Tucked away in Alitak Bay and off-the-beaten-track, Akhiok is the most remote village on Kodiak Island.
AKHIOK (SUGPIAQ: KASUKUAK)
The Sugpiaq community of about 60 residents anchors the south end of Kodiak Island, 98 miles southwest of the city of Kodiak, and is accessible via plane or boat. Commercial fishing and limited tourism are the basis of the village’s economy. Akhiok, like many small Alaska Native villages in Southwest Alaska, is a strong Orthodox faith-based community and many residents maintain a subsistence lifestyle based on hunting and fishing.
THINGS TO DO
For adventurous travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences, Akhiok serves as a gateway to some of the most isolated areas and best wildlife viewing on Kodiak Island. The waters offshore the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge are populated with seabirds and marine mammals including sea otters and whales. On land, visitors focus on brown bears, particularly around Ayakulik River. Lodges in Akhiok will arrange both whale watching trips and bear viewing adventures.
The south end of Kodiak Island offers world-class sportfishing in protected coves, bays, and inlets offshore. The Ayakulik and Akhoik Rivers host excellent sockeye, king, and pink salmon runs. Fishing lodges in Akhiok provide visitors with accommodations and meals and arrange charter fishing adventures on the southern end of Kodiak Island. Most offer sport fishing packages that usually include outings for saltwater species such as halibut, ling cod, and salmon, or river fishing for salmon and steelhead trout.
Notable community sites include the Russian Orthodox Church and the Protection of the Theotokos Chapel. After embracing the Russian Orthodox religion, residents of Akhiok rebuilt their church, the Protection of the Theotokos Chapel, at the turn of the century. Today the church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and makes for a scenic setting in the middle of the village.
There are several archeological sites of ancient Alutiiq petroglyphs on the banks of the Ayakulik River and along the cliffs outside of the village. More than 700 of these ancient stone carvings have been found in the rocks.
Originally called Kashukugniut and located at Humpy Cove, Akhiok was established as a sea otter hunting settlement by the Russians in the early 19th century and then moved to its present site in 1881.
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