Photo Credit: Carrie Williams

A curvy road following the shoreline south from town, this 42-mile highway will take you past the U.S. Coast Guard Station, salmon streams, long ocean inlets, and exposed surf beaches. You’ll also see the tiny outpost of Chiniak, which has a post office, elementary school, and a population of around 50. Along the way, anglers can wet their line at Russian Creek, Salonie Creek, and American River. History buffs can wander among the old batteries and airstrips from WWII. This road also connects to Pasagshak Road, which leads to the Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s Launch Complex, Pasagshak Bay, and Narrow Point. There’s a new lodge and restaurant at this fork, Olds River Inn; stop in for a bite and get the latest news from owners Fred and Mary Barber.

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Highway Guide

A pop­u­lar place for view­ing win­ter­ing Emper­or Geese.

From this bridge on Kodi­ak’s Chini­ak High­way it’s pos­si­ble to see spawn­ing salmon in August and Sep­tem­ber. There’s also poten­tial to see brown bears here dur­ing the late sum­mer as they feast on salmon, espe­cial­ly around dawn or dusk. The road on the south side of the bridge leads to Bell’s Flats.

Good fish­ing site. Kodi­ak Island Sports­men Asso­ci­a­tion Fir­ing Range. MP 11.6, Chini­ak Highway

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.

MP 12.8, Chini­ak Highway

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.

Hap­py beach is a black sand and stone beach. 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.

There’s a radio receiv­er & emer­gency phone avail­able to the right.

MP 17.7 , Chini­ak Highway

Stop off at the bridge and fish or raft on Amer­i­can Riv­er (there’s a good fish­ing spot to the left when you get to the bridge).

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.

This is the for­mer site of a Russ­ian brick­yard and is cur­rent­ly the site of an archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tion. You can also access the Iron Gate Beach.

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.

MP 24.4, Chini­ak Highway

Dur­ing August and Sep­tem­ber, the ditch on the left of the Chini­ak High­way at MP 29.0 becomes an active spawn­ing area for salmon.

Sheer cuts along riv­er bank reveal a heavy vol­canic ash lay­er from the erup­tion of 1912.

A 17 mile one-way jaunt from Chini­ak High­way, this road was com­plet­ed along­side the devel­op­ment of the Alas­ka Aero­space Cor­po­ra­tion launch site, which is at the end of the road. In addi­tion to access­ing the pri­vate site, the paved road offers recre­ation­al­ists and trav­el­ers access to great fish­ing beach­es and rivers, surf spots, state parks, and scenic views of alpine pass­es and ocean. There’s also a pri­vate ranch here, where semi-domesticated…  ...more

This is a great place to spot fish­ing boats as they come in and out of the dock.

An assort­ment of homes and cab­ins dots the road for the next two miles and com­pris­es the town of Chini­ak. Orig­i­nal­ly a native Alu­ti­iq out­post, the pop­u­la­tion here explod­ed dur­ing WWII, fol­low­ing con­struc­tion of a road from Olds Riv­er. The Army, Navy, and Air Force have based oper­a­tions here, with work­ers liv­ing in Quon­set huts and mil­i­tary hous­ing. But fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the hous­ing in 1954, the res­i­dents built the town.” Elec­tri­fied in…  ...more

MP 41.6, Chini­ak Highway

Difficulty: Easy

This is a very scenic and easy hike with great bird­ing and flower view­ing. Dur­ing April and ear­ly May this is a prime loca­tion to view migrat­ing gray whales. Check out all of the rocky out­crops, beach­es and off­shore waters for birds. Look for bank swal­lows nest­ing in the sea cliffs and har­bor seals loung­ing on the rocks.

This old bunker is open for explo­ration. If you make it this far on your hike, be sure to walk around the bunker and step inside to get a rough idea of how how sol­diers lived dur­ing WWII.