Hello and welcome to Alaska,

Phil & Beth ByrdThe Alaska Peninsula extends approximately 800 miles southwest from the mainland to the Aleutian Islands and is home to an incredible number of diverse North American wildlife populations. Guests visiting Lava Creek Lodge can expect sightings of brown bear, barren ground caribou, Arctic wolves, red fox, bald eagles and a variety of raptors along with many species of waterfowl and shorebirds using the Pacific Flyway. Moose and brown bear sightings from the ground and air are common, as are river otters, seals, walrus, and whales. Pairs of snow-white tundra swan can be seen from the air dotting the infinite number of small lakes, waterways and lagoons, while thousands of ducks and geese – including the rare emperor goose, found only in western Alaska – fly the peninsula on their twice a year migration.

It’s a land filled with a million different hues of green, and never-ending veins of waterways connecting thousands of ponds, rivers, creeks and sloughs. All surrounded by massive volcanoes that reach from sea level deep into the sky and bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the south, Bering Sea to the north, and Kamchatka, Russia, to the west. It’s a prehistoric land, shaped by water, wind, and tectonic forces, and full of life and amazing scenery.

Aerial of Alaska

This is our home, April through October, and we thank you for coming up to visit us. We look forward to sharing our Alaska with you.

In addition to our world-class fishing, we are excited to offer a wide variety of non-fishing activities that are unique to our location and that we feel adds to your Alaskan adventure. Below are a few of our favorite excursions. Please feel free to talk with Phil or Beth if you are interested in arranging some of these while you are visiting Lava Creek Lodge.

Thank you and welcome to Alaska.

Phil & Beth Byrd
Lava Creek Lodge

Build a Family Fishing Tradition
If you are looking for a summertime family vacation that will make the entire family happy, look no further than Alaska – Land of the Last Frontier. And we can’t think of a better spot to consider than Lava Creek Lodge, a wilderness, family-oriented, full service fishing and adventure destination on the Alaska Peninsula. Lava Creek Lodge is remote, only a rifle shot from the Bering Sea, and has near exclusive access to three world-class salmon rivers and a number of smaller streams that offer incredible Dolly Varden fishing along with wild rainbow trout. The fishing is accessed by jet boat directly from the lodge, or a short, spectacularly beautiful bush plane flight over tundra dotted with swans, moose, caribou, wolves, and brown bear. The fishing is downright ridiculous – you and your family will catch plenty of fish! And you can take home fresh-caught wild Pacific salmon that will be filleted, vacuum-sealed and frozen, ready for the flight home and then into the smoker or on to the barbeque.

Lava Creek Lodge Family Activities & Excursions

Create Lifelong Memories
A week at Lava Creek Lodge is so much more than experiencing world-class fishing. Alaska is extraordinarily beautiful, wild and full of natural wonders. By land, water and air, guests will have access to 5,500 square miles of the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge, as well as Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, a volcanic natural wonder a short flight from the lodge. Imagine landing on a lake inside the massive volcanic crater of Mount Aniakchak, a dormant volcano, to take in the views and enjoy a glass of champagne. Or how about taking a short plane ride down the beach to a promontory where, below, hundreds or even thousands of bull walrus are hauled out on the beach sunning themselves. Our favorite day trip is the ultimate guided beach-combing walk on a remote stretch of coastline where explorers might find Japanese glass floats, tracks of bears and wolves, or maybe an unearthed mammoth tusk – the possibilities for treasure hunters are endless. End the day on the beach with a massive bonfire while sipping a cold (or hot) beverage and watching the Bering Sea waves crash, seals bob in the surf, and sandpipers skittering across the sand, feeding  on crustaceans.

Comfort at Lava Creek Lodge

Enjoy Comfort in Alaska Wilderness 
Just because you are literally in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. Guests are accommodated in separate private cabins with comfortable beds, comfy and warm linens, full private bathrooms with running water, and 24-hour electricity. Meals are taken in the cozy main lodge and include such dishes as steaks on the barbecue with grilled shrimp, spiral cut honey-baked ham with sweet potatoes and green beans, Cornish game hen stuffed with orange wedge, wild rice and vegetables,  barbequed salmon, rice pilaf and salad, barbequed pork chops (or loin) and grilled potatoes, and baked or barbequed halibut with crab cakes. Don’t plan on losing any weight, especially when talented Chef Betty serves homemade pie and ice cream for dessert.

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Walrus Haulouts Viewing

The largest walrus on record was 16 feet long and weighed over 5,000 pounds...

Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are the largest of the Pinnipeds “fin footed” family of marine mammals. In Alaska, the Pacific walrus’ range includes the Chukchi and Bering Seas. Lava Creek Lodge is situated at the confluence of the Bering Sea and Bristol Bay and several thousand adult male or bull walrus appear in our area each spring (late April or early May) to spend the summer feeding on the abundant

mollusks off our shoreline. After spending the entire summer on our coast, these massive (2,000 to 4,000 pound) bull walrus migrate northward in October to join the rest of the walrus herd in the St. Lawrence Island region for the winter months and breeding season which occurs in January and February. After the calving season in late spring, the great herds of bulls return once again to feed and sun themselves on our beaches, replenishing themselves after a long winter.

The most prominent feature of the walrus is its long tusks. These are elongated canines, which are present in both male and female walruses and can reach a length of over 3 feet and weigh up to 12 pounds a piece. The tusks are slightly longer and thicker among males, who use them for fighting, dominance and display; the strongest males with the largest tusks typically dominate social groups. Tusks are also used to form and maintain holes in the ice and aid the walrus in climbing out of the water onto ice.

