Wildlife Viewing on Kodiak Island

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Welcome to Kodiak Island Resort, where your luxury wilderness vacation adventure begins the moment your plane touches down. Among the elite group of Alaska fishing lodges, we pride ourselves on delivering a level of service that is refreshingly old-fashioned, with an unwavering emphasis on quality and guest satisfaction. As part of your stay, immerse yourself in the unparalleled wildlife viewing opportunities on Kodiak Island, the largest island in Alaska and home to the renowned Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, this 1.9-million-acre refuge protects the natural feeding and breeding grounds of the majestic Kodiak bear.

To truly appreciate the abundant wildlife, venture beyond the road system for a bear-viewing trip into the refuge, where sightings of these magnificent creatures are more common. In downtown Kodiak, the new Kodiak Refuge Visitor Center offers valuable resources, including a hiking and birding map created by Kodiak Audubon, available for purchase at the visitor center bookstore and other Alaska Geographic outlets. This map highlights many prime wildlife viewing spots.

Wildlife Viewing at Kodiak Island
Wildlife Viewing on Kodiak Island - Killer Whales

Best Time To Go Wildlife Viewing In Kodiak Alaska

Wildlife viewing on Kodiak Island is a captivating experience, with opportunities to encounter its diverse fauna throughout the year. For those keen on seeing Kodiak’s wildlife, including iconic species like bears, the optimal months are from June through September. These months coincide with the peak of activity for Kodiak’s wildlife, offering the best chances to observe them in their natural habitat.

During June, July, August, and September, Kodiak Island teems with life as various species engage in seasonal behaviors such as mating, feeding, and rearing young. The long daylight hours of summer provide ample opportunities for extended wildlife viewing excursions. Whether you’re hoping to spot Kodiak bears, observe coastal bird colonies, or witness marine mammals along the shores, these months offer ideal conditions.

To make the most of your wildlife viewing experience, it’s highly recommended to engage the services of a knowledgeable guide. Guides not only enhance your safety and understanding of local wildlife but also know the best locations and times to maximize sightings. Their expertise ensures that you have a memorable and educational wildlife viewing adventure on Kodiak Island.

Plan your visit during these prime months and join Kodiak Resort for an unforgettable wildlife viewing experience amidst the pristine wilderness of Kodiak Island, Alaska.

What Type Of Wildlife Can You Expect To See

Kodiak Island is a sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife. Indigenous mammals include the iconic Kodiak brown bear, red foxes, river otters, sea otters, seals, sea lions, puffins, harlequin duck, short-tailed weasels, bats, and tundra voles. Additionally, species such as Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goats, reindeer, and beavers have been introduced to the region. Coastal waters are teeming with harbor seals, Steller sea lions, sea otters, porpoises, and various whale species, including humpback, minke, fin, and killer whales. At Kodiak Island Resort, we ensure that your wildlife viewing experience is as unforgettable as it is awe-inspiring, showcasing the natural splendor and diverse ecosystems that make Kodiak Island a true wilderness paradise.

Wildlife Viewing on Kodiak Island

What To Pack On A Wildlife Viewing Trip

Quality, well-fitting equipment and clothing can make all the difference between an incredible wildlife viewing experience in Alaska or a challenging one. Here’s a comprehensive gear list to ensure you’re well-prepared for your wildlife adventure with Kodiak Resort:

