Seventy miles southwest of the city of Kodiak and tucked away in the sheltered waters of Sitkalidak Strait is Old Harbor, a lively little port for commercial fishing and sport fishing lodges and charters.
About Old Harbor (Sugpiaq: Nuniaq)
One of the most picturesque villages on Kodiak Island, the community of about 230 residents is nestled on a narrow beach at the foot of a lush, green mountain, while dramatic peaks tower overhead to the northeast. Standing tall in the center of Old Harbor is Three Saints Russian Orthodox Church, the link to the town’s rich past and the hub of community activity today.
Things to do
Old Harbor is home to fishing lodges that lead saltwater and freshwater fishing charters, targeting a range of species including king salmon, silver salmon, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, and Dolly Varden. Several fishing lodges offer packages that include cozy lodging in scenic waterfront settings, meals, and charter fishing adventures or other activities such as hunting, photography, wildlife viewing, and hiking.
The largest puffin colony in the Kodiak Island is located on Flat Island near Old Harbor, and most lodges can arrange birding trips to the island. Marine wildlife viewing is another popular activity, with opportunities to see whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, and more.
The crowning jewel of Old Harbor is the historic Three Saints Russian Orthodox Church, first established in 1795. When the church survived tsunamis that followed the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, locals viewed it as a miracle, considering the surrounding town site washed away.
Getting to Old Harbor
Old Harbor is accessible via small plane or boat from Kodiak. Regular scheduled air service is available from Anchorage to Kodiak. From there, a 30-minute air taxi flight brings visitors to Old Harbor.
The Alutiiq / Sugpiaq people lived in the area for more than 7,000 years before Russians first landed on Kodiak Island in 1763. Three Saints Bay became the first Russian colony in Alaska, but within four years a tsunami destroyed the settlement. Two more earthquakes struck before 1792, and the following year, Alexander Baranov moved the trading post northeast to St. Paul Harbor, now known as Kodiak. A settlement was reestablished at Three Saints Harbor in 1884 and the Old Harbor post office was opened in 1931.
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