We are about a 10-15 minute flight from the walrus haulouts. Phil will fly his four-passenger Piper Super Cub outfitted with large tundra tires and land on a black sand beach within walking distance of a rocky lookout just above the walrus. Here we generally see anywhere from 300 to 3,000 Pacific bull walrus on any given day. This is as close and personal to wild walrus as it gets — be sure to bring your camera, as it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Aniakchak Volcano & Surprise Lake Excursion

Have you ever wanted to explore the inside of a volcano?

Mount Aniakchak, part of the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” is an ancient volcanic caldera approximately six miles in diameter and 2,500 ft (762 m) deep, formed during a massive volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago. It is located in the Aleutian Range of Alaska, and is about a 10-minute flight from the lodge in our floatplane. This magnificent volcano is located within the borders of Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, and is maintained by the National Park Service. Inside the crater is Surprise

Lake, a warm, spring-fed lake and the source of the Aniakchak River, which flows through a breach in the crater rim and on to the Pacific Ocean. The last eruption of this volcano was in 1931. On a good weather day, we can fly to the volcano - inside the caldera - and land on the lake to explore and have a champagne toast. It’s a unique experience and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous.

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The Ultimate Beachcombing Trip

Finding an antique Japanese glass fishing float is one of our best finds on the beach!

To the west of Lava Creek Lodge lies the Bering Sea and its remote volcanic black sand beaches that stretch the entire length of Alaska Peninsula. Via our four-seater Piper Super Cub mounted on massive tundra tires, we have quick and easy access to over 100 miles of beach to explore. Guests comb for Japanese glass fishing floats (always a favorite), driftwood, whale and other marine bones, artifacts, fossils, shells, and debris washed off of container ships. If you can think of it, it might be

washed up on our beaches, from all over the Pacific Rim and Asia. Maybe you will find one of the now famous 28,800 plastic bathtub toys that washed off a container ship more than 20 years ago and have been the subject of many articles, a book called “Moby Duck,” and that have helped scientists track North Pacific Ocean currents. In addition to finding hidden treasures, you will see tracks of bears and wolves as well as different shore birds and waterfowl that make their summer in Alaska. We’ll land on the beach and drop you off with a seasoned guide to start your stroll, while the plane will fly down the beach a mile or so and land, waiting to pick you up at the end of your journey. Your landing spot will be marked by a bonfire, with Phil waiting to whisk you back to the lodge. Our beachcombing excursions are a blast. They are always interesting and seldom do we not find some cool hidden treasure that you can take home as a keepsake memory of your trip. This excursion can also be combined with viewing the Walrus Haulout.

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Bear and Wildlife Viewing

Brown bears can run in short bursts up to 40 mph and are excellent swimmers. They are extremely intelligent and have unique and individual personalities.

Lava Creek Lodge is located in one of the best regions of Alaska to observe and photograph brown bears in their natural habitat, living as they have for thousands of years. The Alaska Peninsula brown bear, or peninsular grizzly (Ursus arctos gyas), is a subspecies of brown bear that lives in the coastal regions of southern Alaska. They are found in high densities along the southern Alaskan coast due not only to the large

amount of clams and sedge grass but also to the prolific annual Pacific salmon runs; these enormous, annual returns allow the bears to attain huge sizes ranging in weight from 800 to 1,200 pounds.The Alaska Peninsula has one of the highest population densities of brown bear in the world - they are often seen while fishing, while flying over the landscape, or even right at the lodge. Brown bears are tireless beachcombers and can often be seen along the black sand beaches of the Bering and Pacific coasts, as well as fishing for salmon along the wild rivers we fish. We feel brown bears add to our Alaska bush experience, and we encourage guests to embrace their magnificence and their vital contribution to our pristine and wild environment. Our guides are very experienced working with and around brown bears, and you will typically get many opportunities for photographs. Enjoy them, they are amazing animals!

In addition to brown bears it’s not uncommon to see from foot, boat or plane - caribou, moose, wolf packs, beaver, wolverine, river otter, two species of fox, snowshoe hare and Canadian lynx. Bring a small set of binoculars and your telephoto lens, and keep them both handy … you never know what you are going to see.

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There are over 200 species of birds on the Alaska Peninsula.

Covering approximately 4.6 million acres (larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined), the Alaska Peninsula/Becharof National Wildlife Refuge includes an immense variety of habitats and is home to more than 200 species of birds. Species often observed on the refuge include common merganser, common goldeneye, tundra swan, greater white-fronted geese, mallard, northern pintail, American and Eurasian wigeon, American green-winged teal, Canada goose, greater scaup, northern shoveler, red-breasted merganser, black scoter, and long-tailed duck (oldsquaw). It’s an important nesting site for seabirds and waterfowl such as puffins, cormorants, kittiwakes, guillemots, emperor geese, harlequin

ducks, Steller's eider, and bald eagle.

Wading birds, shorebirds, and waterfowl rely on Alaska’s vast wetlands, lakes, and rivers, as well as its more than 40,000 miles of coastline. Migratory and resident songbirds, woodpeckers, and raptors seek shelter in its expansive forests. If you are into birding, we suggest you bring a good set of binoculars, and a notebook. We have birding books at the lodge, but if you want to bring your own, Sibley’s Bird Guide Books and folding guides are some of the best.

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Incredible Photo Opps are abundant

Have your camera ready at all times - you never know when a photo opp is going to appear...

Just about every waking minute of every day you are staying with us can turn into a photo opportunity. Whether it’s a mother bear escorting her new cubs down to the river to catch a salmon or a lone wolf trotting by the lodge marking his pack’s territory, if you have your camera handy, you will no doubt get some great shots. And on a clear day, it feels as if you can reach out and touch Aniakchak Volcano, even though it’s 30 miles away. Wildlife abounds in our area and the vistas are stunning.

By land, water or air you will get plenty of opportunities for great shots. Have your camera on you at all times, and be sure to keep your eyes and ears open.