2 Best Sights in Wood-Tikchik State Park, The Bush

Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary

Established in 1960 to protect one of the largest North American haul-out sites for the Pacific walrus, this sanctuary's 65 miles protects seven small islands and their adjacent waters in northern Bristol Bay, including Round Island, Summit Island, Crooked Island, High Island, Black Rock, and The Twins. The number of walruses fluctuates from year to year, but more than 14,000 have been counted on Round Island in a single day. These giant sea mammals come to the haul-out in such high numbers in the summer that you can barely see the rocks beneath the heaving red blubber. The islands also support an array of birds and mammals, including a large population of Steller sea lions and orca, humpback, and gray whales that feed in offshore waters. Transportation to the islands and permits for the sanctuary are limited, with access generally restricted to May through mid-August. Day-trip permits can be obtained on the island, but camping permits must be arranged in advance. Before planning a trip or applying for a permit, check the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website for an updated list of available transportation options from Togiak and Dillingham.

Wood-Tikchik State Park

Located in the Bristol Bay region, this state park is the largest in the nation at 1.6 million acres. Two separate groups of interconnected lakes, some up to 45 miles long, dominate the park, making it a waterway-dense region despite being inland. Charismatic mammals like bears, caribou, porcupines, eagles, and loons abound in the park's forests and tundra, but Wood-Tikchik is best known for its fish. The park's lakes and streams are critical spawning habitat for five species of Pacific salmon. They also support healthy populations of rainbow trout, arctic char, arctic grayling, and northern pike. As a result, Wood-Tikchik draws anglers and boaters interested in fishing in a place without maintained trails (and with few visitor amenities). Most campsites here are primitive, and anyone planning to explore the park should be experienced in backcountry travel and camping. Besides the many large lakes and streams, the park's landscape includes rugged mountains, glaciers, and vast expanses of tundra.