Unalaska / Dutch Harbor
At the beginning of the chain of Aleutian Islands,
rising between the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea.
How to Get
There are daily flights from Anchorage, twice a month ferries from
Homer and cruise ships.
Although most of the island
is within the Alaska Maritime Refuge, Ounalashka Corporation owns the land nearest
town. Contact corporation staff (907-581-1276) for a permit to access their lands.
The Aleutian Islands, a vast arc of active and inactive volcanoes,
make up a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The ever-changing geology reveals
itself in spectacularly craggy cliffs, sea stacks, pinnacles and snow-topped volcanoes.
This is the setting for the City of Unalaska and adjacent port of Dutch Harbor,
the gateway to refuge lands on Unalaska Island and the rest of the Aleutians.
Unalaska Island offers hiking, stream and ocean
fishing, climbing and sea kayaking. Birding opportunities include a chance to
see the rare whiskered auklet near its breeding colonies as well as the
five other kinds of auklets that live on the refuge. Wildflowers and lush grasses
blanket the treeless island in summer. Volcanic Mt. Makushins boasts both
thermal springs and glaciers.
and observation posts remain from World War II when Dutch Harbor played an important
role in the Aleutian campaign and was even bombed by the Japanese. The Aleutian
World War II National Historic Area commemorates the U.S. Army base Fort Schwatka,
one of four coastal defense posts built to protect Dutch Harbor during the war.
The island was also important in Alaska' early settlement as evidenced by more
than 25 known prehistoric village sites. History can be explored at the Museum
of the Aleutians and the Visitor Center for the World War II National Historic
LINKS to learn more
Look Closer - Aleutians
Last updated: December 27, 2010