For those with a sense of adventure, Shuyak Island State Park can be a once in a lifetime experience. The park has four cabins with some amenities, including gravity feed hot water for showers and basic cooking supplies, but the location is incredibly remote. In fact, you can only reach the park by sea or air, which can make the journey as exciting as the destination.
While the island is relatively small, being only 12 miles long and 11 miles wide, there’s still a lot to enjoy. You can take strolls under Sitka spruce, take a boat to explore the Kodiak Archipelago, or simply relax on the beach.
You’ll see a seemingly endless variety of seabirds, as well as otters, harbor seals, whales, sea lions, and Dall porpoises. The area is also home to brown bears and black-tailed deer. While the number of bears is limited, it’s important to use caution, as they can potentially be quite fierce.
The weather can also be somewhat unpredictable. You need to bring a lot of supplies with you, ranging from food to first aid supplies. When boating conditions are poor, you may be stuck on the island until conditions improve or a rescue vehicle can arrive, which can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the state of the weather.
Both fishing and hunting are permitted at Shuyak Island State Park, though shooting within a quarter mile of any cabin is prohibited.
Staying at one of the cabins does require some work. You’ll have a woodburning stove and firewood, though you’ll need to split it with the provided tools. The fresh water at the campsites must either be boiled or filtered before consumption, and water for the gravity-fed system must be hand carried in the provided jugs.
Even though the location is remote, it’s best to keep your dog on a leash. This keeps them safely under your control, which can be crucial if you encounter potentially dangerous wildlife.