Pasagshak, siting at a remote river delta on Kodiak Island, greets intrepid visitors with spectacular seascapes, copious wildlife and world-class salmon fishing.
Pasagshak takes some planning to get to; visitors with RVs have to ferry from the mainland to the town of Kodiak and then drive about an hour south to reach the park. What the site may lack in convenience, though, it more than makes up for in rugged beauty. The surrounding countryside, fed by tremendous quantities of rainwater, is blanketed in lush green. Nearby mountains reach dramatically skyward, piercing the Alaskan sky. And out at sea, whales, dolphins, seals, and numerous marine birds thrive thanks to the surrounding sea's cool, nutrient-rich waters. Anglers will find paradise on the salmon-filled river, while kayakers can paddle along miles and miles of stunning shoreline. Pasagshak can also provide a lovely base from which to explore other parts of Kodiak Island - several trailheads and fishing opportunities can be found along the road from Kodiak to the park.
Because of its relative remoteness, Pasagshak does not see the throngs of visitors which other Alaskan destinations do. The park's modest campground has just a dozen sites, six of which are suitable for RVs. Sites are all first-come first-served.
Pasagshak is about an hour's drive from Kodiak, Alaska. Being an island town, Kodiak is only reachable by ferry for RVers. Once you've reached the island, though, navigation isn't too challenging. There are so few roads that it's hard to get lost! Drivers can take the Chiniak Highway out of Kodiak, and they can then turn onto Pasagshak Road, which will take them straight into the park. The drive is paved, though some steep sections and sharp turns are present, as the route traverses Kodiak's rugged coastline. Adverse driving conditions, usually in the form of heavy rain, are common along the route, so take things slowly.
Pasagshak's camping area is very open, offering plenty of space for maneuvering even larger rigs (the RV length limit is capped at 40 ft). Visitors should find no trouble parking and setting up. As the park is small (just 25 acres) everything is within walking distance of the campsite.
Visitors who venture all the way out to Pasagshak will find themselves rewarded for their commitment. Pasagshak Bay, ringed by green-clad slopes which dive into sandy beaches, will sit right out your front door. The parks quiet but tremendously scenic campground features a dozen primitive sites, six of which are large enough to accommodate RVs. Camping (unsurprisingly) is primitive, with no water, electric or sewer hookups available. The park does provide hand-pump water spigots and several vault toilets, however. Picnic tables and shelters are available, too.
Alaska State Parks asks that visitors take all trash out with them, as garbage removal can be extremely difficult and expensive at this remote beach. Dump stations can be found in the town of Kodiak.
Unlike at many other Alaskan parks, all sites at Pasagshak are first-come first-served. Camping stays are limited to one week.
Paddlers can enjoy the journey of a lifetime at Pasagshak. Head upriver or explore the island's wild seacoast - whatever direction you choose to head, you'll be treated to absolutely stunning views that will heighten your sense of just how vast this Alaskan wilderness is. Upriver travelers can cast their lines in the rich waters of the Pasagshak, while those paddling out to see have the chance to experience a close-up encounter with whales or dolphins.
Pasagshak itself doesn't have any developed hiking trails, although visitors can certainly go for a long jaunt along the gorgeous beach. Kodiak Island offers lots several other hiking opportunities nearby. A climb up Pyramid mountain offers intrepid hikers a sweeping view of the rugged surrounding country. Pillar Mountain is another popular peak; if you're really looking to get a workout, take part in the 9.2-mile Pillar Mountain race that takes place every year during Kodiak's Crab Festival in May. Plenty of gentler trails, which still showcase Kodiak's wild beauty, are available too.
Anglers, just like island's bears and eagles, are almost magnetically drawn to Kodiak's rich waters. Pasagshak offers truly-world class fishing opportunities, as do the many smaller streams and rivers which wind their way across Kodiak's deep green landscape. Sockeye, pink, chum and silver salmon - all reaching enormous sizes - can be pulled by anglers. Dolly Varden trout are present as well. Fishing spots can be accessed by foot or by kayak, and wherever you choose to cast your line, it is almost a guarantee that you'll have a magnificent landscape to soak in as you wait for your first bite.
One of Kodiak Island's most famous inhabitants is the Kodiak Bear - this massive ursine, one of the largest on earth, is a subspecies of the brown bear, and is found only on the Kodiak Archipelago. Huge marine mammals abound as well. Just off the coast from Pasagshak, visitors may spot dolphins, seals and whales feeding in the rich, cold waters of Ugak Bay. Seabirds, such as buffleheads, surf scoters and common eiders, can be found nesting in massive numbers along Kodiak's shorelines, while bald eagles soar the skies overhead and perch on tall riverside spruces.
Miles of pristine beaches beaches await visitors to Pasagshak and to Kodiak at large. While you may not experience tropical temperatures here, you'll be able to take in magnificent seascapes and dramatic vistas along the shore. Beachcoming is popular at Pasagshak; visitors can look for oceanic treasures - beautiful shells, driftwood, sea glass and more - washed up on these remote shores. Taking any walk along the beach, you're likely to spot some of Kodiak's wildlife as well.
Whether you're a wildlife photographer, a macro photographer, a landscape photographer, or a little bit of each, you'll find endless opportunities at Pasagshak. Capture stunning actions shots of eagles or bears (or both!) hunting some of the island's prodigious salmon and trout. Head out onto the water and snag a photo of a breaching whale. Wait patiently on the beach until the lighting is just right to get that spectacular seascape shot. Tide-pools, beach critters and a lush, diverse flora provide excellent subjects for those with a macro lens.