Gear and Equipment
  • Backpack: Opt for a well-fitting backpack, ideally between 40-70L capacity, ensuring it can accommodate essentials like bear-resistant food containers.
  • Waterproof Pack Cover or Liner: Protect your gear from Alaska’s unpredictable weather with a reliable waterproof cover or a lined pack.
  • Water Bottle or Hydration Bladder: Carry 1-2 liters of water at all times; hydration bladders are convenient but require careful packing.
  • Tent: Choose a sturdy tent suitable for Alaska’s conditions, ensuring it can withstand rain and wind for a comfortable night’s rest.
  • Bear-Resistant Food Container (BRFC): Required in many Alaskan destinations; essential for storing food securely to prevent bear encounters.
  • Stove and Fuel: Test your stove before your trip; pack sufficient fuel for cooking and water purification needs.
  • Cookset and Eating Utensils: Bring a cookset suited to your menu needs, along with utensils for meal preparation and consumption.
  • Water Treatment: Carry a reliable water treatment method (filter, purifier, or chemicals) unless you plan to boil water for purification.
  • Bathroom Kit: Include essentials for proper waste disposal, such as a trowel, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer.
  • Communication Device: Consider a satellite texting device for emergencies or areas with limited cell service.
  • Navigation Tools: Carry a map and compass or use GPS devices for navigation through Alaska’s wilderness.
  • Medical Kit: Customize your kit with essentials like medications, wound care supplies, and first aid items appropriate for remote travel.
  • Trekking Poles: Highly recommended for stability, especially during challenging terrain and river crossings.
  • Sleeping Bag and Pad: Pack a sleeping bag suitable for summer conditions and a comfortable sleeping pad for restful nights.
  • Camp Chair: Optional but adds comfort during downtime at the campsite.
  • Headlamp: Essential for trips outside of Alaska’s long daylight hours, offering hands-free illumination.
Footwear
  • Hiking Boots: Break in your boots before the trip to avoid discomfort and blisters.
  • Hiking Socks: Choose socks that suit your comfort and moisture-wicking needs for varying conditions.
  • Camp Shoes: Optional but useful for comfort around camp and river crossings.
Clothing
  • Rain Jacket and Pants: Opt for waterproof, breathable gear to stay dry in Alaska’s ever-changing weather.
  • Layered Clothing: Pack a mix of lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics for versatility in temperature regulation.
  • Hats and Gloves: Include a billed hat for sun protection and a beanie for warmth in cooler conditions.
  • Underwear and Long Underwear: Pack according to personal preference and comfort needs.
  • Insulated Jacket: Bring a warm, packable jacket for cooler evenings or unexpected temperature drops.
Personal Items
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes with quality sunglasses stored in a durable case.
  • Toiletries and Personal Medications: Minimize toiletries to essentials; ensure you have an ample supply of medications for the entire trip.
  • Sunscreen and Insect Repellent: Alaska’s sun can be intense; reapply sunscreen regularly and carry insect repellent based on personal tolerance.
Discretionary Items
  • Pack Towel, Journal, and Reading Materials: Consider comfort items like a pack towel for hygiene, a journal, and reading materials for leisure.
  • Camera and Binoculars: Capture wildlife moments with a camera, keeping electronics protected in waterproof bags.
  • Headnet: Essential for bug-sensitive individuals during mosquito season in Alaska.

What Areas Of Kodiak Island Are Best To Go Wildlife Viewing

Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge

Covering 1.9 million acres on Kodiak and Afognak Islands, this refuge was established primarily to protect the natural habitats of the Kodiak bear. Guided bear-viewing trips into the refuge provide unparalleled opportunities to see these majestic creatures in the wild. Locals advise that seeing bears from the road system is rare, emphasizing the need for a guided excursion into the refuge for the best experience.

St. Herman Boat Harbor (Dog Bay)

Just a short drive or cab ride from downtown Kodiak, Near Island is home to the St. Herman Boat Harbor, known locally as Dog Bay. This area is a reliable spot for viewing Steller sea lions, with a haul-out area visible from the harbor parking lot. Cross the bridge onto Near Island and follow the road’s right fork down to the harbor, where you can observe these large, dynamic marine mammals in their natural habitat.

Kodiak Fisheries Research Center

Located on Near Island, this center is not only crucial for fish processing in the region but also offers a unique opportunity for public engagement with Kodiak’s marine life. Visitors can explore a 3,500-gallon aquarium showcasing local species such as crabs, fish, and giant sea stars. There’s also a touch tank where you can interact with marine invertebrates, providing a hands-on learning experience about Kodiak’s cold-water ecosystem.

Buskin River State Recreation Area

Known for its fishing opportunities, scenic beach walks, and excellent birdwatching, Buskin River State Recreation Area is another must-visit spot on Kodiak Island. Visitors should exercise caution, especially during salmon runs, as this area is frequented by bears. Strolling carefully through brushy areas enhances the chances of spotting wildlife while ensuring a safe and respectful experience for both visitors and animals alike.

Kodiak Island Resort At A Glance 

Number of Guests We Can Accommodate Per Trip

Ebikes

Spacious Bedrooms

Kayaks

Private Bathrooms

Full-time Staff Members

Fishing Experience from our Captains

36ft Fishing Boats

Dining at Kodiak Island Resort

At the end of your exciting day sport-fishing and sightseeing, relax in our executive lounging area, feast on our tasty hors-d’oeuvres, and enjoy your favorite drink while recounting your day’s adventures with your friends and family. (Though we don’t provide liquor, you’ll find a generous supply of ice, mixers, and soft drinks in the lounging/wet-bar area to meet your needs.) Our appetizer platters are heaping with fresh crab, smoked salmon, shrimp, cheeses, homemade dips, crackers, and other marvelous culinary masterpieces from our gourmet chef.

Oh the food… You’re going to love it!

Our oceanfront dining room enjoys marvelous views of the mountains, ocean, and wildlife, which along with our four star service and comfortable lodge ambiance, make for a truly special dining experience!

