Iliamna Lake

Iliamna Travel Blog

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Floatplanes at a lodge in Iliamna

My Air Iliamna flight out of Anchorage descended through gray and white clouds to follow the southern shore of Iliamna Lake. The spruce trees, occasional remote cabin, and distant snow-covered mountains reaching into the clouds all shouted 'Alaska!'  It is a thrill to be back to work, out of the hangar, and into its wilderness.


Iliamna Lake is the largest lake in Alaska and the eighth largest in the United States. It is located in the southwestern part of the state at the northern end of the Alaska Peninsula which reaches five hundred miles into the north Pacific Ocean. (Beyond the peninsula, the  Aleutian Islands arc another 1,500 miles into the sea! To visualize the vastness of Alaska, imagine Ketchikan in the southeast 'panhandle' overlaying southern Florida.

Roadhouse Mountain, just north of Iliamna
Barrow would be in northern Minnesota and the furthest tip of the Aleutian Islands would reach beyond the California coast off San Diego.)


 Covering a thousand square miles, Iliamna Lake is about 75 miles long and up to 20 miles wide. The lake is well-known for its world-class sports fishing and its three primary catches are trout, salmon, and grayling. The lake also contains one of only two populations of fresh water seals in the world.


We landed on the gravel airstrip at Kokhanok to let off one passenger. As our single-engine commuter continued north, the pilot shouted that he would descend if he spotted any of the fresh-water seals inhabiting the lake. Unfortunately he didn't on the short crossing to the isolated village of Iliamna.


The major sources of income for Iliamna is commercial fishing, sport fishing, and tourism. Numerous residents hold commercial fishing permits and many venture to fish in Bristol Bay each summer - a sixteen hour journey down the Kvichak River to the Bering Sea.


A geological exploration program is underway here to study the gold, copper, and molybdenum potential of the Pebble Deposit which lies 15 miles from Iliamna. The company that I work for has four of the ten helicopters supporting the project. I came to fill in for one of our mechanics while he went on a four day break.

TRE69 says:
Hi Dan...Did you see any freshwater seals?
Posted on: Aug 05, 2008
danny291 says:
very good blog and pics!
Posted on: Jul 07, 2008
Jopin says:
Great blog, and cool pics!! How've you been??
Posted on: Jul 07, 2008
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Floatplanes at a lodge in Iliamna
Floatplanes at a lodge in Iliamna
Roadhouse Mountain, just north of …
Roadhouse Mountain, just north of…
Lake Iliamna
Lake Iliamna
A Hughes 500
A Hughes 500
photo by: rotorhead85