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Overview

The Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary consists of seven rocky islands north of Bristol Bay and west of the town of Dillingham. One of these, Round Island, is considered the finest place to see and photograph walrus in Alaska. These massive, blubbery animals are noted for their long tusks used to cut breathing holes in sea ice. Several thousand walrus haul out on rocky beaches surrounding Round Island in the summer. Round Island cliffs are also home to hundreds of thousands of seabirds, including murres, kittiwakes, cormorants, puffins, auklets, and other species. Travelers to Round Island need to be completely self-sufficient since you'll ...

The Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary consists of seven rocky islands north of Bristol Bay and west of the town of Dillingham. One of these, Round Island, is considered the finest place to see and photograph walrus in Alaska. These massive, blubbery animals are noted for their long tusks used to cut breathing holes in sea ice. Several thousand walrus haul out on rocky beaches surrounding Round Island in the summer. Round Island cliffs are also home to hundreds of thousands of seabirds, including murres, kittiwakes, cormorants, puffins, auklets, and other species. Travelers to Round Island need to be completely self-sufficient since you'll be camping in primitive sites where the wind and rain can be relentless. Getting to the Walrus Islands starts with a flight from Anchorage to Dillingham and a second flight on to Togiak, where several operators provide boat service to Round Island. Both day tours and multi-night stays are possible. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has two research personnel on the island throughout the summer.

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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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A group of craggy coastal islands in the Bering Sea, close to the northern shores of Bristol Bay, in Southwest Alaska
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Walrus are only on Round Island in the summer.