View Map

Overview

This sprawling refuge encompasses more than 2,500 islands and coastal headlands stretching from Southeast Alaska, out the Aleutian Chain, and north into the Arctic. All told, they cover some 4.9 million acres of wildlife habitat. The refuge's cliff-sided islands support vital rookeries used by seabirds, with 40 million nesting murres, puffins, terns, gulls, cormorants, and other species. Marine mammals such as sea otters, seals, walrus, and killer whales are just off shore, and vegetation on the islands turns a fluorescent green in the brief summers. Very few people make it to the remote islands of Alaska Maritime Refuge, but those who do ...

This sprawling refuge encompasses more than 2,500 islands and coastal headlands stretching from Southeast Alaska, out the Aleutian Chain, and north into the Arctic. All told, they cover some 4.9 million acres of wildlife habitat. The refuge's cliff-sided islands support vital rookeries used by seabirds, with 40 million nesting murres, puffins, terns, gulls, cormorants, and other species. Marine mammals such as sea otters, seals, walrus, and killer whales are just off shore, and vegetation on the islands turns a fluorescent green in the brief summers. Very few people make it to the remote islands of Alaska Maritime Refuge, but those who do are rewarded with an astounding diversity of life. The weather is wet, windy, and unpredictable, so these places are only for the hardiest of adventurers. A few areas are more accessible, including St. Lazaria Island near Sitka, Yukon Island and 60-Foot Rock near Homer, Chiswell Islands near Seward, Safety Sound near Nome, Barren Islands north of Kodiak, and Unalaska Island near the town of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. More remote, but also accessible by scheduled flights are Adak Island in the Aleutians and the Pribilof Islands of St. Paul and St. George. Refuge headquarters is in Homer, where the Islands and Ocean Visitors Center houses outstanding exhibits on the refuge.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

view full overview

Don Pitcher for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer