Kenai Peninsula Things to Do
Often referred to as "Alaska's Playground", it's easy to spend a week, if not more, of your vacation on the Kenai Peninsula. This area, just south of Anchorage, is home to Seward and Kenai Fjords National Park, the world-famous Kenai River (and its salmon), the waterfront town of Homer, and so much more. Below is a list of the top things to see and do.
Need help putting it all together? Check out this 7-day Kenai Peninusula Explorer sample itinerary. (Want longer? We also have an 8 and 9-Day, or a shorter one using the centrally located town of Soldotna as a basecamp)
1. Enjoy a Day Cruise
Witness Alaska’s inspiring combination of views, glaciers, and wildlife with a full- or half-day cruise on the Kenai Peninsula—the place to go for day cruises in Southcentral Alaska.
2. Go Fishing
The Kenai Peninsula is renowned as one of the world’s top destinations for salmon and halibut fishing, and the best way to experience it is with a half- or full-day fishing charter.
Or, stay at an all-inclusive fishing lodge.
Come see why Homer is known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World,” why the Kenai River is famous for its salmon, and why anglers flock here from all over the globe to cast a line.
Instructors can help you land your dream fish, but you can also get some tips with this article on the best time to fish in Alaska.
3. See the Peninsula from Above
With water, rainforest, glaciers, and snow-capped mountains filling the landscape, the Kenai Peninsula was practically made for flightseeing tours.
Take off in a plane or helicopter to soak in the beauty from above—even look for wildlife along the way.
You can also add a glacier landing, where you’ll step out onto the blue ice for a truly unique experience.
Go by plane or helicopter for some outstanding views of the Kenai Peninsula—even land on a glacier!
Another fun way to get an elevated view of this beautiful area: Go on a ziplining excursion out of Seward.
The Kenai Peninsula’s only canopy tour lets you fly through the air, some 70 feet off the ground, at speeds up to 40 mph as you zip across the treetops with views of Mount Marathon and Resurrection Peaks.
4. Go for a Hike
The Kenai Peninsula’s varied topography results in some fantastic hiking—and views—whether you’re interested in climbing a mountain or walking on a glacier.
A number of guided hiking companies in the area make it easy.
You can even combine your hike with a helicopter ride, a river float, a train ride, or some kayaking!
You can also choose to head out for a hike on your own: The Kenai Peninsula boasts one of Alaska’s most developed trail systems.
Whether it’s an easy hike the whole family will enjoy through meadows and forests, or strenuous hiking for the more advanced hiker, you’ll find amazing views of glaciers, mountains, and more.
5. Get on the Water
A rafting tour whisks you quickly into the Alaskan backcountry, and the Kenai Peninsula has no shortage of options.
Whether you’re looking for an easy float trip or a heart-pounding whitewater thrill ride, you’ll find options that take you past stunning scenery and wildlife-spotting hot spots.
Feeling adventurous? Experience the thrill of Six Mile Creek—one of Alaska’s most famous and challenging runs.
Paddling a kayak or canoe through this area’s scenic wilderness is a great way to explore.
You can get closeup views of glaciers and icebergs, cruise past lush forest, look for marine wildlife, and gaze up at dazzling mountain peaks.
There’s even a canoe trail system with a perfect route for everyone’s skill level.
6. Look for Bears
It’s tough to beat the thrill of seeing Alaska’s bears in the wild, and this area offers a couple opportunities for bear-viewing.
You can look for the majestic creatures right on the Kenai Peninsula, or use it as a jumping-off point to see them in the famous areas of Katmai and Lake Clark National Park.
Things To Do
Kenai Peninsula Day Tours & Attractions View All
Jet skiing in the shadow of a glacier?! Absolutely! This expedition, set up only for private groups, begins with a 25-minute floatplane flight from Homer to McCarty Fjords in the stunning Kenai Fjords National Park. Then, with an expert leading the way, you’ll set off for the McCarty Glacier. While cruising the shoreline at the glacier, you’ll have the support of a 44-foot vessel with a fully enclosed back deck. There you’ll enjoy a delicious BBQ ...more
Enjoy remote Alaska at its best. Go with this small, family-owned company in Homer for a magical kayaking experience and a gorgeous hike to an iceberg-studded glacier lake!
