Winter Travel

The myth is “don’t come to Alaska in the winter.”  The reality is that Kodiak is a winter wonderland for quiet, undisturbed exploration.  Spend a day snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating, or backcountry skiing and then cuddle up by the wood stove at one of our cozy B&Bs. Snowmobiling is another popular winter activity.  In the weeks before Christmas, there are many arts and crafts fairs featuring our best artists and creative talents.  Count the bald eagles and sea lions that congregate downtown looking for an easy winter meal.  Try your hand at ice fishing on one of Kodiak’s many lakes.  If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some “extreme” winter surfers offshore.    In exceptional solar storm years with the weather on your side, you may even be able to spot the Northern Lights from Kodiak; the winter of 2012 was a banner year for viewing the aurora borealis on Kodiak Island.

Photographic opportunities on the wintery island wonderland rival anywhere else in the world with snow-laden peaks rising 2,000 feet or more out of blue waters. Icy fresh water rivers and creeks give a blue tint to the normally green and blooming island. Eagles and sea lions are often seen in spectacular numbers in and around piers in downtown Kodiak.

Winter Weather

While most visitors come to Kodiak in the warm green months of summer, winter isn’t necessarily an unfriendly time. Because Kodiak lies in the warm Japanese trade winds, winters here are not quite as bitter as in other parts of Alaska. Day time winter temperatures range from approximately 24 degrees Fahrenheit to 35 degrees F. Of course winter travelers should come prepared with plenty of cold-weather and waterproof gear because winds can drop air temperatures to below zero. Ice cleats for shoes are an important accessory during Kodiak winters.

Winter Wonderland Itinerary (4 Days)

  • Day 1: Get oriented by visiting the Visitor Information Center downtown at the ferry terminal.   Maps, directions and suggestions for activities can all be found here.  Visit the the Baranov Museum and Alutiiq Museum and Kodiak Wildlife Refuge Interpretive Center.
  • Day 2:  Drive out the road to Surfer and Fossil beaches in Pasagshak for some serious surf and fire barbequing, whale watching and bunker viewing.
  • Day 3:  Have some first class seafood at one of Kodiak’s finest restaurants. Visit the local ice rink for some local winter fun!
  • Day 4:  Visit the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center Touch Tank and Aquarium.  Shop at the many great galleries and gift shops. Snow shoe up pillar to see the wind turbines!