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Izembek Wilderness

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A red fox stands in tall, golden grasses amid snow.  In the distance, a snowy peak crowns the horizon.
Library image #2865: Mount Dutton


The United States Congress designated the Izembek Wilderness (map) in 1980 and it now has a total of 307,982 acres (307981.76 acres, technically). All of this wilderness is located in Alaska and is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service.


On the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, 320,893-acre Izembek National Wildlife Refuge sees a quarter-million migratory birds land every fall, including the entire world's population of black brants and thousands of Canada and emperor geese, ducks, and shorebirds. Izembek Lagoon (5 by 30 miles) contains one of the largest eelgrass beds in the world, providing food and shelter for migratory birds. Tundra swans live on the refuge year-round. Gray, minke, and killer whales migrate along the coast by the thousands. Sea otters are the most common inhabitants of the lagoon. Hundreds of thousands of salmon begin and end their life cycles on the refuge. The brown bear habitat is unparalleled, and caribou wander through in herds. Smoking volcanoes and glaciated mountains tower over lakes and meandering rivers that drain into lagoons opening on the Bering Sea. The castlelike Aghileen Pinnacles form a portion of the boundary between Izembek and the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge. Hunting and fishing draw many visitors. No maintained trails exist, and the terrain can be rugged. All of the refuge has been designated Wilderness, except the land along a gravel road system and several private inholdings.

Planning to Visit the Izembek Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Izembek Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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