|a l a s k a j o u r n e y . c o m|
|Kodiak & the Alaska Peninsula|
Location/Size: South coast of the outer Alaska Peninsula between Becharof Lake and False Pass. 3.5 million acres.
Main Activities: Wilderness exploration, wildlife viewing, backpacking, fishing, mountaineering, kayaking.
Gateway Towns/Getting There: King Cove and Chignik/scheduled ferry service from Kodiak and Unalaska; Port Heiden/scheduled air service from Anchorage, charter air service. Park access: coastal access via charter boat, kayak; floatplane and charter air service from gateways, Kodiak, and King Salmon.
Facilities, Camping, Lodging: No facilities. Primitive camping only.
The refuge encompasses much of the mountains and Pacific coast of the Alaska Peninsula. Contiguous with Becharof National Wildlife Refuge to the east and Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to the west, the volcanoes and other peaks of the Aleutian Range dominate the scape. The Pacific coast is lined with ragged bays and headlands, some of which are sheltered by island groups offshore. There are numerous native and village corporation lands within the refuge boundaries, though Chignik, Chignik Lake, and Chignik Lagoon comprise the only populated area of consequence (see above).
West of Chignik on the Pacific coast, the village of Perryville (population 104, 94 percent Aleut) is a possible base for climbing Mount Veniaminof volcano, though there are no travel services and much of the population leaves during the summer for fishing-related jobs elsewhere. The base of the glacier-draped cone is a dozen miles from town. Perryville was established in 1912 when Mount Katmai erupted and destroyed the towns of Katmai and Douglas. Displaced residents, many of whom survived because they were out fishing when the eruption occurred, were relocated to their new home aboard the ship Manning, piloted by Captain Perry, for whom the village is named.
The refuge hosts abundant wildlife including moose, caribou, wolves, brown bears, and wolverines. Large populations of sea lions, seals, and migratory whales inhabit the waters and shores. Sea otters on the Pacific side of the peninsula number at least 30,000, having recovered from near extinction a century ago. The refuge provides valuable habitat for a variety of migratory birds.
Big-game hunting is a primary activity in the refuge, especially for caribou and brown bear. Fishing for king and silver salmon, arctic char, lake trout, northern pike, and record-setting grayling is similarly popular. Mountaineering, wilderness exploration, sea kayaking, and birding are still uncommon, offering the chance for truly unique and wild adventures.