Outdoor Adventuring in Aleutian Islands
Ounalashka Corporation. Much of the land surrounding Unalaska/Dutch Harbor is owned by the Ounalashka Corporation. Visitors looking to explore off the main roads are asked to purchase a day-use permit from the Native corporation office just around the corner from the Grand Aleutian. For $15 you can also buy a large map detailing the many beautiful trails winding throughout Unalaska's islands. Not looking to hike around? The lovely map makes for a great souvenir. 400 Salmon Way, Unalaska, AK, 99685. www.ounalashka.com.
Department of Parks, Culture & Recreation (PCR) (37 S. 5th St., Unalaska, AK, 99685. 907/581–1297. www.ci.unalaska.ak.us/parksrec.)
Extra Mile Tours. Long-time Unalaska resident, Bobbie Lekanoff goes "the extra mile" to make sure visitors to her small corner of the Aleutians see the vibrant history, nature, and wildlife of the islands. She offers two- and four-hour group road tours, a four- to five-hour special tour when the ferry is docked, as well as private tours. Expect to spot bald eagles, identify local exotic flowers and plants, travel off the beaten path for some spectacular vistas, and stop by the Museum of the Aleutians, World War II Museum, and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Unalaska, AK, 99685. 907/581–1859 or 907/391–6171. www.unalaskadutchharbortour.com. From $50.
Heart of the Aleutians Festival. If you are lucky enough to visit Unalaska in August and able to catch the Heart of the Aleutians Festival, you'll get to experience a beloved local tradition. The free, two-day festival hosted by "PCR" brings residents of all ages together for Alaska Native art and crafts, specialty food, a Kids Tot Trot (fun run) and a 5k for adults, a bounce house, an egg toss competition, and a variety of concerts by local musicians. It's a much-anticipated celebration of summer, friends, family, and the community. Kelty Field, Unalaska, AK, 99685. 907/581–1297. www.ci.unalaska.ak.us/parksrec/page/heart-aleutians-festival.
Miss Alyssa Bering Sea Excursions. Reserve the Miss Alyssa and the lands and waters surrounding Unalaska become a true playground. This charter vessel can take up to five passengers on epic backcountry skiing and climbing adventures, whale-watching and scuba diving expeditions, and halibut fishing trips. The accommodating and experienced crew welcomes other ideas for maritime adventures, too. Day and overnight packages include all meals, gear, and even drinks. Unalaska, AK, 99692. 907/581–1386 or 877/672–9772. www.missalyssa.com.
Wilderness Birding Adventures. The Homer-based outfitter runs small trips to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in August with the goal of spotting the evasive whiskered auklet. Bringing passionate birders and wilderness enthusiasts to remote locations across Alaska (plus Bhutan) is their speciality, so you're in very good hands. Their experienced guides also offer private trips combining birding, hiking, and river rafting. 40208 Alpenglow Circle, Homer, AK, 99603. 907/299–3937. www.wildernessbirding.com.