About Kodiak

Fireweed blooming on hillside, Kodiak, Alaska
Fireweed in bloom

Welcome to Kodiak Island, Alaska’s Emerald Isle…

A wise man once said, “The more civilized we become, the more we need wilderness.”

Perhaps that’s why visitors come to Kodiak, to satisfy that need, and to find inspiration for body, mind, and spirit.

Where is Kodiak Island?

Tucked into the northwest corner of the Gulf of Alaska, the Kodiak Island Archipelago parallels the Katmai Coast along the Alaska Peninsula for 177 miles. This group of islands embraces almost 5,000 square miles, which is the size of Connecticut. And as the largest island in the group, Kodiak is the second largest island in the U.S., next to the Big Island of Hawai’i. (We like to think that Kodiak Island is the northernmost Hawai’ian Island).

Gulf of Alaska, Kodiak

Bearly matters

Kodiak brown bear
Bear viewing at its best

Kodiak’s identity is usually linked with its most famous resident, the Kodiak brown bear. About 2/3 of Kodiak Island is a National Wildlife Refuge, home to about 3,000 bears. You can learn all about bears and the refuge at the National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, located downtown and see Marion’s display murals.

Nutrient-rich waters surrounding the archipelago provide an ideal habitat for sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, porpoise and many species of whales. Wherever you are on Kodiak Island, you are never far from an opportunity to go beach combing.

“Kodiak Island is one of Alaska’s top whale-watching areas.”
~Kate Wynne, Marine Mammal Specialist for the University of Alaska.

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Puffin take-off

Are you a birder?

Kodiak is a birder’s paradise, for both land birds and seabirds. Thanks to a mild climate and plentiful food supply, bird watching opportunities are excellent year round. (Kodiak is often No. 1 in Alaska for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count).

The Kodiak area also offers excellent (crowd-free) lake, stream and ocean sport fishing of impressive abundance and variety, from barn door-sized halibut, feisty rainbow trout, steelhead, Dolly Varden and all five species of salmon.

Spruce forests and wild orchids

Kodiak Island is a temperate rain forest and the northern part of the archipelago is covered with thick Sitka spruce forests, the only unmixed stand in the world, which makes for wonderful hiking. Wild orchids, shooting stars, chocolate lilies abound in and around the wooded environment, providing superb picture-

Family fun on the dinner cruise
Family fun on the dinner cruise

taking opportunities.

Family travel

Kodiak Island offers wonderful opportunities for families to share adventure. Whether hiking, fishing, or exploring the beaches, there is an activity suitable for children of all ages. For campers, try Fort Abercrombie State Park or the Buskin River Recreation Area campground. There’s always Baranof Park where kids can enjoy a playground, shoot hoops, skateboard or turn somersaults while meeting local kids.

A year-round community

A thriving commercial fishing industry is the economic engine that drives Kodiak Island. Kodiak is also home to the country’s largest Coast Guard base.

Kodiak’s diverse cultures, history and maritime lifestyles are celebrated in a variety of special events. Community calendars is listed on KMXT’s 100.1 FM radio and the Discover Kodiak website.

Full moon over boat harbor, Kodiak, Alaska
Full moon over harbor

Kodiak is accessible by jet and turbo-prop service from Anchorage, just a 45-minute flight away. By sea, the Alaska Marine Highway System provides passenger and vehicle ferry service to Kodiak from Homer.

Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We hope you have a wonderful visit, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us any time.

Cheers to you,

Marion and Marty Owen