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Aleutians & Bering Sea Isles
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Aleutians & Bering Sea Isles

Introduction

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

False Pass

Akutan

Unalaska / Dutch Harbor

Adak

Other Aleutian Islands

Pribilof Islands

Saint Lawrence Island


False Pass

Location/Climate: On the east shore of Unimak Island just beyond the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, 646 air miles southwest of Anchorage. 33"/yr. precip., 56"/yr. snowfall, 11°F–55°F.

Population: 87 (76.5 percent Aleut).

Travel Attractions: Ferry link, Unimak Island access, Shishaldin Volcano.

Getting There: Scheduled and charter air service; scheduled ferry service from Homer and Kodiak.

Information: City Office, P.O. Box 50, False Pass, AK 99583, 548-2319, www.apicda.com/fp.html.

False Pass is indeed near a hoped-for passage between the Alaska Peninsula and the first of the Aleutian Islands, but the route has proven too shallow for larger vessels. The area was settled by a homesteader after the turn of the century and grew quickly with the establishment of a Peter Pan Seafoods cannery in 1917. The community is largely Aleut, populated by native families originally from Morzhovoi, Sanak Island, and Ikatan who came to work at the cannery. Fishing and fleet services occupy most residents.

The town is located at the eastern end of Unimak Island, first of the Aleutians and largely encompassed by the Unimak Wilderness of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge (see Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, chapter 11). The icy, 8,025-foot summit of Isanotski Peak is 15 air miles from town, while further along the ridge, Shishaldin Volcano tops out at 9,372 feet. These are by far the tallest peaks in the Aleutians. Though offering little in the way of support, False Pass is the best base for exploring the wilderness or attempting a summit. Consult the Izembek Refuge Manager for information.

Where to Stay and Eat in False Pass

The Bunkhouse, 548-2208. Rustic accommodation operated by Peter Pan Cannery. $115 for a room and three meals.