World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Cold Bay, Alaska

Cold Bay
Cold Bay sometime in the late 20th century. Cold Bay Airport‍ '​s runways are visible.
Cold Bay sometime in the late 20th century. Cold Bay Airport‍ '​s runways are visible.
Cold Bay is located in Alaska
Cold Bay
Location in Alaska
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough Aleutians East
Incorporated January 1982[1]
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor Candace Schaack (acting)[2]
 • State senator Lyman Hoffman (D)
 • State rep. Bryce Edgmon (D)
 • Total 70.9 sq mi (183.7 km2)
 • Land 54.4 sq mi (140.8 km2)
 • Water 16.6 sq mi (42.9 km2)
Elevation 138 ft (42 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 109
 • Estimate (2015) 60
Time zone Alaska (AKST) (UTC-9)
 • Summer (DST) AKDT (UTC-8)
ZIP code 99571
Area code 907
FIPS code 02-16530

Cold Bay (Udaamagax[4] in Aleut) is a city in Aleutians East Borough, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 108.

Cold Bay is one of the main commercial centers of the Alaska Peninsula, and is home to Cold Bay Airport.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Environment 3
    • Climate 3.1
  • Demographics 4
    • 2000 census 4.1
    • Religion 4.2
  • Economy 5
  • Culture 6
    • Traditions 6.1
  • Parks and recreation 7
    • Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 7.1
  • Government 8
    • List of mayors 8.1
  • Education 9
    • Cold Bay School 9.1
  • Places of worship 10
  • Infrastructure 11
    • Transportation 11.1
      • Road Transportation 11.1.1
      • Water Transportation 11.1.2
      • Aviation 11.1.3
  • References 12
  • External links 13


There is evidence of prehistoric occupation by Aleuts and later Russian encampments. Cold Bay's American history began with the Japanese invasion of the Aleutians in World War II. General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. ordered the creation of Fort Randall, an airbase on the shores of Cold Bay, in 1942 as a part of a general expansion of American assets in the Aleutians. It (along with Otter Point) served as a base for the 11th Air Force to provide protection to the only deep water port in the Aleutians at the time, Dutch Harbor. This protection was proved necessary when during Yamamoto's Midway Campaign a diversionary attack was launched against Dutch Harbor. The initial attack was repulsed by the surprise presence of P-40s stationed here. A second larger attack with its own fighter escort the next day succeeded in causing minor damage. Later, with the victory in the Pacific, the forces grew to 20,000 troops. The quonset huts used to house this massive encampment still stand around the community today. It also was a base of operations for the US Navy with the USS Casco among those based in Cold Bay, according to the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, published by the Department of the Navy. (Reference: )

In the spring and summer of 1945, Cold Bay was the site of the largest and most ambitious transfer program of World War II, Project Hula, in which the United States transferred dozens of ships and craft to the Soviet Union and trained Soviet personnel in their operation in anticipation of the Soviet Union entering the war against Japan.

In later decades, control of the airfield passed to civil authorities, who maintained it as a particularly useful location for fueling and emergency landing needs on great circle flights from the west coast of the United States to East Asia. A Distant Early Warning Line station was established nearby and eventually was decommissioned.

During the 1980s, deregulation of the airline industry under President Ronald Reagan caused many of the compelling interests supporting the need for the community to evaporate. Today, Cold Bay functions as a hub for traffic from Anchorage and Seattle to the small communities around it, and continues to serve as an emergency runway for aircraft flying over the North Pacific.

On 30 October 2013, Delta Air Lines Flight 208 made an emergency landing at Cold Bay Airport after a warning message appeared on an engine control panel. A second aircraft from Seattle was sent to pick up the passengers and take them to their intended destination, San Francisco. Passengers were allowed to stay in Cold Bay's community center while they waited for the plane from Seattle.


Cold Bay is located at (55.209038, -162.714298).[5] It is west of Hawaii.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 70.9 square miles (184 km2), of which, 54.4 square miles (141 km2) of it is land and 16.6 square miles (43 km2) of it (23.34%) is water.

Cold Bay holds the record for most overcast town in America[6]



Cold Bay has the typical subpolar oceanic climate (Köppen Cfc) of southwest Alaska, though the summers are almost cool enough to qualify as a polar climate (ET).

Climate data for Cold Bay, Alaska
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 51
Average high °F (°C) 33.1
Average low °F (°C) 24.1
Record low °F (°C) −8
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.84
Average snowfall inches (cm) 10.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01-inch) 19.0 17.3 18.0 16.1 17.4 16.0 16.7 19.9 20.7 22.7 21.6 20.6 226.0
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 inch) 3.6 3.6 3.6 1.8 0.5 0 0 0 0 1.0 2.5 3.6 20.2
Source #1: [7]
Source #2: [8](snowfall means)


Cold Bay is a highly transient community, lacking the generational attachment characteristic of the surrounding native villages. Residents, drawn to the area largely by the Wildlife Refuge, Weather Service, or air traffic jobs, rarely stay more than a year in Cold Bay.

