monashka Bay

    Of an island where gorgeous coves and inlets are the order of the day, Monashka Bay takes its rightful preeminence. Where cliffs might make for a rugged coast, or forests beautify the terrain, Monashka Bay combines every element in one wonderful setting -- beachfront, dense forests of Sitka spruce, naked cliffs and forested slopes, and the deep...

  • Mission Beach

    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...


Kodiak Island Hotels

Kodiak Island Restaurants

  • Out of the Way Eats

    If you wind up getting out of the Kodiak limits, you might venture toward Chiniak, where the scenes are incredible and the road is at least graded (but able to swallow motorcycles and small cars). Once you pass the Kodiak Winery, you can kick up your legs at the Road's End Lounge and spend the day talking about fishing, boating or the brown bears...

  • Alaska Sized Portions

    Henry's is very near the waterfront, a great locale and appropriate decor. The dining room is non-smoking and take out orders are welcome. With prices in Alaska looking inflated to most travelers, Henry's at least compensates the diner with generous portions. Steaks, burgers, sandwiches and seafood are all part of this varied menu, but one word of...

  • Kodiak Island Hotels

    2 Hotels in Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island Transportation

  • Planes for Hire

    No different than any other sportsman's paradise in Alaska, Kodiak is the hub for several private providers of backcountry transportation. Flightseeing, transportation to fishing holes and hunting venues, and just a leisurely tour of the island from the air are available from a number of air charters, from Andrews Airways to the Highline Flying...

  • Kodiak Island Airport

    This is a shot of the Kodiak Island Airport. (ADQ) You don't want to overshoot the runway as there is a 2600 Foot mountain at the end of the runway!!

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Kodiak Island Local Customs

  • Area Swimming Holes

    Another popular water spot with Kodiak residents is Lake Gertrude at the Fort Abercrombie State Park, an old WWII battery of sorts left in something of its original state by the Navy Department. The lake is roughly 1,000 feet long and a few hundred feet wide, and heavily forested on every perimeter except the one facing the sea (about 200 feet...

  • Thank You Berry Much!

    Salmonberry is a prevalent plant throughout the island and town. It is not uncommon for Kodiak residents to have a bush or two growing on or near their own property (ask herzog63). This pulpy fruit is not the most succulent of the island's berries, but in July and August it is a familiar "fast food" for residents and visitors alike. The berries...

  • A Day at the Beach

    With no space on the immediate waterfront to enjoy the ocean, Kodiak residents usually flock to a number of nearby coves and bays, where beaches are often of fine "sand." Actually these are composed of volcanic dust with other components, but their smooth feel comes close enough to qualify. Residents have a large variety of swimming holes to choose...


Kodiak Island Warnings and Dangers

  • The Tell-Tale Track

    Kodiak Island is home to only a small handful of indigenous mammals. Most prominent of these is of course the Kodiak brown bear (Ursos arctos middendorffi), but visitors are more likely to spot the island's fox. These comparatively tiny predators appear throughout the island, but as wild creatures are wary of humans and should not be approached....

  • The Defining Jungle

    There is no better picture in my possession than the one depicted here showing most plainly the thickness of Kodiak's vegetation. Trees are relatively scarce on the island, but tall grasses, salmonberry bushes, fiddlehead fern, the various types of alder and other assorted verdure are the dominant plant species on the island. Uniform heights of six...

  • A Sinking Feeling

    Kodiak Island is covered for hundreds of square miles in compositions that will sink you up to your knees. Only where vegetation is extensive can you be sure of durable footing, but the vegetation itself improves your obstacles. Along creeks and rivers where the vegetation is uniform (i.e. of one or two species), be especially certain of your...


Kodiak Island What to Pack

  • Fresh Water on a Rained-Out Island

    Kodiak residents rarely know what to wear to keep them cool and comfortable. The visitor can commonly depend on wet weather, and hikers should be provided with good shoes having sturdy soles and cleats to some extent. Slipping on Kodiak's sand is customary. Beaver fever or giardia lamblia is a common ailment on Kodiak Island. This micro-organism...

  • Back and Feet

    A sturdy backpack with at least 3,000 sq inches of space will do for an overnight excursion or a few days in the backcountry. Sturdy shoes with hard soles, and perhaps a pair of good sandals for stream and river crossings. Expect to tramp through the marshes, the creeks and occasionally the lakeshore after a few hours of piercing the...

  • Combatting the Elements

    Given the fickle weather on the island, no one on Kodiak ever knows what to wear for the day. Even in summer, hikers and campers should bring layers that wick moisture (fleece, wool, special synthetics, etc). Rainproof gear is essential, or at the very least clothing that dries quickly. Head coverings such as a balaclava (depicted in photo) are...


Kodiak Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Kodiak Island Winery

    On an island where berry bushes cover a vast proportion of the available lowlands, it's no small wonder that Kodiak Island Winery can offer top dollar for local berries. Though the sale of alcoholic beverages over the Internet is illegal by Alaska statute, the winery offers a virtual tour via its website and is open to the public for a personal...

  • Sometimes Island

    Sometimes Island is one of several small uninhabited islands near the town of Kodiak much trammeled by the locals. Depending on the tide, a natural isthmus ties the island to the mainland, or sinks beneath the Gulf, hence the island's name. The visitor can drive across the isthmus when possible, without fear of sinking. The entire island is open to...

  • Coast Guard Station

    After the fish industry, the largest employer on Kodiak Island is probably the federal coast guard. One of its largest bases lies just south of town. While this is hardly a tourist attraction or much worthy of your notice, the helicopter crews and C-130 planes are often on exercise, so the novice can watch 'touch and go' landings and the normal...


Kodiak Island Sports & Outdoors

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    by mrclay2000 Updated Aug 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The U.S. Coast Guard operates a 9-hole golf course on Kodiak Island, appropriately named the Bear Valley Golf Course. The course has a driving range and a snack bar, and even a full-service pro shop. Tournaments and leagues are available, and green fees for civilians are $13 for the nine holes. Word of warning: this is one place where you should never hit your ball very far out of bounds!

    Bear Valley Golf Course
    Related to:
    • Golf
    • Family Travel

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Kodiak Island Favorites

  • Kodiak's Russian Heritage

    While most of its main ornaments exist in Kodiak township, Russian features dot the island. For most visitors, the easiest means to observe the island's Russian heritage is to visit the Baranov Museum, the local graveyards, and the Russian Orthodox Church and seminary in Kodiak township.

  • Wrinkled by Water

    Kodiak Island is crisscrossed throughout its extent by rivers and creeks, some insignificant and some major. For the most part the rivers drain the lowest elevations, so there is little white water anywhere on the island. On the other hand, Kodiak arguably boasts some of the prettiest creeks and streams for a state famous for its natural beauty....

  • A Final Word on Vegetation

    Alaska sees a short growing season, but in the summer the vegetation makes up for it by leaping skyward at a phenomenal clip. On Kodiak in the warmer months, even "subdued" vegetation will tangle the footing at only 18-24 inches in height. Seldom will you find an area that resembles a carpeted lawn except in the residential areas. Getting out of...


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