Dining
Dining
Dining
Dining

Dining at Kodiak Island Resort is always an event… You will really enjoy your delicious meals while taking in our expansive view of the Kodiak Mountains and Larsen Bay. The main course will range from Halibut Florentine or Halibut stuffed with crab meat, King Salmon with Hollandaise sauce, to Porterhouse or Prime rib steaks. On the lighter side, how about Fettuccine Alfredo with smoked salmon? Savor our homemade breads and desserts. Though we enjoy showcasing our area’s fresh seafood, we realize ‘one shoe’ doesn’t fit all our guests’ palates, therefore, our head chef prepares an assortment of delicious Alaskan cuisine to make sure everyone has a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience.

Full breakfasts and fresh pastries are served early so as to fortify our guests for a full day of adventures. Lunches are customized by each guest to their own palates and sent out each day in your own personal insulated lunch box. Soft drinks of your preference are iced and stocked on each boat.

Dining at Kodiak Island Resort is always an event… You will really enjoy your delicious meals while taking in our expansive view of the Kodiak Mountains and Larsen Bay. The main course will range from Halibut Florentine or Halibut stuffed with crab meat, King Salmon with Hollandaise sauce, to Porterhouse or Prime rib steaks. On the lighter side, how about Fettuccine Alfredo with smoked salmon? Savor our homemade breads and desserts. Though we enjoy showcasing our area’s fresh seafood, we realize ‘one shoe’ doesn’t fit all our guests’ palates, therefore, our head chef prepares an assortment of delicious Alaskan cuisine to make sure everyone has a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience.

Guest Suites at Kodiak Island Resort

The lodge has six spacious, double occupancy rooms, each with a private bathroom, two full size beds, panoramic views of Larsen Bay, and the surrounding mountains.

Lodging
Lodging
Lodging
Lodging

Often while in your room brown bears, foxes, deer and bald eagles can be seen on our property.

Executive Lounging Area at Kodiak Island Resort

For indoor relaxation the recreation area has a wet bar, television, movies, and a card table for your enjoyment. There is a good selection of nature tapes about Alaska. You can also hook up your video camera to view your daily fishing action if you wish. Our sincere objective is to surpass our guest’s expectations for great service. There is always plenty of finger food available during your stay in the Executive Lounging Area to enjoy, along with your favorite drink while watching a show on our large screen television. Though we don’t provide hard liquor, we do provide a supply of mixes and cubed ice for your drinks. We are happy to accommodate dietary considerations; we only ask to have ample notification to place special orders prior to your arrival.

Other Activities

Other Activities
Other Activities
other activities
Other Activities
Other Activities
Other Activities
Other Activities
Other Activities

Have someone in your group who yearns for something more? Oh, we’ve got you covered! We have a fleet of battery powered, e-bikes. Plus… kayaks, beach exploring, beach campfires, remote river fishing, and more wildlife than you can imagine!

Lodge Staff at Kodiak Island Resort

Our hostesses are always courteous and friendly, and pleased to take your special requests. Our housekeeping staff keeps your rooms spotlessly maintained with a little extra elbow grease applied; they take pride in their work, and it really shows – your rooms are comfortable and inviting.

Your dining pleasure at Kodiak Island Resort will only be surpassed by your fishing adventures, and luxury accommodations.

Steve Terrill
Steve Terrill
2024-02-07
If you are trying to plan a salmon fishing trip in Kodiak Island I would for sure pick this place. It was amazing!
Serina Terrill
Serina Terrill
2024-02-07
I have went to Alaska salmon fishing almost every year. This lodge gets it done. We limited out every day on all Tudor’s of fish.
David Goodman
David Goodman
2024-02-07
Out of all the Kodiak Island fishing lodges this one was 100 percent the best. I can not wait to visit again.
Matthew Giordano
Matthew Giordano
2024-02-07
The Alaska fishing trip of a life time!
Kristi Carriveau Falliaux
Kristi Carriveau Falliaux
2024-02-07
This is one of the best fishing lodges in Alaska I have ever visited! I highly recommended visiting.
Alicia Gelles
Alicia Gelles
2023-08-17
The most AMAZING experience!! 100% of the staff was absolutely solid and wonderful!!! I can't recommend this place enough!! They have thought of EVERYTHING!! 💗
Kari Hanson
Kari Hanson
2023-07-26
we had a blast fishing, the best place to experience fishing, the resort and employees were fantastic, the cook made extremely delicious meals the whole time. Everyone there made it feel like you were family ❤️
Jim Roberge
Jim Roberge
2023-06-18
Great Trip! The house crew of Erica, Kitty and Brian were fabulous. Boat Crews of Captain Mike and Jake and Captain Bob and Heath always put you on fish. Everyone makes you feel like family. The adventure begins when your transport planes can’t pick you up!
Travis Verley
Travis Verley
2023-06-08
Great spot, 1st class service in a remote and beautiful part of the country. Very hospitable, but be prepared for all 4 seasons!
Richsrd G
Richsrd G
2023-06-05
Kodiak Island Resort is an incredible experience and would be great for any type of getaway! Top-notch accommodations, food, hospitality, and amazing fishing. Will definitely be going back!

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