Alaska Peninsula Flightseeing
The wife and I are planning a sightseening/fishing adventure for a week sometime in June or July. Tentatively planning on being in the Ak Peninsula Refuge & vicinity and down towards Chignik/Port Heiden.
I have never been in that neck of the woods so....
When landing on the beach is it hard to find an area out of the tides reach?
Are the beaches wide and you just pull up above the high tide line or are you taxing up into the beach grass?
Are there many areas to land on the mainland.... strips / gravel bars?
Is there auto fuel available anywhere other than King Salmon, Cold Bay, & Sand Point?
Not looking for any top secret spots, but if you have a generic spot/strip that you wouldn't mind sharing.... firstname.lastname@example.org
Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Since nobody replied here's a little info:
I wouldn't plan on landing on the beach and staying. It can get MEAN quick. Also not alot (if any) places to "just taxi up off the beach" I would use cinder blows and other flat areas. I'd plan on using plane gas out there and that's King, Naknek, Cold Bay. Possibly pilot point.
Didn't say what type a/c you were flying but the cinder blows are soft and the grassy areas are softer. The wind blows like no other place on the planet I've been. Be careful. I don't think I've heard of anyone flightseeing down there before. You must like pain.
Fun, Done it, want to go again this spring..... Port Heiden has auto fuel most of the time, but ALWAYS ! call ahead on all your route to check...
They and others have ran out and were out for months . Chignik Cannery has fuel too (most of the time).... Beaches are fun to walk and find cool stuff, problem is there's far too much stuff than you can haul back
There are a few good places to camp along the beaches south of Port Heiden, some protection here and there...Often just off the beach inland are cinder flats wide open to land on and offer more protection...
But if it really Blows there is no such thing as protection.... wing covers /lift spoilers are really good! Landing on the beaches as always is eyes open and use your head, pull up high before you shut down. Watch for bears...lots of bears but not so many in early spring and fall. There are several old cabins here and there, personally I think it's really a great place to fly. Yes the wind blows...I used to go hide when it blew over 20-25 then spent some time down there. Found that 30-35 was just another day and got use to it, even started to like it. Always found a place to land pretty near into it, sometimes you wonder what your going to do next after you stop ? That is how your going to stay there?
Would be into a fly out, if several want to go this coming spring. Weather gets better and better after mid. May.
From what I saw, there aren't any places to taxi to get above the high tides near Port Heiden. Like Ak-hunt said, I would go inland about 10-15 miles and land on the cinder beds and tuck behind a hill and prepare for 50+ mph winds.
Port Heiden was out of fuel for at least two months this fall. Pilot Point only had auto gas, no 100ll. Some part time guys at Ugasik (6 mi east of Pilot Point) said they might put a tank in next year.
The volcanoe crater east of Port Heiden was very interesting for me to see. I hear people camp and raft down the river through the gate in the east side of the crater.
Goosepilot, guess you're talking about Aniakchak crater. Neat place, for sure.
Originally Posted by goosepilot
I agree about the inland lava beds. Much better up in the foothills for overnight stays, I always thought. At least the wind, if off the Bering, is going uphill and those beds are more protected than the beach. Pretty hard to tie down on the beach . . . . .
I guess if the winds get too bad, an overnighter could always sneak around Aniakchak and land on the Pacific side. Several protected spots over there.
Thanks for the info.
I am a glutton for punishment! You're only having fun when you are miserable! Right?
Thanks for the fuel info. That's always the 6 million dollar question.
I've heard the horror stories from the bear guides about the wind and I do have a healthy respect for it. I figure if we are conservative and don't push the weather we'll be ok. I haven't been much beyond the iliamna / port alsworth area, Just figured this would be a cool adventure and the wife loves to beach comb.
I have a PA 12 with big tires and I've landed in a few soft spots before, including beaches in prince william sound. Are these cynder blows bottomless and scary or soft & be careful. I don't like being scared.
I had planned on taking my mesh/spoiler wing covers, lots of rope, and a bunch of duck bills and just put them in wherever we landed. And figured they would be there for the next guy. I don't mind landing on beaches for the short term. It's good to hear there are likely spots away from the beach.
I've heard that crater was very cool, but was under the impression it was a floats only spot. Anybody been there on tires?
Is one side of the penninsula (inside vs. outside) better for beach combing? The wife loves to scrounge.... i'm sure we'll run out of space too!
Those cinder beds are firm enough for loaded C-180 or C-185 on 8.50x6 gear. They're not really bad at all. As for which side of the peninsula: I don't think you'll find many beaches over there on the east side. Some, yeah. And a strip or two, also. Excellent silver salmon fishing on that side (the Pacific side) if you sneak down there in early to mid August. . . . .
Originally Posted by jrb
Have a ball!
Just returned from Port Heiden to King Salmon today. Some things, like wind and cold, never change. If you've never been here before there's some things you should know. email me at email@example.com and I'll help you get your trip planned. You need to know safe places to land, where there's fuel available, lodging, weather, etc. This is not a trip to just pull up on the yoke and go. A little planning can sure help to keep you safe.
And tell your wife I'm an beach scrounger myself!