IZEMBEK WILDLIFE REFUGE
Although being one of the smallest refuges in Alaska, it’s no slouch when it comes to seeing wildlife. From the roads you are likely to see everything from Bears to Red Foxes, and even Wolves on the rare occasion. The lagoon itself being thirty miles long and five miles wide, has a viewing center at Grants Point. When at Grants Point on a particularly nice day you can see a variety of active volcanoes. Mount Frosty itself is a dormant volcano having moved off the continental drift thousands of years ago. On clear sky days, you can see six to seven volcanoes from Cold Bay.
SILVER SALMON DERBY
When fall comes around and the salmon berries begin to stake their claim on the river banks once more, the fishing is at its peak in Cold Bay. There are three fishable creeks that run within thirty minutes of the town; Russell Creek, Trout Creek, and Frosty Creek. The Salmon Derby starts and ends on Labor Day weekend and is exclusively for Russel Creek, the biggest of the three. If you feel like there is no hope to win the tournament, making a quick drive to Trout Creek can prove productive and less crowded. If you are up for solitude, driving into the mountains behind the town is Frosty Creek. A rod’s length wide at most parts, and a very productive stream for large Dolly Varden. Remember that if you are coming to fish without a form of protection from bears, (preferably a firearm) then Russell Creek is the only safe place to fish. The open ground and lack of Alders at the fishing spots will give you some reassurance.
Many waterfowl can be found in Cold Bay. The jewel of Cold Bay is the Black Brant but other sea ducks like the Harlequin and King Eiders reside here as well. When hunting for these magnificent “Bucket List” Birds, going through a guide or hunting lodge in Cold Bay is the way to go. The hunting guides in Cold Bay are some of the best at what they do and will make your dreams come true for the avid waterfowl hunter. Make sure to check in with them about hunting around Cold Bay due to strict land rights and Native owned property. To follow the rules you must learn them first. If you aren’t interested in hunting, bird watching is just as fulfilling for your time in Cold Bay. The resident seagulls, puffins, tundra swans, eagles, sandhill cranes, and short eared owls will keep you company until the fall comes. When fall is in full swing 130,000 Black Brant alone (nearly the entire world’s population) come to Cold Bay to bulk for their journey. Other game birds like the Harlequin, King Eider, and famed Emperor Goose show their face in the lagoons and coves, making your trip to Cold Bay truly worthwhile.