Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is a true Alaska gem with 1.9 million acres of amazing Alaska landscapes and wildlife in Southwestern Alaska. Only accessible by float plane or boat, the refuge is a paradise for adventurers, fishermen, kayakers, those wanting to get away from it all, and those wishing to see its famous population of brown bears.
The Kodiak Archipelago is well known for its massive and seemingly mythical brown bears, which often weigh more than 1,000 pounds and loom as large as 5 feet tall on all fours and 10 feet tall when standing on their hind legs. They fit residents for the expansive archipelago and the second-largest island in the U.S., Kodiak Island. Somewhere between 2,000-3,000 Kodiak brown bears wander this wildlife wonderland. While just six land mammal species are natural inhabitants of the refuge, eight others were introduced over the years for conservation and subsistence purposes. The bears are the refuge’s stars, but you can also see Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goats, reindeer, elk, millions of spawning salmon, thousands of water animals, and hundreds of species of birds.
Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge also showcases Alaska’s finest habitats, ranging from rugged mountains to rolling tundra, glacier-cut valleys to massive spruce forests, deep-blue lakes to white-capped bays. The refuge often pops with color – pink/purple fireweed, light blue and bright red berries, white mountain caps, lush green trees and tundra, and a rainbow of hues on spawning salmon.
The Kodiak Refuge Visitor Center is located in the cozy town of Kodiak. Whether you plan on going deep into the refuge or are just passing through the city of Kodiak, the visitor center is a must-see experience with museum-quality artifacts and engaging multimedia educational opportunities. Including a complete grey whale skeleton! The Kodiak visitors center is also the perfect place to plan a refuge visit, gather maps and information, learn about transportation, guides, and lodges in the area, or daydream about the immense and inspiring refuge.