Photo Credit: Geographic Marine Expeditions

Things To Do In Kodiak

Experience Alaska Bear Viewing tours on beautiful Kodiak Island

Experience Alaska Bear Viewing tours on beautiful Kodiak Island. Photo by Chris Chrisbray.

1. See the Mighty Kodiak Bear

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the thrill of seeing bears in the wild, Kodiak—home to the Kodiak brown bear (or “Alaskan brown bear”)—is a great place to do it. Choose a quick trip or a multi-day adventure, then fly out to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, perhaps playing in a meadow or swiping for salmon in a rushing river.

2. Cast a Line

As the base for boats in “Deadliest Catch,” Kodiak is a fishing town. And you’ll find many options for sampling the amazing fishing in Kodiak. Take a charter and go out deep sea fishing, book into a remote fishing lodge, or go roadside fishing.

3. Explore Kodiak’s History

The small island of Kodiak boasts a big history, and the museums here perfectly showcase the past as they keep alive important traditions. Explore 100,000+ artifacts of the Alutiiq Natives on Kodiak Island at the Alutiiq Museum, and delve into the history of the area’s fishing and boating at the Maritime Museum.

Building remains from Fort Greely on Kodiak Island

Only unmarked buildings remain from Fort Greely, the largest base on Kodiak Island during WWII.

Imagine seeing whales, glaciers, bears and more- from the comfort of a private yacht

Imagine seeing whales, glaciers, bears and more- from the comfort of a private yacht

4. Set Sail on a Private Charter

Sea, glaciers, and forests all around make this an adventurer’s paradise. Set your own agenda by chartering a boat for a multi-day adventure that caters to your interests.

Choose to stay around Kodiak or head out for an unforgettable bear-viewing excursion at Katmai National Park.

A cliff's edge and beach in Kodiak

Kodiak is full of gorgeous views like this one. Photo by Michelle Franquelin.

5. Go for a Drive

For a small island, Kodiak boasts some spectacular scenic drives. Motor past tide pools, protected bays perfect for beachcombing, hiking trails, salmon streams, and much more—with stunning scenery all along the way.

6. Hike the Island

Kodiak comes ready-made for hikers, with an extensive trail system that offers options for all abilities. From easy walks on the sand with plenty of beachcombing to strenuous mountain hikes that pay off with spectacular views, you’ll find hikes perfect for you.

Kodiak things to do Pillar Mountain Kodiak Andrew Petersen DSC 3174 1

Soak in stunning views from the top of Pillar Mountain. Photo by Andrew Petersen.

Kodiak Day Tours & Attractions View All

$4,995+ 4-7 nights

Immerse your­self in a mul­ti-day Alaskan adven­ture that promis­es incred­i­ble views and jaw-drop­ping bear view­ing in Kat­mai Nation­al Park, along with a warm cama­raderie that only a small group expe­di­tion can cre­ate. Explore from your home base on the Island C, a research ves­sel that gets you close to the action while pro­vid­ing com­fort­able lodg­ing and deli­cious meals.

Season: Apr 01 to Dec 31 $160+ 1+ hrs

From Kodi­ak Island to the Kat­mai coast, King­fish­er Avi­a­tion will cus­tomize each trip, mak­ing for an intense­ly per­son­al expe­ri­ence. Their most pop­u­lar excur­sion includes a flight to a bear-view­ing hotspot, where you can see 8 to 10 bears swip­ing at salmon swim­ming upstream. King­fish­er also offers short­er scenic flight­see­ing tours with­out the bear-view­ing stop.

$625 per person 4.5 hrs

Whether you’re look­ing for world class bear-view­ing or want to expe­ri­ence a breath­tak­ing flight­see­ing tour, Kodi­ak-based Island Air Ser­vice can make it hap­pen. Start your bear-view­ing tour in Kodi­ak, and you’ll have a short­er flight time com­pared to leav­ing from Anchor­age. Even if you’re just here for a day while your cruise ship is in port, it’s easy to fly out and wit­ness the majesty of these impres­sive creatures.

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Kodiak Parks & Trails View All

Difficulty: Moderate

A six-mile round-trip hike that climbs to just over 2,000 feet, this climb will get you great views of Women’s Bay and the rolling moun­tains of the island. Look for ptarmi­gan up here…this is a hike the Audubon Soci­ety does annually.

Difficulty: Moderate

Hike these scenic ridges and lush meadows 

Difficulty: Easy

Just over the bridge, this park offers easy beach walk­ing and great pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties of Kodi­ak. Snap shots of the water­front, have a pic­nic, or enjoy qui­et beach­es. The park is forest­ed, with excel­lent spruce groves that are silent havens for birds and squir­rels. There’s excel­lent bird watch­ing at the end of the trail. Walk the mossy earth and head over to the peb­ble beach­es — it’s a great mid­day retreat close to town.

Difficulty: Easy

One of the best spots to check out WWII relics, there’s a short trail from the park­ing area on the side of the road.

Difficulty: Moderate

Old Wom­ens Moun­tain hike pro­vides great views of Chini­ak Bay, the Coast Guard base and Kodi­ak city and har­bor. The sur­round­ing moun­tain scenery is breath­tak­ing. About 12 mile south of the air­port road, take a right turn on the paved road up to Avi­a­tion Hill.” Turn left at the entrance to the sub­di­vi­sion and park at the end of the road behind the Coast Guard Loran build­ing. You will find the trail­head at the far end of the park­ing lot. An…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate

This is a well-used and busy ATV road that leads up the Amer­i­can Riv­er and over a pass to Saltery Cov­er. It is only open to trail bikes, ATVs and hik­ers. While it is pos­si­ble to hike the road, be aware that you will need to ford some streams.

