The Bush: Places to Explore

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Unalaska/Dutch Harbor

These twin towns midway out the chain are by far the most populous destinations in the Aleutian Islands. Although they're sometimes called "the Crossroads of the Aleutians," even by Alaska standards people who live here are living remote. Usually referred to simply as "Dutch" (or, by people who spend winter here, "the gulag"), the towns are connected by a bridge that spans a narrow channel between Unalaska and Amaknak islands. (Locals playfully call the span the "Bridge to the Other Side.") Despite the often-harsh weather—this region is known as the "Cradle of Storms" for good reason—the Aleut people and their ancestors have occupied these islands and others in the Aleutians for thousands of years. Today Dutch is the region's tourism center, as well as one of the busiest fishing ports in the world. Scattered around both islands are reminders of history: the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor during World War II (unexploded ordnance may still be out there, so don't handle any odd metal objects you see while hiking), and you can still explore concrete bunkers, gun batteries, and a partially sunken ship left over from the war.

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