Photo Credit: Caribou Lake

Homer Winter Activities

Snowy backroads in Homer. Photo by Ginger Frizzell

Snowy backroads in Homer. Photo by Ginger Frizzell

You won’t visit Homer with near-guarantees of seeing the northern lights like other Alaska winter vacation hot spots. Instead, visiting Homer in winter is perfect for unplugging in a cozy ocean-front town. You might be surprised what adventures are available when the snow flies!

Fishing & Cruising

Water taxis, like Coldwater Alaska, operate year-round. Enjoy spectacular sightseeing tours out on Kachemak Bay, or take the taxis over to the wonderfully remote cabins and yurts across the bay. These trips are weather-dependent, but October and March/April are the most reliable times for wintry but pleasant weather.

And while you’re there, try some winter fishing! We’re not just talking about ice fishing. O’Fish’ial Charters can get you out to fish for Winter Kings (October–March) and Tanner Crabs, also known as snow crabs (October–February). The full-day trips last from 6 to 8 hours. You’ll be plenty warm in the boats’ heated cabins between reeling in catches. The company can also arrange fishing packages with lodging.

Flightseeing

There’s no bad time of year to see Alaska’s landscape from above. Book a 45-minute or 1-hour flightseeing tour with Smokey Bay Air to soar over snow-covered mountains and icefields, with towering volcanoes looming in the distance.

Hiking & Cross-Country Skiing

There’s no better way to experience Homer like a local than by hitting the trails, whether on foot or skis. This is how Alaskans recreate in the winter, and the scenery won’t disappoint! Trails at the Wynn Nature Center are open year-round for hiking and snowshoeing. They’re not cleared or groomed, but the most popular ones are often well-packed from use. These include the 1.5 mile Lutz/Fireweed Loop and the ¾ Dogwood Loop. Both start from the main cabin, where you’ll also find a large trail map of the area. Come on Sundays from January through March for some extra fun: The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies hosts a Wynnter Sunday Funday event from 1–3pm, often complete with s’mores and hot dogs! The center also rents snowshoes: They’re $5 for 3 days and can be checked out from the Coastal Studies headquarters at 708 Smoky Bay Way, or from the Wynn Nature Center during a Sunday program.

You can also sample Homer’s impressive system of groomed ski trails maintained by the Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Club. Trails are clustered in three main parts of town; you can view the trail systems on their website.

Between Beaches in Kachemak Bay State Park

Between Beaches in Kachemak Bay State Park

Winter Lodging

Most hotels in Homer are open year-round. Enjoy a walk along the rocky beach when you stay at Lands End Resort, set at the end of the Homer Spit. In-town options include the Driftwood Inn in the heart of Old Town Homer, Seafarer Suites on the main street of downtown Homer, or Kenai Peninsula Suites, set high on a bluff overlooking Kachemak Bay. For accommodations with a home-away-from-home feel, Paula’s Place B&B and Cozy Cove Inn are favorite local B&Bs.

Across Kachemak Bay, most wilderness lodges close in the winter, but Between Beaches in Seldovia stays open year-round and makes an idyllic winter retreat. These cozy cabins are dry in winter, but provide waterfront views, outdoor fire pits, and a wood-fired sauna and hot tub!

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Winter Activities

Season: Year Round $325+ 6 hrs+

O’Fish’ial spe­cial­izes in salt­wa­ter hal­ibut and king salmon char­ter fish­ing expe­ri­ences out of Homer, as well as Long Range tro­phy fish hunts. Own­er Chad has spent count­less hours with sea­soned Alaskan fish­er­men who shared time-test­ed advice – and their fish­ing hotspots – with him. He com­bines this knowl­edge with a cus­tomer-ser­vice focus and pas­sion for shar­ing all the excite­ment and adven­ture Alas­ka fish­ing has to offer.

Out on the tip of the Kenai Penin­su­la, at (lit­er­al­ly) the end of the road, sits the quirky town of Homer — the eco­tourism cap­i­tal of Alas­ka. Artists, adven­tur­ers, and food­ies all come to expe­ri­ence the town’s cre­ative ener­gy, great restau­rants, and gor­geous wilder­ness. And at the entrance to town, just off the Ster­ling High­way, you’ll find the Homer Cham­ber of Com­merce Vis­i­tor Center.

Season: Year Round $725 Bear Viewing, $245+ Flightseeing 45 min - 5 hrs

Watch bears dig­ging for clams, wan­der­ing the sedge grass, or nurs­ing their young – all in a short flight from Homer to Kat­mai or Lake Clark Nation­al Park. Smokey Bay’s bear tours last about five hours total — includ­ing flights and about three hours on the ground. On any giv­en day there will always be a morn­ing out­ing (leav­ing at 8 a.m. at the lat­est) and pos­si­bly one that leaves around 2 p.m.

The Homer Spit is a long, nar­row fin­ger of land jut­ting 4.5 miles into Kachemak Bay. Dot­ted with busi­ness­es, the area caters to vis­i­tors and pro­vides numer­ous recre­ation oppor­tu­ni­ties, from fish­ing and beach­comb­ing to shop­ping and boating.

Season: Year Round $85+ 2 hrs - Full Day

Whether you’d like to go on a per­son­al­ized boat tour of the Homer area or take a water taxi to the Alaskan back­coun­try, Homer is an ide­al place to launch from, and Cold­wa­ter has the boats and exper­tise to get you there. Explore places like Kachemak Bay State Park, the small town of Sel­dovia, and pic­turesque Hal­ibut Cove.

The Raven’s Way Loop is accessed from the Ster­ling High­way. You will see the Trail­head and large park­ing lot. The trail mean­ders through open spruce and muskeg ter­rain and there it is a great chance to see lots of eagles and ravens.

Ever gone ice fish­ing? Cari­bou lake is a great place to enjoy this cold and unique expe­ri­ence. You can spend a qui­et day to your­self, fish­ing for Dol­ly Var­den and Koka­nee. Or if you’re feel­ing more com­pet­i­tive, you can par­tic­i­pate in the Sno­mad’s (Home­r’s snow machine club) annu­al ice fish­ing con­test. (Either way, dress in warm lay­ers and be pre­pared to sit or stand in the cold!)

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