|Dutch Harbor and Unalaska are near the very end of the Aleutian Island chain. This booming fishing community boasts the most productive seafood processing port in the U.S., with five large processing facilities and fishing ships from countries throughout the world. It was a pivotal military location during World War II and was bombed by the Japanese in 1942. Ulakta Head, newly designated by the U.S. Congress as a Heritage Area, (formerly known as a national park), will provide visitors with a focal point for the study of the Aleutian Campaign.
This treeless, rocky, wind-swept place first was settled 9,000 years ago by the native Aleuts. In the 1700s Russian fur traders set up camps and established regular trade routes. During World War II, the United States and Japan fought skirmishes over the islands, weather permitting.
World War II buildings and fortified "pill boxes" still dot the town's perimeter. The Aleutian World War II National Historic Area surrounds Dutch Harbor and encompasses the historic footprint of the U.S. Army base Fort Schwatka -- the highest coastal battery ever built in the United States.
What commonly is called Dutch Harbor actually is the city and island of Unalaska and a linked community on Amaknak Island. Dutch Harbor is the port, and, by extension, most people refer to the area as Dutch Harbor.
According to the city, 4,200 people live here permanently and 2,000 or so more arrive for crab season.
Dutch Harbor is 1,700 miles northwest of Seattle. It takes two to three hours to fly there from Anchorage. The town's only airport is considered one of the most difficult to fly into in the entire state. On approach, planes must bank sharply between two mountains and battle tough cross winds. Such weather forces the cancellation of one in five flights.
Seafood processing and commercial fishing are the town's major industries. Dutch Harbor is one of Alaska's largest seafood-processing centers. The town's median income is $68,000 a year.
Historic Sites: Other historic sites include the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Ascension and the Bishop's House. The church, parts of which were built in 1825 is the oldest in the U.S. and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The church was rededicated in September, 1996, after phase one of a major restoration was completed. The church hosts one of the largest collections of religious artifacts and icons in the U.S.
Things To Do:
Eco-tourists, bird watchers, and sportfishing enthusiasts from around the world can now enjoy the unique experience of Unalaska. Scheduled marine tours, processing plant tours, flightseeing, cultural and historic tours, and marine charter fishing are all available. Hiking difficulty spans the entire spectrum from novice to expert. Visitors should be prepared for either sunshine or windy, rainy weather by dressing in layers. Wildlife includes marine mammals, large populations of seabirds, songbirds, some migrating Asiatic species and waterfowl.
The city of Unalaska is on the northern end of Unalaska Island, the second largest island in the Aleutian Chain. A 500-foot bridge connects the two islands. Unalaska is approximately 800 air miles southwest of Anchorage. Access:
Scheduled daily air service from Anchorage ranging from small commuter planes to jet service. Ferry service is provided by the Alaska Marine Highway System, once a month, from April through October. Accomodations:
Three hotels/motels (184 rooms), three bunkhouses (104 rooms), one bed & breakfast. Seven restaurants and three grocery stores. Frequently Asked Questions about life in Unalaska: What is the population? Approximately 4,300 people year round, and 5,000-10,000 transient. How many miles of road? Approximately 6 miles of paved road, and about 38 miles of road total.
Dutch Harbor News