|a l a s k a j o u r n e y . c o m|
|Kodiak & the Alaska Peninsula|
Location/Size: On the tip of Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island. Of the nearly 3,000,000 acres, 1,200,000 acres of designated wilderness administered by the Izembek manager are in the Alaska Maritime N.W.R. and Alaska Peninsula N.W.R.
Main Activities: Birding, sea kayaking, mountaineering, wilderness exploration.
Gateway Towns/Getting There: Cold Bay/scheduled air service from Anchorage, scheduled ferry service from Kodiak and Unalaska; False Pass and King Cove/scheduled ferry service from Kodiak and Unalaska, regular small-plane air service from Cold Bay and Unalaska. Park access: vehicle access via roads from Cold Bay; water access via charter boat, personal watercraft.
Facilities, Camping, Lodging: Short road system, offices in Cold Bay. Primitive camping only.
At the end of the Alaska Peninsula, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is bounded by volcanic peaks and includes rolling tundra uplands, coastal barrier islands, and the rich habitat of Izembek Lagoon. Three separate units are administered together in the modern refugethe result of a recent reorganization of refuge lands.
The Pavlof Unit (1,447,264 acres of wilderness) features volcanic peaks including Pavlof Volcano and Pacific shoreline at the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Pavlof is one of the most recently active volcanoes in the state and was sending up huge amounts of ash and steam through late 1996 and into 1997. Check with the refuge manager about the peaks current status. Access is from Cold Bay or King Cove via charter boat, air, or kayak.
The Unimak Island Unit (1,008,697 acres, 910,000 acres of wilderness) encompasses virtually all of Unimak Island (easternmost of the Aleutians) including very active Shishaldin Volcano and other volcanic peaks. False Pass, at the east end of the island, is 22 miles from Shishaldins summit and is accessible by ferry.
The Izembek Unit (417,533 acres, 300,000 acres of wilderness) includes the Izembek Lagoon and the surrounding low hills. The lagoon is rich in eelgrass and serves as a vital migratory stopover for thousands of Canada and emperor geese, other waterfowl, and the worlds entire population of black brandt (a small coastal goose). Most birds arrive in one of two waves, the first in late August and early September, the second in Novemberincluding sea ducks and Stellers eiders. The lagoon attracts both birders and waterfowl hunters. Federal lands are contiguous with the Izembek State Game Refuge (181,440 acres), which completes protection of the lagoon. Forty miles of old military roads around Cold Bay allow limited access to the lagoon and the western end of the Pavlof Unit.