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Adak Travel Guide, Alaska

Adak Island is located southwest of Anchorage and west of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in the group of the Aleutian Islands, a string of rugged, volcanic islands, making it the southernmost community in Alaska. Its latitude is that of the Vancouver Island in Canada. Its population is of about 320 with one in three residents being Alaska Native.

It didn’t always used to be like this as in the past the area was heavily populated, but in the early 1800s it was eventually abandoned because famine hit the group of Andrean Island when the hunters from the area followed the Russian fur trade east. Some of them continued hunting and fishing around the island until World War II broke out. During the war U.S. forces installed their army in Adak thus allowing them to successfully attack the Japanese islands of Kiska and Attu to the west. After the war the area was again populated as Adak became a naval air station and during the Cold War it was a submarine surveillance center housing 6,000 naval personnel and their families. The former Naval Air Facility now occupies land on the northern portion of Adak Island.

Another period of decay began for Adak when in 1994, because of the budget cuts; the schools and family housing were closed and in 1997 the station was also closed.

In a few short years Adak has changed from a U.S. military station to an Aleut town, with some old facilities still in use and others closed (the southern portion of Adak Island is uninhabited). The entire island of Adak is currently owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of Interior, still its former naval facilities are owned by the Aleut Corp as a result of a land transfer agreement. This Corp. brought Adak to a new faze being interested in developing Adak as a commercial center. Thus in September 1998 about 30 families with children moved to Adak and a school attended by 23 students was reopened.

Even if Adak is neither a popular, nor a crowded touristy place but is ideal for those who want to experience something new and different from the usual travel destinations. It is a place where you can emerge yourself in nature.

These islands that separate the Bering Sea from the Pacific Ocean have relatively moderate climates because of the closeness of the sea. Of course you can’t expect steady sunshine, but the combination of fog, rain and high winds makes it a unique place. You have to see the bright side of things. The rain ensures good salmon habitat around Bristol Bay and the surrounding region making the place perfect for fishing. There are other types of fish that once caught get to the Norquest-Adak Seafood Co. that processes cod, pollock, mackerel, halibut, albacore and brown king crab. Many foreign fishing fleets take advantage of the infrastructure facilities the island provides. So if fishing is your thing, you will have come catching to do!

Bird watching is another attraction as the area also provides thousands of lakes and ponds for migratory waterfowl in the Yukon Delta and other national wildlife refuges.

Coming to Adak you can say you are “definitely not in the city any more”, and why not tray for once to go to a place that doesn’t even by far resemble the one you live in? Try this new experience and you will feel like a different person!

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