Bald eagles are known to nest in this wooded spot near Resurrection Bay — and when you sign up for a tour with Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures, you’ll get to soar just like these iconic birds. This three-hour tour — the only canopy tour on the Kenai Peninsula — combines ziplines, rappels and sky bridges, with panoramic views of Mount Marathon, Resurrection Peaks and all the gorgeous scenery around you. It’s easy, and undeniably thrilling.
Members of 1% For The Planet, Kayak Adventures Worldwide strives to fulfill their mission to inspire an active stewardship of our natural world. Through small group sea kayak tours in Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park, they focus on safety, education, and connecting guests with the unique and fragile ecosystems you’ll visit.
Where can you find the biggest salmon, on average, in the entire world? In the Kenai River. And The River Crew, based in Soldotna, can take you to some secret spots on the famous river to fish for salmon and trout — whether you’re an experienced angler or not.
Explore a quiet coastline just a few miles from Homer, where you’ll kayak through the protected waters of Tutka Bay in search of amazing views, wildlife and adventure! Your guide leads the way on a half-day or full-day tour, gliding past dense woods, rugged shoreline and hidden coves. Add on fishing for the freshest in Alaskan salmon or rockfish!
Spend a day cruising on a luxury vessel, exploring Alaska’s iconic scenery and wildlife on this private, customized charter. You’ll leave from Homer Harbor early in the day and spend the next 5 to 8 hours plying the gorgeous waters of Kachemak Bay. Enjoy a gourmet meal aboard, stop in the village of Seldovia, or take a skiff ashore for beachcombing!
Experience the unique thrill of summer dog sledding on a glacier! Lift off in a helicopter and enjoy incredible views on your way to this amazing adventure. Want more time in the air? Add a flightseeing excursion before or after your dog sledding experience!
Homer is the halibut capital of Alaska, and this longtime charter company offers a blue-chip way to get to the fish. They have high-quality boats, experienced captains, and enthusiastic crews — as well as an inside line on finding halibut, rock fish and silver salmon. But they also offer a variety of other ways to enjoy the waters off Kachemak Bay, from wildlife cruising to paddling a kayak or hiking in Kachemak Bay State Park.
Six Mile Creek is one of the most famous — and most challenging — whitewater runs in the entire state of Alaska. Your heart will be pounding and your muscles burning as you paddle through rapids called “Big Rock Drop,” “Suckhole,” and “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Visit Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey’s homestead, home to three generations of Iditarod mushers. Experience an exciting two-mile dog sled ride, tour the racing kennel, meet the dogs, cuddle adorable husky puppies, and listen to stories from the Iditarod trail. Then climb aboard a custom-designed sled; an Iditarod race finisher drives you through rainforest to a river-cut canyon surrounded by mountains.
For many Alaskan travelers, bears are the ultimate highlight. Pair a magnificent sighting with a gorgeous helicopter flightseeing ride and you’ll have an unforgettable experience. On this unique tour from Homer, you’ll take a helicopter ride out into one of Alaska’s gorgeous national parks to witness these spectacular creatures in the wild.
There are regular ATVs, and then there are ATVs built for exploring Alaska: 8 x 8 Argos. These simple to drive, amphibious vehicles make exploring the Alaskan backcountry even more fun — and you can find the unique opportunity to drive one with Destination Alaska, out of Homer.
Charter their private, live-aboard, 60’ yacht. Wake up each day in the middle of untouched wilderness and go sea kayaking, hike through boreal forests, fish for trophy halibut and salmon, or spend a quiet day on the water photographing wildlife
The original hallmark trip that got the Alaska Railroad to bring the Glacier Discovery to Spencer Glacier in 2002. This is one of the most scenic glacier river trips in Alaska and a perfect float for all ages. Your trip begins with a scenic ride on Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery train, which runs from Anchorage, Girdwood, and other pick-up points along the railbelt. Enjoy a beautiful ride down Turnagain Arm and the Placer River Valley and ...more
Fishing the Kenai Peninsula is pretty much the ultimate for fishermen the world over, and with Alaska River Adventures, even beginners do well. This area is famous for salmon (Kings, reds and silvers), rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden, which Alaska River Adventures can help you find in the amazing green of the Kenai River and other points along the Peninsula. Alaska River Adventure guides have been fishing these waters for years. They’re patient ...more
$2,500 day trip (whole boat, up to 6 max), $5250+ personalized overnight trips
Day Trips, or Multi-Day up to 5 Days
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Darby
Explore Alaska’s Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park fully with a three-day/two-night custom adventure perfect for families or couples. Alaska Fjord Charters guides you to the best mix of kayaking, glacier viewing, whale watching, and fishing, all in one leisurely tour.
