Beaver Inlet, on the other side of Unalaska Island, was an historic portage for the native Unangan people who lived in the village of Biorka just across on Sedanka Island. You can only get there by boat or by foot, but the pristine views away from the more populated areas of Unalaska are worth the effort.
One popular and accessible route is the Peace of Mind Trail, a three-mile round-trip trek that showcases a range of topography and winds through both private land and national refuge.
Peace of Mind Trail will take you up steep inclines, through rolling tundra, over streams, down into marshy lowlands, and along a lake margin. You’ll finally spill out onto a sandy beach. Dig your toes in, watch the water lap the shore and enjoy the quiet and “peace of mind” the trail’s name suggests.
The changing land features along the way also ensure that you’ll see varied species of both plant and wildlife, from tiny alpine flowers to tall rye grasses – from songbirds flitting through the tundra to ducks on the lake and shorebirds on the bay.
Before the return trip, look around for the Peace of Mind cabin, open to anyone who wants a welcome place to camp or just relax, especially if you want to take shelter from the wind or cold.
- Buy a land use permit (available in daily, weekly, seasonal or annual passes) from the Ounalashka Corporation before heading out.
- Prepare for changing weather by dressing in layers. Boots are a good idea for keeping your feet dry in the marshlands and hopping over streams.
- More than 2,800 WWII-era “Rommel stakes” have been removed from the areas near Peace of Mind trail and other nearby trails. Some may remain, so be attentive for their rusty, pointed tops.