Baranof Island



Baranof Island


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The uninhabited island of Baranof is one of Alaska’s most untouched treasures. Located in the Gulf of Alaska, the island is made up of a series of rocky coasts and glaciers that stretch for over 50 miles. The island is also home to a vast array of wildlife, making it a hotspot for nature lovers. If you are looking to explore Alaska’s interior and get away from it all, then this is the place for you!

Baranof Island


The island of Baranof was first explored by the Russians in 1741. The English claimed the island in 1794, and it became part of Alaska Territory in 1912. The US government bought the island from England for $175,000 in 1884, and declared it an official wildlife refuge three years later.


Although there is currently no permanent human population on Baranof Island, visitors are still allowed to land on the property as long as they follow a few guidelines. Visitors are not allowed to camp or build fires on the island; they must also leave all traces of their visit behind. The island is a remarkable place, and it offers an incredibly peaceful environment for nature lovers to explore. If you are looking for an adventure, then Baranof Island is definitely worth a visit!


Baranof Island has a subarctic climate, which means that it experiences cold winters and cool summers. The weather can change quickly on the island, so be prepared for anything! The weather is reasonably predictable, with the rainiest months being July and August. Alaskans that visit Baranof for its astoundingly beautiful landscape should be prepared to deal with chilly temperatures at all times of year.

Temperature in January: 40  F (4C)

Temperature in February: 33 F (-0C) Temperature Highest Recorded 99F(37c); Record low 0-1(-17c), monthly extremes 9 C Average annual precipitation 37″ Snowfall March – May – 12in./6ft., November – 26″, December 8/12in.; June – 1in.; Average annual temperature 50.5 F Humidity 39% Record low -25 dec, January 1934.


Today, most of the culture on Baranof Island is focused on preserving its natural resources. Visitors are welcome to visit the island, but they must abide by certain guidelines in order to avoid damaging or spoiling the environment. While there is no permanent human population on the island, visitors are encouraged to respect and protect Baranof’s wildlife populations.



If you’re looking to see some of the planet’s most stunning wildlife, then Baranof Island is definitely worth a visit! The island is home to a variety of animals, including caribou, grizzly bears, and wolves. While many of the animal populations are still relatively unknown and undiscovered, visitors are encouraged to support conservation efforts by following guidelines set forth by the local community.

In addition to their natural habitats and populations, visitors are encouraged to seek out the history of Baranof’s white inhabitants in order to help preserve the island’s culture.


The terrain on Baranof Island is Level 4 (Accessible by hiking) The Geology of Baranof is dominated by glacial sediment; there are 11 glaciers just off shore that cover thousands of acres leaving only small areas unglaciated resulting in a national park site which encompasses all mainland Alaska as well as Unimak “safety” islands [7] From my reading I would say low end ave temp would be about 34F with a low end Min Temp of 21, high end around 40 F.

Most likely that summer low’s temperature is 33-35 F range on avg and those 3 days in December should see temps lower than 18 or the highest in Dec & Jan at 83 to 86 degrees @ 2900 feet altitude [8] Barely touching -15`C In late Sept (early Oct) Nenana was butt naked here.


The U.S. State of Alaska has jurisdiction over Baranof Island and is responsible for issuing permits to visitors, enforcing the regulations set by the National Park Service, and managing park resources. Visitors are asked to contact state authorities in order to obtain information on specific park restrictions that may apply in specific areas of the island.

Government services

Post office, health clinic, airport and herring cannery are located at Baranof, a small island just 20 miles north of Sitka. The airport is best accessed by float plane tour during summer months and via the lightship during winter/autumn journeys to get there by ship takes almost 2 days (round trip). This is also your only access during spring through fall with high seas or bad weather that comes up quickly on this harbor island – then they will close it down until conditions improve.


Baranof Island is a magical place, and it’s no wonder that tourists flock to it in droves every year. The island boasts crystal clear waters, breathtaking views, and diverse landscape that makes for an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re there for the day or for an extended stay, there are plenty of activities and places to explore. Here are 5 things you should know about Baranof Island before visiting!


What Is The Climate Like On Baranof Island?

The climate on Baranof Island is typically moderate, with cool summers and mild winters. However, there can be a bit of variance depending on the season. For example, in summer the temperature can reach up to 31 degrees Celsius while in winter it can drop below freezing!

How Many People Live On Baranof Island?

There are currently no residents living on Baranof Island. This makes it one of Alaska’s most untouched treasures! The island was first settled by Russians in 1802 but abandoned within a year, leaving untouched wilderness for over a century.

The island remained deserted until the 1930s when it was located on a map of navigable waterways and public land in Alaska managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Some landed homesteaders started settling Baranof Island again, but were unsuccessful due from no running water or electricity. That could possibly be why this island is so hard to get to!

What Can You Do At Baranof Island?

There are plenty of options for things to do on this little piece off heaven if that’s what you’re into! -Hiking, camping, kayaking and wildlife viewing are just a few of the activities that can be enjoyed on Baranof Island. -If you’re looking for some action, various fishing trips are available as well as exploring geological features and watching whales in season!

What Is The History Of Baranof Island?

There is no one definitive answer to this question, but according to legend, the island was once home to a powerful clan of Native Alaskans who were defeated by Russian fur traders. For over 100 years afterwards, nothing disturbed this lonely and majestic place until it was rediscovered by federal explorers in 1930. Since then, it’s been managed by the BLM as a wild and pristine reserve.

How Do I Get To Baranof Island?

The only way to get to Baranof Island is by boat. From Anchorage, it’s a 2-day voyage across the Gulf of Alaska and then a 3-hour land journey from the nearest populated area on the island – Ketchikan. If this sounds like something you’d love to experience, make sure to check out our travel guides for more information!

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