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.
Spend several hours or a full day watching bears in the wild on a quintessential Alaskan adventure with a family-run company. Start with a scenic flight out of Homer over Kachemak Bay and into Katmai or Lake Clark National Park. Once you land, your pilot/guide will take you to an optimal spot to watch and photograph these magnificent creatures in their natural environment, hunting, playing, and relaxing. Spend anywhere from 1.5 to 9 hours on the ...more
The logo for the Soldotna B&B Lodge says it all: a guest who’s lounging in bed — while also fishing. This family-run fishing lodge directly on the Kenai River offers a relaxing place to soak up the sights and sounds of nature, while also delivering a front-row opportunity to do some of Alaska’s most famous, exciting fishing. All stays carry a two-night minimum, but most guests stay longer (an average of 5 – 7 days), which is easy to do given the ...more
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.
Alaska River Adventures Kenai River rafting trips are some of its most popular and accessible excursions – and are a great value too. Full day trips showcase 19 miles of Alaska wild from Kenai Lake to Skilak Lake, giving plenty of time for spotting wildlife, historic spots and gorgeous views from all angles. When you have just a few hours, a scenic and serene 14-mile float of the Upper Kenai River provides a variety of sights, from historic ...more
This veteran tour operator runs a a fleet of fast, modern boats in Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. You’ll visit tidewater glaciers as you watch for puffins, sea otters, Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, and more. Some tours are designed to please birders or shutterbugs, while others are perfect for families.
Feel the thrill of world-class salmon and trout fishing on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula with experienced, passionate guides. You’ll get out on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, just hours from Anchorage, with a team that knows where the fish will be running each day. Spend a day, or make it a multi-day trip with a custom package that includes lodging on the river.
Natron Air’s owner and only pilot, Tim, can take you flightseeing to some of Alaska’s most beautiful places: the Harding Icefield and Mt. Redoubt Volcano. You can also opt for a bear-viewing tour that includes a beach landing, where you can photograph bears in their natural environment.
It’s thrilling to see coastal brown bears in their natural habitat, especially when you’re not rushed. Fly out of Homer to the Katmai coast for five days of amazing bear viewing with Alaska Bear Adventures. Stay overnight on the Alaska Dawn, a 65-foot expedition trawler, so you can easily get back to the bears each morning.
Start with a dramatic flightseeing trip in either a helicopter or ski plane and then get out onto an ancient river of ice for a thrilling glacier exploration either hiking or climbing.
Where will you find Alaska’s best salmon fishing? The Kenai Peninsula is hard to beat. Alaska Wildland Adventures (AWA) has specialized in fishing the Upper Kenai River between Kenai and Skilak Lakes since 1977. Their professional guides are experts in fly-fishing, drift fishing, and back trolling, so you can fish from the boat, the bank, or both. Expect an exciting day of fishing for salmon (red, silver, or king depending on the season), as ...more
Alaska Saltwater’s small-group whale watching, wildlife, and glacier tours offer daily excursions into the pristine Kenai Fjord National Park. Your captains and crew — experienced and well-versed in the area’s natural habitat — specialize in taking out film crews, professional photographers, serious birders, and guests that want an unforgettable experience.
The port city of Seward is a classic stop on any Alaska itinerary, thanks to its proximity to Chugach National Forest and Kenai Fjords National Park. But it’s also one of the more diverse places to fly. This tour operator offers stunning birds-eye views of the area’s alpine meadows, glaciers and fjords, as well as the chance to touch down, explore the terrain and even meet sled dogs.
Go fish! Cast your line for iconic Alaskan salmon and halibut — as well as other species — as you explore the shimmering waters around Homer with the passionate fishing pros of Maverick Charters. The stunning area is one that many travelers don’t get to explore, and all ages can enjoy this unforgettable outing — no experience necessary!
Hop on board the all-season Missing Lynx and Lost Lynx, the vessels bound for whatever Seward Ocean Excursion suits your fancy. Want to whale watch, see glaciers, go bird watching or just check out hidden coves? Captains Bixler and Krystin McClure will help your small group plan an outing catered to your preferences. No matter the season, you can always catch some excitement in Resurrection Bay!
