Izembek Wildlife Refuge

Izembek Wildlife Refuge

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is the smallest land reserve in Alaska.

However, it is no slouch when it comes to seeing wildlife and rugged Alaskan wilderness. In fact, it is one of the most remarkable sites you might ever see.

Due to cold temperatures, plants that grow on the Izembek National Reserve are generally small which means there aren’t trees. You will find mountains covered in glaciers, smoking volcanoes, meandering rivers, lagoons, and of course the wildlife that call this remarkable reserve home.  

From the roads, you are likely to see brown bears, red foxes, caribou and even wolves on the rare occasion.

In the skies, you might find bald eagles or golden eagles searching the waters for their next food source. It isn’t hard for them to find since the productive waters bring an abundance of life to the Izembek Wildlife Refuge. 

During the migration season, it’s possible you will see orcas, gray whales, and minke whales passing by near the coastline. 

Whales aren’t the only ones who take advantage of this area for migration. 

Each year millions of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds come to the Wildlife Refuge because of the Izembek Lagoon. It lies in the heart of the Reserve and provides food, shelter, and fresh water for the birds. The ongoing conservation efforts at the Izembek National Reserve have been recognized, and it’s known as a Globally Important Bird Area.

The lagoon itself is thirty miles long and five miles wide. It has a viewing center at Grants Point. If you visit 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.

Time spent at the Izembek National Reserve is time well spent.

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