Aleutian World War II National Historic Area

The Aleutian World War II National Historic Area honors both American service members and Native Aleuts whose lives were disrupted during the Aleutian Island chain's Japanese invasion in June of 1942. The site is an “Affiliated Area” of the National Park Service, which means a private organization (Ounalashka Corporation) operates it under the National Park Service's auspices. After the invasion, American forces rounded up the Aleuts and relocated them to the mainland near Anchorage. All Aleut homes, shops, and churches were destroyed in the process, and only a few have seen reconstruction. In memory of those times, Aleut dependents purchased much of the land on Mount Ballyhoo, which stands like a fist overlooking Dutch Harbor. At Amaknak Island, of which Mount Ballyhoo is the eastward extension into the harbor, visitors still find pillboxes and gun emplacements. 

Where to Stay

RV Parks & Campgrounds Near Aleutian World War II National Historic Area

The Aleutian World War II National Historic Area is on Unalaska Island, far out along the Aleutian Island chain. The nearest mainland is the Aleutian Peninsula, which is rugged and nearly impenetrable, with roads limited to local towns near the coast. That leaves the Kenai Peninsula as the best way to visit the area by traveling as far down the peninsula as possible, finding an RV park, and taking a plane out of Anchorage or the weekly Island Chain Ferry from Homer. Using an RV to travel the Kenai Peninsula allows you to view all the natural wonders along the way in a self-contained unit with modern amenities to make life easy while on the road. The best way to rent an RV in the area is through RVshare.

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Aleutian World War II National Historic Area

To enjoy this area's immensity, drop by the Ounalashka Corporation's headquarters and purchase a permit to explore it thoroughly. Hikes take visitors from pillboxes to bunkers to gun emplacements along various trails that climb Amaknak Island's heights. Walking from one site to another, visitors often notice dips in the land where tunnels beneath the soil have collapsed. At the tip of the island where the foundations of an 8-inch gun emplacement still exist, the view over Dutch Harbor and beyond is magnificent. Many visitors come to observe the bald eagles, ground squirrels, and the occasional fox that have reclaimed this area as their natural home.

Hiking Trails

Sightseeing

Museums

Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Aleutian World War II National Historic Area

To approach the area from the Dutch Harbor Airport, get onto Airport Beach Road. Drive for 0.1 miles and turn left onto Ballyhoo Road. Drive for 1.2 miles. At the intersection, continue straight ahead onto Ulakta Drive. Take the twisty Ulakta Drive for 1.3 miles and turn left into the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area parking lot. Aleutian World War II National Historic Area is a day-use area that is open from dawn to dusk each day.

Address

240 W 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501

Fee: Entry fee (single person) $6

Fee: Entry fee (family) $10

Everyone who has the chance should visit the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area as an homage, if nothing else, to those who suffered during that conflict. Though the location is remote and requires a hike, there is nothing like a personal tour of a place with burgeoning wildlife and incredible views framed with wild winds and a frothy ocean. The visit is worth every second. Together with an RV trip through the Alaska wilderness, the journey by ferry or plane to this park will remain with you for a lifetime.