With Scenic Mountain Air and you’ll be flying over one of Alaska’s most beautiful areas from Moose Pass. Set on the Kenai Peninsula, 25 miles north of Seward, this central location makes it easy to explore iconic natural features — like glaciers, ice fields, and mountain lakes. Or, use their expertise to fly to remote public use cabins or lakes for fishing.
For a closer, quieter, and more peaceful version of the Alaskan glacier and wildlife cruise, travel by sea kayak. Paddle the shoreline of Resurrection Bay, where encounters with sea otters, seabirds, and spawning salmon are common. Choose from a variety of three-hour excursions or take a full-day trip.
A fully customizable expedition that showcases Alaska’s beauty by land, sea, and air. The trip starts with a private flight from Anchorage to Homer, where guests stay in a premium log chalet. Choose from various activities including driving an amphibious vehicle, bear viewing, fishing, hiking, and kayaking. On the fourth day, board the M/V Peregrine and explore Kenai Fjords National Park, glaciers, ice caves, and waterfalls while looking for ...more
Go flightseeing in a helicopter out of scenic Seward and enjoy unforgettable views of the Kenai Mountain Range, Resurrection Bay, and gorgeous glaciers. Choose from a 30-minute, 45-minute, or 1‑hour long tour. And, add a glacier landing to any of them!
Summer Wednesday evenings in Soldotna are times that everyone looks forward to. That’s when the famous — and free! — Levitt AMP Soldotna Music Series takes place in the beautiful Soldotna Creek Park. It happens weekly from June through August, and on top of catching some great music, it’s a fantastic chance to meet locals.
Go behind the scenes with Iditarod mushers and get your own thrilling ride with the dogs at Turning Heads Kennel. Choose a summer dog demonstration and cart ride, or whisk off by helicopter for glacier dog sledding. In winter ride snow-covered trails or ask about their multi-day expeditions.
Profish-n-sea Charters, out of Seward, offers salmon and halibut fishing with friendly, experienced Alaskan guides. Trips last a full day; you’ll motor 2 to 2.5 hours from Seward to the Gulf of Alaska, Montague Island, and other outer-coast hotspots. Profish-n-Sea knows the three keys to catching fish: boats, knowledge, and gear. That’s why the boats are always clean, the gear sharp, and the crew friendly, helpful, and fun.
In the best way possible. you’re outnumbered by bears during your stay at this private fly-in wilderness camp. Fly by chartered plane from Homer to Alaska Bear Camp on a 4‑night, 5‑day all-inclusive package. This deluxe backcountry camp accommodates just 14 guests in some of the best bear habitat in the world. In contrast to day trips catering to dozens of visitors at a time, Bear Camp offers a rare and exclusive wilderness immersion.
$6,200+ (Inside Passage $2,650+)
5 days / 4 nights
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Sea Star
Set sail for 5 days and 4 nights with the crew of the M/V Sea Star for small ship adventure cruising in Prince William Sound, Kenai Peninsula or along the Inside Passage. The well-appointed yacht accommodates just 12 guests, allowing for a personalized experience where you are the explorer! Unplug from day-to-day life and soak up the wonders of Alaska’s amazing coastline. All meals prepared by an on-board chef and featuring fresh local ...more
Set sail on a luxurious 70-ft yacht out of Homer for 3+ days of fishing, hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing while indulging in mass amounts of seafood. Your itinerary will depend on the interests of the group, and the experienced local crew can fulfill those interests.
Get a bird’s‑eye view of one of Alaska’s most dramatic landscapes — Kenai Fjords National Park — on an unforgettable scenic flight out of Seward. Experience the extremely rare opportunity of a Glacier Landing on the Harding Icefield on this small group, intimate adventure.
Get up close to the Alaskan glaciers and wildlife you came to experience by taking a cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park on a custom-built catamaran out of Seward. The difference from other cruises, is that you’ll then get off the boat and into a kayak, paddle around icebergs, and watch for wildlife from your own vessel.
