Aleutian WWII National Historic Area

Top choice in Aleutian Islands

In 1996 Congress created this 134-acre national historic area to commemorate the bloody events of WWII that took place on the Aleutian Islands. Most of the park preserves Fort Schwatka, on Mt Ballyhoo, the highest coastal battery ever constructed in the US. Looming 1000ft above the storm-tossed waters of the Bering Sea, the Army fort encompassed more than 100 concrete observation posts, command stations and other structures built to withstand earthquakes and 100mph winds.

The gun mounts here are still among the best preserved in the country, and include tunnels and bunkers that allowed gunners to cart ammunition from one side of the mountain to the other.

The 1634ft mountain of military artifacts is behind the airport and can be reached on foot or by vehicle via Ulakta Rd, picked up half a mile north of the ferry terminal, along Ballyhoo Rd. If on foot, the gravel road is an hour’s climb to the top, but the views of Unalaska Island on the way up, and on top, are excellent. Pick up the free Fort Schwatka Self-Guided Tour brochure at the visitor center. A land-use permit (daily/weekly $6/15) from the Ounalashka Corporation is required for the park.

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