Tuxedni Bay, Cook Inlet

Tuxedni Bay is surrounded by Lake Clark National Park and Preserve on the western shore of Cook Inlet. The bay extends southeast from the mouth of the Tuxedni River in the Chigmit Mountains of the Aleutian Range to Chisik Island. 

The Chigmit Mountains, along with most of the Aleutian Range, are volcanic and include two prominent glacier-covered stratovolcanoes. To the north of Tuxedni Bay is Redoubt Volcano, which at 10,197 feet (3,108 m) is the highest elevation of the Aleutian Range, and to the south is Iliamna Volcano at 10,016 feet (3,052 m). Redoubt has been active for millennia with major eruptions in 1902, 1966, 1989 and 2009. Iliamna is also active with nearly constant fumarolic steaming but the last confirmed eruption was in 1876. The Tuxedni River is partially fed by the Tuxedni Glacier that flows from the north flank of Iliamna and is a popular route for summit attempts and ski descents.

The geography of Tuxedni Bay is dominated by the tides that can range between 22.0 feet (6.7 m) and -5.6 feet (-1.7 m) creating extensive mud flats and salt marshes. Magnetic Island is on the north side of Tuxnedi Bay surrounded by mudflats. The island got its name from the presence of magnetism (probably from magnetite). The island is significant as a site of prehistoric human habitation with stone tools found dating to c. 1800-1400 BCE. Fossil Point on the west shore of the bay is one of the most productive marine invertebrate fossil sites known in Alaska. The Middle Jurassic Tuxedni Group contains exceptionally rich and diverse fossils of invertebrate animals including ammonites and large bivalves.

Chisik and Duck Islands at the mouth of Tuxedni Bay were established as a wildlife refuge for seabirds, bald eagles and peregrine falcons in 1909. In 1970 these islands were designated as Wilderness and in 1980 became part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. A cannery was built in 1919 at Snug Harbor on Chisik Island for razor clams and salmon. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Tuxedni Bay.