When in Seward, head out on the water with Alaska Northern Outfitters on their comfortable 46-foot catamaran – the Sea Quest — for an epic day of fishing for halibut, salmon, lingcod, and rockfish. It’s the only charter vessel in Seward with an upper viewing deck. This lets you sightsee or have lunch on the upper deck while watching the action below. . Inside you’ll find a large and heated interior, indoor seating for everyone, tables, and ...more
The Coastal Classic train runs between Anchorage and the town of Seward — a four-hour trip that’s the most beautiful along the entire Alaska Railroad. You’ll see Turnagain Arm as the train departs Anchorage, then a panorama of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and streams. You may even see wildlife like Dall sheep, Beluga whales, moose, bear, and more! Day Trip from Anchorage: Seward, Girdwood Multi-Day Trip from Anchorage: Overnight Seward, or ...more
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.
Alaska Wildland Adventures pioneered floating the mellow, turquoise Kenai River and has operated continuously since 1977. Join them for a serene 2‑hour float, or take on a 7‑hour adventure, complete with fun Class II+ rapids and a cruise through a glacial lake. AWA’s Kenai River Scenic Float Trip offers a nice introduction to the river, taking you along a stretch of the scenic Upper Kenai closed to motorized boats. Watch for wildlife as your ...more
Experience the wilderness of the Chugach National Forest from several different perspectives. Combine a helicopter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours! It’s one big and bold Alaska tour de force with Chugach Adventures.
Take a boutique, small-group kayaking trip with experienced guides at Liquid Adventures and get close to glaciers in kayaks or paddleboards while looking for whales and other marine mammals. You can even combine your adventure with a jetboat, helicopter, or wildlife cruise. There’s nothing quite like it in all of Alaska!
Enjoy a magical morning or evening kayaking the calm waters of Spencer Lake, in the awe-inspiring presence of a jagged terminus glacier. Your time on the water is sandwiched between two train rides that offer up some of Alaska’s most scenic rail miles. It’s a full day of unforgettable experiences in our country’s second largest national forest – the Chugach.
Fly out of Soldotna with Natron’s owner and pilot, Tim. You’ll soar over the Cook Inlet towards Mt. Iliamna Volcano and land on a beach, right where the bears are. You’ll watch them playing and clamming and be close enough to take amazing photos.
The area around Seward abounds in glaciers, making it the perfect place to go heli-flightseeing. Fly above town and Resurrection Bay, opt for a glacier landing, or longer flights over Kenai Fjords National Park. They can even drop you off on top of Seward’s famous Mt. Marathon to enjoy the amazing views.
$4,000 Day-trip | $8,000+ Multi-day
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Caroline
Spend the afternoon, or a few days exploring the waters of Resurrection Bay and Prince William Sound aboard the M/V Caroline, a beautiful custom-built yacht set for adventure! It’s the perfect setting for a family or small group vacation. Fill your days lounging on the flybridge, fishing, kayaking, strolling beaches and cruising to your next fantastic destination.
Intimate catamaran cruises into Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward for just 22 passengers, or up to 30 on private charters. Cruise through Resurrection Bay, keeping an eye out for humpback whales, orca whales (killer whales), puffins, Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoise, harbor seals, and a large variety of bird species. Then make your way into the national park, and stop at the face of a tidewater glacier. You’ll enjoy a delicious lunch ...more
Touring Alaska by helicopter gets you to unimaginably wild and remote places. Some of the most amazing have been scouted by Alaska Ultimate Safaris. Explore a glacier surrounded by snow-capped mountains, or climb to the steaming summit of an island volcano. In either case, the views are unparalleled and the experience is surreal.
This world-class, 115,000-square-foot facility was built with funds from the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and serves to remind visitors — in a highly interactive way — of the importance of understanding and maintaining Alaska’s marine ecosystem. See life swimming right before your eyes: witness a Steller sea lion gliding past underwater viewing windows, puffins diving in natural habitat, and harbor seals resting on rocky beaches. Take self-guided or ...more
Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords are great places to see wildlife and glaciers. And Major Marine’s vessels, which have cozy heated cabins and an outdoor viewing area, can take you out to see both. This family-owned tour operator has gone above and beyond to give guests an amazing day on the water since 1990.
Traverse the majesty of Exit Glacier by ice hiking or ice climbing, or opt for a nature hike in the gorgeous terrain around Seward, Alaska. Never ice climbed or hiked on a glacier? Not a problem. All trips include instruction to get you started.
Kenai Peninsula Parks & Trails View All
Your best bet for this trail is to go out on one low tide, spend the night — in either a forest service cabin or campsite — and then return the following day or several days later on another low tide. Great forest-to-beach hiking trail.
