The Aleutian Islands
Set amid the stunning scenery of the Aleutian Islands, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor is a top commercial fishing port renowned for its unique history, unbelievable bird watching and world-class sport fishing opportunities. Unalaska Island has a land area of 1,051 square miles, making it the 14th largest island in the United States. The City of Unalaska, which covers part of the island and all of neighboring Amaknak Island where the Port of Dutch Harbor is located, has a total area of 212.3 square miles, of which 111.0 square miles is land and 101.3 square miles is water.
Unalaska has witnessed sweeping changes in its nine-thousand years of human history. The Unangan people were the first to inhabit the island of Unalaska, which they named “Ounalashka” meaning “Near the Peninsula.” They developed an intricate and complex society long before their first contact with the Russian fur traders who documented their existence. Artifacts, stories, and re-creations of their rich culture can be viewed and studied at the Museum of the Aleutians with many artifacts dating back roughly 9,000 years.
The Russian influence is best viewed by touring the Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Cathedral, one of the oldest cruciform-style Russian churches in the country. The Cathedral is a National Historic Landmark and houses one of Alaska’s largest and richest collections of Russian artifacts, religious icons and art pieces, some having been donated to the church directly from Catherine the Great.
Dutch Harbor is also known to war veterans and history buffs as the only land in North America, besides Pearl Harbor, that was bombed by Japanese Zeros during World War II. Evidence of Armed Forces bunkers, Quonset huts and barracks are still visible today, dotting the green hills of Unalaska and Amaknak Islands. The sites and the Historic Center are part of the WWII National Historic Area opened by the National Park Service in 2002.
During your free time, visitors to the Unalaska/Dutch Harbor area can choose from a vast array of activities: miles of hiking opportunities (Bunker Hill, Mt. Ballyhoo, Ugadaga Trail, among others), bird-watching, boating tours, halibut and salmon sport fishing, a simple stroll along the beach, or visit historical and cultural sites such as the Holy Ascension-the oldest Russian Orthodox Church in North America.
Plan a Tour
For visitor information, please contact the Unalaska/Port of Dutch Harbor Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at (907) 581-2612 or toll free at (877) 581-2612, or visit their website at www.unalaska.info to take a virtual tour of the area.