2000 census

At the 2000 census, there were 88 people, 36 households and 18 families residing in the city. The population density was 1.6 per square mile (0.6/km²). There were 98 housing units at an average density of 1.8 per square mile (0.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72% White, 3% Black or African American, 17% Native American, 5% Asian, 2%Pacific Islander, and 1%from two or more races. 2%of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 36 households of which 33% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44% were married couples living together, 3%had a female householder with no husband present, and 50% were non-families. 36% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2 and the average family size was 3.

Age distribution was 24% under the age of 18, 9% from 18 to 24, 40% from 25 to 44, 27% from 45 to 64. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 184 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 205 males.

The median household income was $55,750, and the median family income was $64,375. Males had a median income of $36,250 versus $38,333 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,037. There were no families and 27% of the population living below the poverty line, including no one under eighteen or over 64.


Cold Bay has a significant Baptist population, and the town's only church is a Southern Baptist Convention chapel.[10]


The Bearfoot Inn

Cold Bay has one store, the Bearfoot Inn Alaska, formerly known as the World Famous Weathered Inn. It supplies groceries to the residents of Cold Bay and other communities within the Aleutians

East Borough, although many residents order groceries and supplies from suppliers in Anchorage and Seattle. The Bearfoot Inn also offers lodging with its 8-room hotel and 6-room bunk house. Within the main building there is the Bearfoot Inn Bar which is open 3 to 6 days a week depending on the season. Bearfoot Inn is within walking distance of the airport.

Cold Bay Lodge is the only restaurant in town. The lodge can accommodate up to 40 people, has wireless Internet access, and is less than a mile from the airport.



A major community event is the Silver Salmon Derby, a fishing contest that takes place every fall. Participants vie in both adult and child categories for cash prizes for the largest fish. A raft race and "Polar Bear Jump" are also held. The Derby concludes with a banquet and door prize giveaway in the school gymnasium.

Parks and recreation

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

The 498,000-acre (2,020 km2) Izembek refuge was established in 1960. It encompasses several large lagoons, including the 30-mile (48 km) Izembek Lagoon, which serve as a food source and shelter for a large migratory bird population.

Approximately 130,000 Pacific black brant, 62,000 emperor geese, 50,000 Taverner's Canada geese, 300,000 ducks, and 80,000 shore birds stop over in the Izembek area during migration and as many as 50,000 Steller's eiders find winter grounds there.[11]


Cold Bay uses a

  • [6]
  • [7]
  • [8]
  • [9]
  • [10]

External links

  1. ^ 1996 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory.  
  2. ^ Boots, Michelle Theriault (August 8, 2015). "The last kid in Cold Bay".  
  3. ^ "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  6. ^
  7. ^ "COLD BAY, ALASKA: NORMALS, MEANS, AND EXTREMES - Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary 3/2/1950 to 12/31/2009". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "COLD BAY WB AIRPORT, ALASKA - Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary 3/2/1950 to 12/31/2009". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "Cold Bay Community Chapel". FaithStreet. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  11. ^ Izembek National Wildlife Refuge website
  12. ^ Theriault Boots, Michelle (8 August 2015). "The last kid in Cold Bay". Alaska Dispatch News. Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference - Cold Bay". Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  14. ^ "'"PUBLIC LANDS: 'The scariest plane ride of your life. Retrieved 2015-10-24. 
  15. ^ a b Region, United States Minerals Management Service Alaska OCS (1985-01-01). Proposed North Aleutian Basin lease sale (sale 92): draft environmental impact statement. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Alaska Outer Continental Shelf Region. 
  16. ^ "In shrinking town of Cold Bay, a last kid". Juneau Empire - Alaska's Capital City Online Newspaper. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 


Cold Bay is serviced by Cold Bay Airport, holding the fifth-largest runway in Alaska, and a second, smaller one. Regional flights occur six times a week.


A state ferry travels between Cold Bay and Kodiak twice a month between May and October, and cargo ships visit the city monthly from Seattle, Washington.[13] Currently, the city only has a dock and a seaplane base, but the city hopes to develop a breakwater, boat harbor and boat launch.[13]

Water Transportation

Cold Bay has approximately 40 miles of gravel roads, and a state-owned paved highway.[13]

Road Transportation



Cold Bay has one place of worship, the Cold Bay Community Chapel, a Baptist church in the Southern Baptist Convention tradition.[10][10]

Places of worship

The Cold Bay School employed one teacher and served the community's four to nine students from 2013 until 2015. The AEBSD School Board chose to close the Cold Bay School in May 2015 after enrollment dropped to just four students.[16]

Despite its remote location, the school was involved in state and national activities, such as hosting the military's "Operation Arctic Care" outreach health program in 2002, and by briefly becoming involved with reporting for CNN Student Bureau that same year.

The Cold Bay School operated as a public school in the Aleutians East Borough School District (AEBSD). In the 1980s, its typically had around 30 students.[15] In 1985 it reached peak enrollment, with 50 students and four teachers.[15]

Cold Bay School


Mayor Term
unknown 1982-2004
John Maxwell[14] 2004-2010
Jorge Lopez 2010-2015
Candace Schaak 2015–present

List of mayors

[13] The city clerk is Dawn Lyons.[12]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.