Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

Seward - Chiswell Islands


The rugged and rocky Chiswell Islands rise from the Gulf of Alaska at the mouth of Resurrection Bay, 20 miles from Seward on the Kenai Peninsula. They are the most visited seabird colonies of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

How To Get There

Seward can be reached by road from Anchorage (125 miles).


Daily from May through September, several tour boat companies offer all-day tours that visit these and other islands.


Horned and tufted puffins, common and thick-billed murres, and black-legged kittiwakes swarm around these grassy sea stacks. Other attractions: endangered Steller sea lions on their breeding rookery, sea otters, humpback whales, and the chance of seeing rhinoceros auklets and ancient murrelets.

In the Vicinity

The adjacent Kenai Fjords National Park, with headquarters in Seward, has calving glaciers, nesting bald eagles, and seal haul-outs. The park is featured on the same boat tours that visit the refuge islands.

95 Sterling Highway, Suite 1
Phone: 907-235-6546
Email: [email protected]


The refuge headquarters and visitor center is located in Homer, which is at the end of the Sterling Highway, approximately 225 miles south of Anchorage. Regularly scheduled flights are available from Anchorage. The Alaska State Ferry System also serves Homer. Since most of the refuge is very remote, access is difficult and expensive. Visitors should contact the refuge for specific information about particular sites.