Staying at the remote Kenai Backcountry Lodge within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge offers a real taste of the wilderness. The lodge, located on a five-acre, private in-holding, began as a river-accessed hunting cabin back in 1935. Years later, the remodeled and expanded property is still road-free, and guests raft into the lodge. Alaska Wildland Adventures pride themselves on a ‘leave no trace’ style of eco-tourism.
This 86-room lodge not only has endless views over a vast valley, but it also sits on the banks of the Kenai River, which teems with fish. With vaulted ceilings made of naturally finished wood, cozy sitting areas with wood-burning stoves and private porches, it’s easy to feel like the whole place is yours. The area is famous for its fishing, but you also have easy access to Kenai Fjords National Park, a wild land filled with glaciers, marine life and mountains. Go for a wildlife-viewing cruise, or just go for a stroll along the lodge’s own nature trail.
Looking for an intimate and accessible getaway with an authentic Alaskan feel? Alaska Wildland Adventure's Kenai Riverside Lodge will fit the bill, with just 16 cabins set on the Kenai River, surrounded by 3,000-foot snow-capped mountains. This easy-access riverside lodge has a remote feel, but is still right on the road system. Meals are served family-style, creating a more intimate experience, and allowing you to mingle with fellow guests and your guides. Spend your day hiking, fishing, or strolling down a self-guided trail. At night, take in a naturalist program, enjoy a wood-fired sauna, or just relax on the riverside deck by the fire pit.
Alaska Heavenly Lodge offers the best of both worlds: all the seclusion and luxury normally associated with fly-in lodges, as well as the affordability and convenience of being on the road system. Built in 1974, Alaska Heavenly Lodge is made up of three hand-hewn log cabins. The Main Lodge features a full kitchen, a 16-person dining room table, a comfy sitting area with a wood-burning fireplace, a loft library, and a deck overlooking the Kenai River. But it’s far from rustic: Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions, and a Jacuzzi bring the lodge fully into the 21st century.