Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you get to Kodiak Island?

Alaska Airlines flies from many major cities all over the country and brings a 737 jet into Kodiak twice a day; Era Alaska flies to Kodiak from Anchorage six times a day. The Alaska Marine Highway offers ferry service to Kodiak three times a week from Homer, Alaska.  Homer is 4 ½ hours by car from Anchorage.  The ferry ride from Homer to Kodiak is approximately 10 hours.  See “Getting to Kodiak” for more detailed information.

2. When is the best time to come to Kodiak?

Much depends upon what activities you want to participate in. For example, Crab Fest is Memorial Day weekend, but May is not an especially good time to see the Kodiak brown bear. For fresh water fishing, it depends on what species of salmon you want to catch. Most people prefer the months between mid-June and early October with July, August and September offering the most activities and best weather.

3. Where can I see a Kodiak bear?

Most of Kodiak’s most famous residents live in the 1,990,271 acres of the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge.  You can charter an air taxi to take you on a half-day bear viewing expedition. Wilderness lodges also include bear viewing in their activities. Some boat charters may offer bear viewing.   Bears are sometimes seen on the road system in Kodiak and can be spotted on hillsides by patient viewers with binoculars. Some boat charters may offer bear viewing. 

4. Are there bears?

There are a number of bears living in more populated areas and fishing the same streams and beaches as humans.  Where there are plentiful fish, there are bears.  

5. Which salmon return to Kodiak rivers and when?

King (Chinook) mid-June through mid-September, Silver (Coho) July-September, Red (Sockeye) mid-May through July, Dog (Chum) June-mid-July, Pink (Humpies) July through end of August. These are general guidelines; it can vary by year. 

6. Where does the name Kodiak come from?

As in any small town in America, there are varying stories about how the town name came about.  The word “Kigikhtak” means island; “Kikhtahgmitt” island people; “kiktagamutes” islanders; Kikhtak, “island.”  “Kadyak” comes closest to the pronunciation used by islanders.  The people living here at the time of the first Russian contact were the Konyag.  In 1890 the name Kadiak was adopted as the official spelling, but islanders continued to use “Kodiak” until, in the early 1920s, Kodiak was adopted.  

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7. What is the population of Kodiak?

Estimates from 2010 put Kodiak Archipelago population at 13,860 and Kodiak City at 6,626. 

8. Who are the Alutiiq people (and how do you pronounce it?)

Pronounced “A-LOO-tick” the Alutiiq people are Native Alaskans whose traditional homelands are Prince William Sound, the outer Kenai Peninsula, the Kodiak Archipelago, and the Alaska Peninsula. 

9. Where can I camp?

Ft. Abercrombie State Park has a beautiful campground designed for tents; RVs would find narrow roads and tight turns difficult to maneuver.   Buskin River State Recreation Site also has camping sites, some appropriate for RVs.  Most land along the road system is privately owned and camping requires a permit. Check with the Visitor Information Center for current restrictions.  

10. What’s the weather like in Kodiak?

Kodiak is generally milder than most parts of the state, but we do get a considerable amount of rain year-round.  Snowfall varies by year – sometimes a lot, sometimes a little.    See Kodiak climate.

11. I need a place to stay/live.  Can you help?

The best advice we can give is to make lodging reservations well ahead of your visit, especially if you are visiting during peak seasons (end of May through August).  If you do arrive without accommodations, the Visitor Information Center will assist you find lodging. There are several private businesses who run a central reservations service.  As far as rentals, we will refer you to a realtor or one of a few property owners who handle rentals.   The best advice is not to relocate without having a place to live upon arrival.  

12. Where can I get on the internet?

Several private businesses offer wireless connections or computer access.  The public library also offers internet service. 

13. What is there to do in Kodiak?

Refer to this website for “Things to Do” in Kodiak.  

14. Can we go on the Coast Guard base?

You can drive onto the Coast Guard base.  You must first pass through the security gate and then stop at military police for a permit.  You will need to show proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license.

15. Where are the Deadliest Catch boats?

Several of the ships made famous by the Discovery Channel program “Deadliest Catch” are home ported in Kodiak and if not out fishing may be spotted at St. Herman’s Harbor or St. Paul Harbor in downtown Kodiak.