Difficulty: Difficult

This is Kodiak’s most pop­u­lar moun­tain, and for good rea­son: It’s a chal­lenge, the views are stun­ning, and it feels like a true moun­tain climb — there’s a 2,073-foot ele­va­tion gain in just a few miles. A well-trod trail leads up the ridge, which you can access from the end of the air­port run­way. Fol­low an old grav­el road to the north­east ridge, where a trail breaks on your left. The first part runs through the brush, but you’ll break into open…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate

Fol­low the trail that winds upward through tall grass cross­ing some wet places. After about 1.5 miles, you come to the lake, which is a beau­ti­ful place for a pic­nic or swim on a sun­ny day. Keep an eye out for upland birds, bear, deer, and goats.

Difficulty: Easy

The trail par­al­lels Island Lake Creek, which tum­bles steeply through the woods over falls and boul­ders. This is a good place to see dip­pers, as well as for­est birds such as win­ter wrens, var­ied thrush, chick­adees, nuthatch­es and creepers.

Difficulty: Easy

This is the high­est moun­tain close to town. If you tack­le this hike, you’re in for a climb, but a large por­tion of the trail is in the alpine, with beau­ti­ful flow­ers and tun­dra. You’ll be climb­ing 2,400 feet in ele­va­tion in just two miles. Watch for upland birds includ­ing Wil­low and Rock Ptarmi­gan, and Amer­i­can Pipits.

Difficulty: Easy

Whether you’re look­ing for a camp­site or fish­ing hole, glass­ing for birds, watch­ing for bears, or beach­comb­ing, this recre­ation site is a great spot to expe­ri­ence the won­ders of Kodi­ak Island with­out trav­el­ing too far.

Difficulty: Easy

Mayflower Beach is a black sand and stone beach with views across the bay to forest­ed hills and moun­tains. Lis­ten to the waves crash against the shore and smell the fresh ocean smell. Beach­comb­ing, pic­nick­ing, & hik­ing are all great things to do in this area. 

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail can be hard to fol­low as it mean­ders through wet areas, thick veg­e­taion and up salmonber­ry slopes before it reach­es the rich sub­alpine mead­ows and even­tu­al­ly leads into a bowl-shaped glacial cirque at the base of the moun­tain. There is plen­ty of great bird habi­tat along the trail so watch for pip­its and ptarmi­gan up high and song­bird and snipe in the low­er elevations.

Difficulty: Moderate

One of the area’s more pop­u­lar hikes (or dri­ves, as there’s a road to the top), Pil­lar Moun­tain offers a mod­er­ate, 2.5‑mile climb to an alpine sum­mit over­look­ing town. Your heart, lungs, and legs may burn, but you’ll have great views and see excel­lent wild­flow­ers, as most of the trail is above tree­line. You’ll rec­og­nize the peak, since it dom­i­nates the sky over Kodi­ak. And if you get wind­ed on this hike, con­sid­er the run­ners who race up here…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

One of the eas­i­est beach­es to access from town, this park has a nice over­look and excel­lent water­front with pic­nic sites. In late July through Sep­tem­ber, you can fish from the beach for sil­ver and pink salmon. Bird­ing is good year round, but it’s espe­cial­ly great dur­ing the winter.

Difficulty: Easy

Loved by locals and trav­el­ers alike, this 182-acre state park has numer­ous trails, beach­es, and rocky view­points. For his­to­ry buffs, the trails take you past bunkers and relics from WWII out­posts in the area. You’ll also find sum­mer nat­u­ral­ist pro­grams where you can learn about ecol­o­gy as well as ocean and for­est creatures.

Difficulty: Easy

Only lim­it­ed access is allowed to this mil­i­tary reser­va­tion. Access the trails through the pedes­tri­an gates in the fence at the end of Wood­land Dri­ve. Walk along an old road to the cape. There are nice short hikes along the sea cliffs and a north­east­er­ly beach. This area is espe­cial­ly rec­om­mend­ed on stormy nd rainy days when east­er­ly gales will unveil the ocean’s fury. The wild­flower mead­ows are beau­ti­ful rest­ing spots on calm sun­ny days in…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

Dur­ing sum­mer the mead­ows are full of wild­flow­ers and the views of Chini­ak Bay are spec­tac­u­lar. The south cape is a good place to look for Horned and Tuft­ed Puffins, Bal­ck-legged Kit­ti­wakes, Pelag­ic and Dou­ble-crest­ed Cor­morants, Black Oys­ter­catch­ers and var­i­ous ducks includ­ing Har­le­quins, scot­ers and Long-tailed Ducks.

Difficulty: Easy

For a gen­tle stroll on a sur­faced path, Kodi­ak’s Bik­ing & Walk­ing Path begins at the cor­ner of Ben­ny Ben­son and Rezenof Road, and par­al­lels Rezanof north­ward 2 miles to the entrance to Fort Aber­crom­bie State His­tor­i­cal Park. This is a rel­a­tive­ly flat path used by jog­gers dog walk­ers, bik­ers and walk­ers, that trav­els past Mill Bay Beach, a French pas­try and cof­fee shop and the trail had to the Island Lake Trail. For a longer walk, add…  ...more

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