For those with a sense of adventure and a naturalist streak, few places on earth compare with the wonders of Southwest Alaska. Brown bears gather in large numbers to feed on salmon and more than 240 bird species inhabit the area’s wetlands and coastline. The region’s terrain ranges from a landscape of volcanoes in Katmai National Park and Preserve, created by the 1912 eruption of the Novarupta volcano, to the windswept Aleutian Islands that make a 1,200-mile sweep toward Asia. The Yup'ik, Cup'ik, Unangax̂, and Sugpiaq (Alutiiq) peoples have called this area home for thousands of years.
The landscapes in Southwest Alaska are as diverse as the as the experiences that await visitors to this fascinating region, home to World War II history in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, the verdant landscape of Kodiak Island, world-famous brown bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve, rich salmon runs in Bristol Bay, large concentrations of birds in the Pribilof Islands and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and so much more.
Southwest Alaska is not on the road system and access to most communities is by air taxi, though larger towns like Kodiak, Bethel, King Salmon, Dillingham, and Dutch Harbor are accessible by scheduled air service. Many of the coastal communities are also accessibly by the Alaska Marine Highway ferry.
Local Climate & Weather
For Alaska's day-to-day weather, it’s best to plan for a bit of everything. Learn more about weather in this area.