You can hike right up to Seward’s Exit Glacier and feel the dense blue ice while listening to it crackle. Walk the lower trail to get a good photo in front of the glacier face. Or, choose the more challenging 7‑mile round-trip Harding Icefield Trail. There is a short ranger-led walk daily at 11am and 3pm, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
This 0.4‑mile-long trail, which begins within earshot of downtown Homer, plays host to a variety of birds and plants. Wheelchairs may have some trouble in the first few feet of soft gravel, but once they reach the plastic boardwalk they should find the going much easier — and maybe worth the trouble it took to drive 4 hours from Anchorage.
This park is a can’t miss for dog owners and dog lovers! It’s one of the busiest parks in town, with people and their dogs there practically 24⁄7. If you’re traveling with your dog, it’s a great place to give Fido some exercise. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet the locals, learn what it’s like to live in Soldotna, and get the inside scoop on the best things to see and do from people who live here.
This meandering, single-track path leads to some of the Kenai Mountain’s most remote and fragile high country. On a route once trekked by gold rush prospectors, this trail ascends from spruce forest through the jungled zone of alders into a realm of sweeping tundra, with incredible views and productive berry picking. Plus, the top of the nine-mile journey ends in Resurrection Pass, about midway through the 39-mile Resurrection Pass Trail.
No other mining trail on the Kenai Peninsula climbs as high or takes in more extensive views as the 6‑mile-long Crown Mine Trail. Beginning some 2 hours south of Anchorage on the appropriately named Mine Road just south of Trail Lake, this trail climbs to 3,900 feet above sea level to a unique spot — a glacial cirque littered with mining paraphernalia.
If you have some outdoor experience and an adventurous spirit, consider this 11-mile traverse up the Colorado Creek valley and down the Summit Creek. Beginning 2 hours south of Anchorage, this traverse doesn’t involve any rock scrambling, river crossings, or arduous bushwhacking. But if you feel comfortable hiking in wide and trackless country, you may reap the reward of having an entire valley to yourself.
This beautiful park set along the turquoise Kenai River hosts community events, has a boardwalk, access to the river, playground and more. There’s an ice loop for skating (free ice skates are available during winter festivals) and animal cutouts with white twinkle lights on them.
If you have the ability to transport bicycles, this trail makes for a great afternoon trip. The dirt path winds through the Portage Valley, passing glacial lakes and ending at Portage Lake (this part of the trip is 5 miles each way). Make sure to bring your camera: you’ll see hanging glaciers and, very likely, some wildlife.
This 10-mile circuit of different loop trails is well-maintained and makes for fun hiking and skiing. Look for access from the parking lot at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, where there are bathrooms and outdoor port-a-potties. If you come here to ski, warm up inside the center, next to the soapstone masonry heater.
This 2.2‑mile loop trail is an off-shoot of the Keen-Eye Trail that departs from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. It is less crowded than the Keen-Eye Trail (which was built to accommodate large groups), and while it’s not a difficult hike, it features some light hills and varied terrain.
This wide, multi-use trail is popular with locals and a fun hike for everyone. The ADA-compliant trail winds through boreal forest, and it’s the only headquarters trail open to dogs and bicycles. You can even get your pup certified as a B.A.R.K. Ranger, meant to strengthen the relationship with your dog on federal public lands.
Well-maintained and suitable for summer hiking and biking, the 10-mile Devil’s Pass Trail features a steep route up a spectacular V‑shaped valley that intersects with the Resurrection Pass Trail and a rental cabin in the alpine realm. The country is rugged, with great access to cross-country tundra exploration and berry picking.
This wildlife sweet spot is worth a visit. The Russian Lakes Trail begins off the access road to the Russian River Campground in Cooper Landing, at milepost 52 of the Sterling Highway. Get off-the-beaten path, hike two miles to the falls and enjoy the immediate reward of spectacular salmon viewing.
Beginning 103 miles south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway, the 3.5‑mile-long Ptarmigan Lake Trail makes for a fine family outing. The lake itself is a long and narrow body of water squeezed between ridges and mountains that tower as high as 6,000 feet. It even offers a small beach upon which to relax and enjoy the view while cooling your feet.
