The Crossroads of the Seas

Adak Island, located in Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain, is the largest island in the Andreanof Island group.  It is located approximately 1,300 miles southwest of Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, and 350 miles west of Dutch Harbor, AK.  The island has a land area of approximately 280 square miles, making it the 25th largest island in the United States.  Adak Island’s second-class city, Adak, is the southernmost city in Alaska and the most western city in the United States.

Following the closure of the U.S. Adak Naval base in March 1997, the Aleut Corporation purchased Adak’s facilities under a land transfer agreement with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Navy/Department of Defense.  The Aleut Corporation now owns the northern half of Adak Island; the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge owns Adak’s southern half. 

The Aleut Corporation’s subsidiary companies manage a year-round, ice-free port, a fuel farm with a 20 million gallon storage capacity, and commercial and residential properties that are available for lease.  Other Adak facilities include Adak Fisheries, LLC—a year-round fish processing plant—and the SBX radar, which is part of the Ground Based Missile Defense System.  These attributes, together with Adak’s proximity to the great shipping circle route, make Adak a busy community with a growing future.

The tiny community of Adak is supported by one major lifeline—the old airfield and runways, which are kept in top condition.  Twice a week, fifty-two weeks a year, Alaska Airlines operates (with about 90% reliability) a 2,600-mile, round-trip flight from Anchorage.  On instate flights passengers are allowed 3, 50lb pieces of luggage plus a carry-on.  The flights operate every Sunday and Thursday, and bring both visitors—such as birders—and the supplies needed to sustain the community.

An undeveloped land use permit, with a few easement exceptions, is required for all non-residents visiting Adak Island. For information on permits, easement maps, caribou, birding, and general Adak Island information, cell 907.562.5444 or email

The Homer and Adak offices for the Aleutian Islands Unit are also good sources of information.  They can be reached by phone at 907.235.6546.  The biologists and refuge contacts are extremely knowledgeable and helpful regarding caribou, birds, marine wildlife and the endangered Aleutian Shield Fern – currently only known to exist on the slopes of Mt. Reed in Adak.