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Approximately 330 air miles southwest of Anchorage, the small city of Dillingham (pop. 2,400) lies at the heart of the Bristol Bay region. Commercial fishing dominates the local economy, powered by the world's largest red (sockeye) salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. Four canneries run full-bore during July, when salmon are returning to the Nushagak and Wood Rivers. The town also serves as a jumping off point for Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary, the finest place to see these unique animals. Togiak National Wildlife Refuge covers more than four million acres of wildland near Dillingham, and has a visitor center in town. A 24-mile road leads ...

Approximately 330 air miles southwest of Anchorage, the small city of Dillingham (pop. 2,400) lies at the heart of the Bristol Bay region. Commercial fishing dominates the local economy, powered by the world's largest red (sockeye) salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. Four canneries run full-bore during July, when salmon are returning to the Nushagak and Wood Rivers. The town also serves as a jumping off point for Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary, the finest place to see these unique animals. Togiak National Wildlife Refuge covers more than four million acres of wildland near Dillingham, and has a visitor center in town. A 24-mile road leads out of Dillingham to the Native village of Aleknagik along Aleknagik Lake. It's on the southern edge of Wood-Tikchik State Park, largest in America. Anglers fly out from Dillingham to upscale fishing lodges within the park or to the upper reaches of Bristol Bay rivers. A variety of lodging places and restaurants are located around Dillingham, and Alaska Airlines provides daily jet service from Anchorage. The Bristol Bay watershed is currently proposed for development of a controversial open pit gold mine. Bristol Bay Alliance is trying to prevent development of the mine; Pebble Partnership supports it.

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.

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Don Pitcher for Triporati

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June through September