Popular with hikers and backpackers, this easy-to-follow trail connects the state’s most intense sockeye salmon sports fishery with stunning mountain backcountry. It offers many of the Kenai Peninsula’s highlights in one trip. The 21-mile route accesses Russian River Falls, Lower and Upper Russian Lakes, Cooper Lake, 3 federally managed recreational cabins, and numerous campsites
In summer, the trails are open to all kinds of foot-powered recreation — walking, running, hiking, biking, photoshoots, wildlife watching and berry-picking. There’s even an 18-hole disc golf course. K‑9 feet are welcome, too. In winter, locals hit the trails for cross-country skiing and fat-tire biking. There are more than 25 kilometers of groomed ski trails, perfect for classic and skate cross-country skiing.
The Centennial Campground Loop Trail is a great place for a walk right in town at any time of year. It’s well-trafficked, well-marked, wide, and easy for most people to use. The trail is busiest in summer — especially the part near the campground where anglers access the Kenai River — and a little quieter during the other seasons.
This 38 mile long USFS trail starts in Hope and climbs Resurrection Pass (elev. 2,600) towards the south before descending to the opposite trailhead near Cooper Landing. There are 8 public use cabins along the trail, making this an advanced but comfortable day cabin-to-cabin hike. There are also 19 campsites available for tent camping.
This trail is a good day hike for the whole family. It alternates between open meadows and forests and offers the option of tent camping or staying in Crescent Lake Cabin. There are options for longer hikes and there is a lot of wildlife to be seen such as moose, goats and bears.
More a gated road than a trail, this hike largely remains a local secret among the residents of Cooper Landing, the fishing mecca located some 105 miles south of Anchorage on Sterling Highway. Many in this town consider it their personal getaway, which makes it quite a popular secret. A foreman for Chugach Electric (the company that manages the dam on Cooper Lake) said he often experienced congestion while driving to the dam, due to the heavy ...more
The 23-mile Johnson Pass Trail offers hikers, backpackers and bikers a well-marked route through a lush pass in the Kenai Mountains — featuring gradual climbs, two lakes with fish, spectacular peaks and some way cool gorges.
Probably the second most traveled trail in the park, this trail offers a great day hike for those spending time in the lagoon. You can start hiking the trail from the ranger station or the trailhead in Halibut Cove Lagoon. The trail traverses up numerous switchbacks to a place called First Lake. On a hot summer day, a soak in this lake can’t be beat.
This trail, hands down, is one of the most popular hikes in the Kachemak Bay State Park. It is one of the easiest hikes in the park as the trail is well maintained, and you can’t beat the view of the glacier at the lake. For the first 1.5 miles, the trail meanders through mixed cottonwood and Sitka spruce. These cottonwoods are some of the largest in the park so take time to appreciate their enormous size. After 1.5 miles, the trail proceeds ...more
From the base of the Homer Spit, take this 4‑mile paved trail to the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. The trail is in excellent condition and is flat as a pancake for most of its length. The first mile of trail is along a broad estuary that is great for birding. Once you pass the one-mile mark you’ll be riding past fishing boats that are out of the water being worked on as well as a few shops.
The wildflowers are abundant and verdant undergrowth can be check high sometimes. Most of the trail lies below treeline, so there are established camp clearings along the way that are nestled into the trees. One of the best campsites is 10 miles in from the northern trailhead, set among trees on a spruce-covered knoll looking over the trail and Bench Lake.
Many people know of the grueling Mount Marathon racecourse in Seward, some 130 miles south of Anchorage. However, most people don’t know that there’s also a hiking path to the top at Race Point — and it’s far less demanding. This 2.25-mile route, which entails hiking three different trails, takes you up the mountain and lets you to explore a glacial valley along the way.
This 38 mile long USFS trail climbs Resurrection Pass (elev. 2,600) and descends to the north to another trailheadtrailhead near Hope on Turnagain Arm. There are 8 public use cabins along the trail, making this an advanced but comfortable day cabin-to-cabin hike. There are also 19 campsites available along the trail.
This is one of Homer’s top hikes. It starts on top of Baycrest Hill, crosses Diamond Ridge Road, then follows Crossman Ridge to the Bridge Creek Reservoir. Throughout, it rolls through forests, meadows and over streams. The area is excellent for birding and catching a glimpse at the occasional moose.
During the summer months it’s a great spot for canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, even paddleboard yoga. The colder months are just as lively as the warmer ones. There’s a skating loop on the lake’s perimeter, as well as several skating areas on the lake. The City offers free public skates Saturday afternoons, ice conditions dependent, December through February.